REPS Repeal Bill Voted Down in House Committee, Opposition is Bipartisan


For Immediate Release

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Release : H 298 Clears Its First Hurdle, Business and Public Interests Take a Backseat


For Immediate Release

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NC rising to top of list of states for solar investment

North Carolina has quietly become one of most interesting states for solar investment in the nation, according to a panel of experts speaking Thursday at the Energy Inc. Summit at the Charlotte Convention Center. Darren Van’t Hof, director of renewable-energy investments of US Bancorp, says North Carolina is the top state his bank is investing in. He says US Bancorp Community Development Corp.*, based in St. Louis, has $80 million to $100 million of investment approved for N.C. solar projects.
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Hager's bill to end NC's renewables policy refuses to die

By John Murawski Meet the bill with nine lives – and twice as many votes cast against it. Lawmakers on Wednesday could once again attempt to end a state renewables policy whose proponents say has elevated North Carolina to the nation’s fifth-largest developer of solar farms. Last week, lawmakers defeated the measure 18-13 in a House committee. At the time proponents of solar power and renewables celebrated a rare victory. On Tuesday, Rep. Mike Hager, the bill’s sponsor, revived it for another vote. Even by the standards of North Carolina’s partisan legislature, the push to undo the 6-year-old energy policy marks unusual determination to salvage a struggling bill. For their part, advocates of solar power and renewables are now bracing for the potential of esoteric parliamentary maneuvers that are used on rare occasion to advance controversial bills for last-minute votes.
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North Carolina Could Repeal Renewable Energy Policy

In North Carolina, repeal of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) has passed out of committee and could be voted on as soon as this week (House Bill 298). Ironically, this comes just as the state is trumpeting its renewable energy growth at the 10th annual Sustainable Energy Conference in Raleigh, sponsored by the N.C. Department of Commerce, says Tom Gray in the American Wind Energy Association's blog. "If H298 passes, it will virtually eliminate the market for new renewable energy projects, since a free market does not exist where clean energy can compete head to head with the utilities. House Bill 298 signals the rules are changing and clean energy investments are no longer welcome here," said Betsy McCorkle of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association at a press conference.
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Editorial: Republican legislature should appreciate the economic advantage of solar jobs

Journal Editorial Board - When the General Assembly mandated electrical production from renewable sources in 2007, North Carolina had a tiny solar industry – mostly small rooftop solar arrays feeding a few watts into the grid. Six years later, as legislators consider repealing or weakening the mandate that state-based utilities derive a growing percentage of their electricity from renewable sources, that once-infant solar power industry has grown by 75,000 percent. North Carolina is now the fifth-leading state in the union for solar power and will climb into fourth place this year, sources told The News & Observer. Before legislators change the policies under which this industry operates, they should understand that they are dealing with more than a scattering of tinkerers.

House bill threatens NC solar boom

Editorial - Raleigh News & Observer - Last year Republicans in the General Assembly, as part of a bill on coastal management, tried to decree how high global warming may make the seas rise. Now several GOP lawmakers are trying to stop the sun. It’s not as dramatic as freezing ol’ Sol in his daily passage, but it could end the state’s impressively successful efforts to harness the sun as a source of energy. Solar power is booming in North Carolina. As The News & Observer’s John Murawski reported last Sunday, the state ranks fifth in the nation for solar energy production and is projected by the Solar Energy Industries Association to move up to fourth place this year. In 2012, North Carolina had more utility scale solar projects (21) than any state in the nation.
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Possible tax credit repeal could threaten N.C. solar

To appreciate the explosive growth of solar power in North Carolina, consider the state of the solar industry six years ago: Solar energy was so unusual that most residents had never seen a photovoltaic panel here. Today, North Carolina ranks fifth in the nation for solar energy production, and the state is projected by the Solar Energy Industries Association to move up to fourth place this year. Giant solar farms are sprouting or planned all over the state, including the biggest proposed to date: a 75-megawatt project in Duplin County. But the industry’s continued success in North Carolina is now in jeopardy. The state’s 2007 energy law, intended to establish alternatives to building power plants, is one of the Democratic-era policies eyed for elimination by some in the Republican majority in the state legislature...
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Support growing clean-energy sector

Editorial - Asheville Citizen-Times - If the N.C. General Assembly wants to establish itself as the most business unfriendly, anti-jobs and anti-growth legislature in the nation and in the history of this state, it will pass the recently filed bill oxymoronically titled the Affordable and Reliable Energy Act. It is anything but. It might better be titled the “Job Killing, Anti-Growth and Keep NC Dependent on Arab Oil Act.” North Carolina’s very successful renewable energy standard isn’t some wacky radical conspiracy. It is a cost-effective, job-building, energy-independence program that is working and has broad support, particularly from those in the energy producing-sector, most notably Duke Energy. In fact, in 2011, when the N.C. Energy Policy Council approved its unanimous recommendation to the General Assembly, it was George Everett of Duke Energy who made the motion that the council make clear that continued support of the standard was critical to the state’s energy sector and economic development.
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