Another ambitious solar plan may be biting the dust. A while back we wrote about Duke Energy's plan to rent rooftops across North Carolina for a statewide solar project. The 10 MW project was going to cost $50 million and the utility company was going to pay for it by increasing its rates. But the plan may have to be scrapped now that the state utility commission has limited the amount Duke can recoup from its customers.
The North Carolina Utilities Commission found that Duke could save money by getting solar power through third party providers instead of owning their own solar PV systems. Because of this, the commission decided it would unreasonable for the utility to burden its customers with the entire cost of the project.
Duke has realized that without the immediate return of cost through rate hikes for solar, they won't be able to go ahead with a 825-MW coal plant in the works. Since coal makes up 70 percent of the utility's energy portfolio, it's apparently more concerned with the loss of its bread and butter than a solar energy project.
If Duke chooses to abandon this project, they will need to figure out some way to offer renewable energy to its customers soon. North Carolina is requiring that renewables make up 12.5 percent of every utilities' energy by 2021, with incremental standards starting next year.
written by Paul, February 05, 2009
written by Kevin, February 05, 2009
written by Anthony, February 06, 2009
|< Prev||Next >|