Duke Energy fights the expansion of the solar industry in NC
As one of the leading utility corporations in the nation, Duke Energy likes solar power, but only when they can profit from it. Duke has led the charge in North Carolina to shrink government subsidies for private citizens or businesses hoping to undertake solar projects on their own property. While the company points to its investment of $4 billion on renewable forms of energy nationwide, Duke has reaped massive profits from these ventures - and then turned around and used these funds to support anti-solar political candidates in North Carolina.
A new report identifies Duke Energy, Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council as among the principal opponents “chipping away at the key policies that have put solar energy on the map” in North Carolina and nationwide.
The Environment North Carolina report, called "Blocking the Sun," says Duke “has positioned itself to be seen as a champion of solar energy,” building solar projects in its unregulated commercial division and touting its $500 million investment in utility-owned solar in the state.
But it contends Duke’s support “only extends .. to solar panels the utility owns and that deliver profits to its balance sheet. When it comes to the rights of individuals and businesses to generate their own electricity from the sun, however, Duke has been a tenacious opponent of solar energy.”
It cites Duke’s opposition to allowing solar companies to sell power directly to customers — rather than selling it to utilities — in North Carolina and Florida.