North Carolina legislative panel moves to restrict renewable standard

The North Carolina Senate Commerce Committee has endorsed a proposal that would keep the state Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Standards (REPS) at their current level, rather than raising them.

The Senate panel has voted to approve a substitute version of House Bill 332, which would keep the renewable standards for public “public utilities” as well as electric membership corporations and municipalities at 6% beyond 2015.

The substitute version of the bill had been put forth in April. The original version of the bill would have required public utilities to reach 10% renewables by 2018 and 12.5% of retail sales by 2021. The original would have required the membership corporations and municipals to reach 10% by 2018.

The substitute version stipulates that utilities can meet up to 50% of the requirements of the section through energy efficiency, where the earlier version had said 25%.

The bill also addresses small power producers that generate electricity from swine or poultry waste. The same legislation also addresses cost recovery for natural gas pipeline infrastructure.

The legislation now goes to the Senate floor, according to a news report from Raleigh TV station, WRAL. The online article from the television station described the legislation as a controversial bill to freeze the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard.

Back in 2007, North Carolina became the first Southeast state to adopt a renewable and energy efficiency standard, according to the North Carolina Utilities Commission website.

Meanwhile an organization called the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) said on its website May 18 that it is working to keep the state Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit in the House budget.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.