North Carolina Power Company Seeking to Reduce Payments for Green Energy

As reported in an article from The News Observer and originally published in Business, the Raleigh-based power company, Progress Energy, is seeking to slash payments as much as 29 percent for electricity it buys from solar generators and other renewables producers.  According to the article, the power company’s request is tied to the plummeting cost of natural gas, which is lowering the market price of electricity nationwide. Progress contends that it is now overpaying for the green energy it has to buy under state law, and passing on those inflated costs to its customers, who ultimately bear the financial burden in their monthly bills.  The article highlights that the move to cut rates comes at a crucial time for solar power in the state as the industry.  Only a few years ago, power companies paid solar generators a premium of about 12 cents for every kilowatt hour of power. Today, solar producers typically receive less than 1 cent a kilowatt hour as a subsidy. The article states, that with the subsidy expected to go away in the near future, North Carolina’s solar industry is operating on razor-thin margins and could come to a standstill if payments for electricity are cut, advocates warn.