NC Puts Price on Solar Energy

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The North Carolina Utilities Commission has started its process of setting solar energy rates for the next two years.

What is to be determined is how much utility companies, such as Duke Energy and Dominion will have to pay for solar energy.

The process for setting solar energy rates is a complex process, involving weeks of hearing, with thousands of pages of filing and lawyers representing the utilities, environmental groups, business groups, solar industry members and associations.

Under a 1978 federal law, regulators can require utilities to buy energy from 3rd party facilities that generate power, but they can not be forced to pay more that what it would cost them to produce the energy themselves. These are known as “advoid costs.” It includes both the cost that the utility would pay to produce energy at its most expensive plant.

“I’m glad to see Raleigh addressing this topic to help those who have chosen to be leaders and invest in rooftop solar energy,” added Thomas Hsiao, President of SuperGreen Solutions’ offices in the Charlotte region. At SuperGreen Solutions, we have seen some customers stay away from solar energy simply due to, what they perceive, as unfair sell back prices.  In areas where the energy company is willing to use a “net-metering” system our customers are not as concerned because we never advocate putting in more solar than their smallest monthly power bill; but where “buy all, sell all” systems are in place, it’s really hard to justify the commitment of rooftop solar.”

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