Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Solar Gets Big Boost at Wind's Expense in North Carolina

Energy
Ararat Rock Solar farm in Mount Airy, North Carolina. NARENCO

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill into law Thursday that will boost solar production but curb wind energy in the state.

House Bill 589, the result of months of arduous negotiations between utilities and the solar industry, is intended to encourage the continued growth of solar in the state, but it includes a moratorium on new wind projects for the next 18 months.


"I strongly oppose the ugly, last-minute, politically motivated wind moratorium," the governor said in a statement. "However, this fragile and hard-fought solar deal will be lost if I veto this legislation and that veto is sustained."

Cooper also issued an executive order Thursday encouraging the state to help wind projects through initial permit stages during the moratorium.

"We appreciate Governor Cooper's leadership in signing NC H589 today, a measure that will significantly enhance the solar market in North Carolina and continue the growth of solar jobs within the state," Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said in a statement.

"The programs created by this legislation, namely the competitive solicitation process for new utility scale solar and the addition of a rooftop solar leasing program, will help North Carolina retain its position as a top market for solar in the United States," Hopper explained. "Unfortunately, the last-minute inclusion of an 18-month wind moratorium was both unnecessary and disappointing and we hope the governor's executive order can help mitigate that portion of the bill. We stand by our colleagues in the wind industry and hope that legislators will see the positive economic development that both solar and wind offer to rural North Carolina."

For a deeper dive:

News & Observer, WRAL, Bloomberg, Charlotte Business Journal, UtilityDive. Commentary: Winston-Salem Journal, Aubrey Patti op-ed

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The CDC has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Guido Mieth / Moment / Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.

Read More Show Less
A California newt (Taricha torosa) from Napa County, California, USA. Connor Long / CC BY-SA 3.0

Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.

Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images

Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.

Read More Show Less
A customer packs groceries in reusable bags at a NYC supermarket on March 1, 2020. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown our daily routine into disarray. Billions are housebound, social contact is off-limits and an invisible virus makes up look at the outside world with suspicion. No surprise, then, that sustainability and the climate movement aren't exactly a priority for many these days.

Read More Show Less
Ingredients are displayed for the Old School Pinto Beans from the Decolonize Your Diet cookbook by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel. Melissa Renwick / Toronto Star via Getty Images

By Molly Matthews Multedo

Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.

Read More Show Less