House Bill 589 was always intended to be a consensus bill to create a better functioning renewable energy market for both solar companies and utilities in North Carolina. Wind power was intentionally kept to the sidelines of these discussions as the wind resource is primarily in the PJM interconnect and still a relatively new resource for the state. HB 589 would have been a bipartisan compromise that was overall good for consumers, industry, and utilities. Unfortunately, the final negotiations that occurred late Thursday night between the House and Senate on HB 589 became tarnished with the inclusion of an unnecessary 18-month moratorium on the permitting of wind projects through December 31, 2018, which was ultimately sold to legislators by Senator Harry Brown without any urging from the military.
SEWC is extremely disappointed with this outcome; it ultimately hurts the residents of eastern North Carolina, which could loose $1B in investments from two to three projects currently under development. It sends a signal to businesses trying to invest in the state that regulations are unpredictable and not always grounded in fact. We will be working with all stakeholders to minimize the negative impact of this decision, however we recognize there is no straightforward solution at this point.
Southeasterm Wind Coalition | http://www.sewind.org