Last week, US Senator Mitch McConnell successfully killed a 15% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in the Energy Bill by arguing that an RPS would disadvantage southern states, who have thus far avoided RPS's due to cost. Those of us that study the cost of new baseload coal and nuclear plants vs. clean alternative energy were nauseated. The fact is that energy efficiency and renewables are cheaper than new nuclear and coal plants. The cost of climate change was not discussed. We can't wait for Congress. It's time for NC to adopt a Renewable and Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS), and like 23 other states, show leadership on addressing the global climate crisis.

NC Senate Bill 3 (12.5% REPS) passed this week and heads to the House. It needs our support. SB3 mandates that 12.5% of our energy will come from clean renewables and energy efficiency by 2021. NC would become the first state in the Southeast to adopt an REPS and would offset 150 million metric tons of CO2 annually. Instead of two more years of inaction, we would lead the Southeast out of the fossil fuel quagmire.

As expected, the Utilities did their best to kill SB3 by attaching baseload provisions to this landmark bill. The most offensive provision allows the utilities to argue before the NC Utilities Commission that ratepayers should finance construction work in progress (CWIP), even if new baseload plants never generate a single kilowatt for ratepayers. It does not guarantee CWIP financing, but it does create that possibility.

It is absolutely correct to oppose public financing of polluting plants and there will be ample opportunity to do so -- in this session, in future legislative sessions, and at the NCUC. Unfortunately, the Utilities will not support the REPS Bills -- H77 or S3 -- without baseload provisions. We need them for the REPS to pass, just as we needed them to pass "Clean Smokestacks." This trade is worth making.

The Utilities will get CWIP with or without the REPS in the next two years (neighboring states already have it). This is the big question that a few of us have spent the past several weeks studying. If that is so, it is significant, because it means that we will be fighting the Utilities either WITH with an REPS or without one over the next several years. We are far stronger with an REPS than without one. Many states with an RPS have beaten and increased their goals, substantiating their case against more baseload.

We could comfortably beat our projections for EE and RE in NC. That fact will be considered by the NCUC when it takes up CWIP and Certificates of Convenience (permits). Without an REPS, we argue from data outside NC, which NC Legislators always discount. For years, the Utilities have argued that NC has NO commercial utility-scale renewable resource and limited opportunity for EE. With an REPS, we can prove otherwise. If we do, the case for a new nuclear or coal plant in seriously undermined.

Let's oppose CWIP, but support and pass an REPS. Hopefully, the bill will be improved in the House before the final votes. If not, and if it passes, we will pile on in unison against new baseload, with RE and EE successes in our quiver, at every future NCUC hearing. Without an REPS, we are back to begging for crumbs with no leverage or proof of alternatives.

Ask your representatives to support SB3 and H77.


Thanks Tim

It is absolutely correct to oppose public financing of polluting plants and there will be ample opportunity to do so -- in this session, in future legislative sessions, and at the NCUC. Unfortunately, the Utilities will not support the REPS Bills -- H77 or S3 -- without baseload provisions. We need them for the REPS to pass, just as we needed them to pass "Clean Smokestacks." This trade is worth making.

Thanks for this tidbit. I like it when an expert/advocate discusses the compromises/alternatives. I will never understand the intricate details of this issue and its good to know you (and others like you) are out there for me to rely on.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Great summary Tim

Looks like we have more emails to write . . .


PS Congrats on the the CNN debut!

I am with you but ...

with the crossover deadline having passed, the best you can do is to lay the foundation for next time. (Unless there is some special provision I am unaware of)
In Person Co. and the 13th District, we passed a resolution supporting H77. The NCDP executive committee will have a chance to similiarly back H77 at the August meeting.

Nice idea.


I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

These are exempt and still live,

because they require appropriations, so will be part of final budget negotiations. At least that is my understanding.

Most enviro groups not supporting S3 until fixed

Almost all environmental groups are asking legislators to fix the CWIP and dirty hog energy provisions in S3. Most feel that the bill does more harm than good at this point and cannot support it in it's current form.

It should give us all pause when the utilities, the hog lobby, and the state business lobby (NC Chamber) are all now supporting this legislation while most environmental and consumer groups are raising serious concerns to legislators and the public. The environmental champion in the legislature, Pricey Harrison, also has raised serious concerns. Here's an excellent article that gives her perspective:

So the message should NOT be to support S3, but that we have serious concerns about it and it needs to be fixed before it passes - or it shouldn't. The price of renewable energy continues to drop and will be much more affordable soon, while the price of coal and nuclear will continue to go up unless consumers and taxpayers foot the bill - which is why this is so important to Duke and Progress.

Another 8 gigatons

Every year we wait for the price of renewables to go down and the price of nukes to go up, we add eight gigatons of carbon to our atmosphere.

What is the cost of the perfect bill?

Sorry, Tim.

I understand the position that "Something is better than nothing", but SB3 is not a bill North Carolina can be proud of, especially in light of the fact we are the fourth largest carbon emitting state in the country. That's bad for the country overall, but it's really bad for us.

I'll tell you something else—energy efficiency is an extremely important consideration, but it's not renewable energy. Those kilowatts saved should be just that—saved, and taken from the total usage, not from the renewable percentage.

Changing light bulbs and buying renewable certificates while we keep building coal-fired and nuclear facilities is not a step forward. Some compromises are just not worth making.

Precisely why we need the REPS

Without an REPS, we are guaranteed new coal and nukes...and no utility scale renewables, because those require financing that only an REPS will ensure. The fact that we are one of the highest carbon emitting states is precisely why we need a renewable and efficiency standard. Efficiency, or "negawatts" as Amory Lovins calls it, is the best and cheapest way to reduce demand and emissions. The mix of EE and RE in this bill was optimized by the environmental community, who uniformly support it. None of us like CWIP, but we risk throwing out the baby (REPS) with the bath water (CWIP) on this one.

Unless I misread it,

Without an REPS, we are guaranteed new coal and nukes...and no utility scale renewables, because those require financing that only an REPS will ensure.

SB3 won't ensure the construction of renewable energy sources, merely the purchase of renewable energy from other states. We need to keep our money in the state, by constructing our own wind farms.

SB3 will ensure renewables in NC

The option of buying RECs (renewable energy credits) in lieu of buying home-grown NC renewables is restricted to 25% of the total. The reason that SB3 will ensure development of NC renewables (wind, solar, biomass) is that these facilities require bank financing. Banks will only finance projects that have a guaranteed buyer. Without an REPS, the utilties will not sign long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with renewables' generators. With it, they will and wind farms and solar panels will pop up like they have in the 23 other states that have these policies. Here is the bill if you want the details:


CWIP will guarantee new coal, nukes

The overwhelming opinion in the enviromental community and leaders liek Pricey Harrison is that CWIP is non-negotiable precisely because it will be more likely to lead to new nukes and coal plants. It's an opinion though and the truth is no one really knows the impact of S3 on this issue. It['s fair to day there are conflicting opinions from people we all respect.

Again though, it raising a real red flag in my mind when Duke, Progress, and the NC Chamber are pushing S3 in legislature when most enviromental groups say we have to slow this down and fix it. We can't fix it and cheerlead S3 - legislators will ONLY hear the cheerleading. Obviously it won' be perfect, but they won't improve S3 unless we tell House legislators what's wrong with it.

For people living near hog lagoons and sprayfields, the dirty hog energy provision in S3 is unacceptable because it would mean NC would be encouraging rather than ending the practice of the hog lagoon waste system. If legislators are going to address this they need to feel the heat from the public and leading voices - otherwise they'll feel S3 is an acceptable compromise.

Right to fight CWIP and hogs

We should absolutely fight CWIP and the hog provisions. This version of CWIP, which environmentalists successfully modified -- so now call it "CWIP Light," still requires NCUC approval and every plant requires a Certificate of Convenience (permit). Utilties must also make the rate case that the WIP has served the interest of ratepayers, before being funded. We will vigorously oppose.

CWIP does not guarantee new coal and nukes, BUT killing the REPS to get a perfect bill, most certainly will


I don't like S-3 but doing nothing while our population grows is not a step forward. Waiting until the next session for the prospect of a better bill is another year without renewables.

We had a similar stand-off with NC Greenpower. Some people wanted it so pure that it would be economically unviable and never get started.

I'm with Tim on this one.

Save the baby, clean the bathwater.

Thank you, Tim, and others, for this background information and a broader perspective regarding SB3. Focus on pragmatic potential relieves some of the frustrations of the depth of corpolitics that has come to light this past week.

"Action is the antidote to despair". Joan Baez

Would you please suggest areas in which we can most effectively promote changes to SB3? For instance: dropping requirements for a percentage of renewables coming from hog waste, etc; requiring that a percentage of renewables come from solar and wind; no limits on solar and wind. Not throwing out the baby, but "cleaning up" the bathwater.

Promotion of biomass can delay progress towards clean renewables. The reasons for the landfill moratorium are still in place. If municipal solid waste is classified as renewable in the energy bill, (it is not in HB77) it will be more difficult to manage the waste industry, which is already managing to undermine the Solid Waste Management Act in the stakeholder process.

More of your insight would be appreciated.

Grease, hair, and slime

The three nastiest ingredients in the bath water are: Grease -- section 62-133.2 relates to fuel and fuel related charge adjustments for ammonia, lime, and chemical cleansers the utilities want cost recovery for. I believe this was deleted in the latest draft. If not, it should be. Hair -- I don't believe the hog waste set-aside kicks in until 2018, but you're right that Sierra Club and others have argued against this. Slime -- the slimiest element in the bath water is CWIP. We need to make certain that this bill is not a mandate for saddling ratepayers with escalating costs for polluting baseload plants. The Utilties don't want this risk; neither should we. There should be many steps along the way get CWIP. Also, why aren't renewables generators offered CWIP? Wind farms cost hundreds of millions of dollars too, but we're asking private developers to bear 100% of that risk. What's good for the goose...

Finally, let's make sure that 62-133.7, section a(8) remains. It notes: "Renewable energy resource does not include a fossil fuel or nuclear energy resource." Keep an eye on that word "not." It's very important that it NOT disappear. Rep Luebke, Martin, and Harrison will help us navigate this rather murky tub.

Total Toxic Load ...

... in this tub exceeds permissible limits. Would the baby survive?

I was wrong. There are REPS requirements for solar. They are the same as for Hog Waste. Isn't that interesting. (Well there does seem to be as much "hog waste" as sunshine these days :) In 2018 and thereafter, solar will be a whopping two-tenths of one percent of the 10% total REPS requirement.

Also, why aren't renewables generators offered CWIP?

It is not clear (to me) that dirty renewables like landfills, hog and chicken waste, etc. would not get CWIP.

Renewables are being supplemented, but the money goes to the utilities:

"§ 62‑133.7. section (g) Cost Recovery and Customer Charges.
(1) For the purposes of this subsection, the term "incremental costs" means all reasonable and prudent costs incurred by an electric power supplier ....

CWIP is certainly not the only way that the utilities will benefit from this bill. Nor are the utilities the only industry to benefit; others include the waste industry, CAFOs, the farm industry, the financial industry, the timber industry, and all manufacturers. A powerful coalition.

Sounds good, Tim.

And since this is supposed to be a renewable bill, and we're making compromises to accomodate the utilities, they should make some too. As Zate said above:

no limits on solar and wind.

the utilities should remove the caps on how much of their total annual wattage that can be derived from net-metering, and stop billing their (albeit tiny) energy-producing partners retail rates while only crediting them at a wholesale rate.

I understand they are in the business of making money, but these (and other) factors are either directly stifling the growth of micro Solar/Wind producers or adversely impacting the economic viability of net-metering. The General Assembly (as well as most citizens) may not be able to comprehend a future where 40% to 50% (or more) of the people make their own energy and feed surpluses to the grid, but the power companies can.

REPS with substantially expanded CWIP is self-defeating

CWIP which all but GUARANTEES the construction of new baseload power plants is unacceptable. Period. Full stop.

I deeply respect Tim's work as a tireless advocate for clean energy, but must vigorously disagree with his strategic analysis here.

I think that we can all agree that the purpose of REPS is to promote the expansion of renewable energy and energy efficiency INSTEAD of the construction of new polluting power plants (coal and nuclear). Therefore, any changes which substantially increase the risk of building those plants (even if they are unneeded) defeats the very purpose of REPS in the first place.

Substantially expanded use of CWIP is one such self-defeating change. Its inclusion in SB 3 makes the bill in its present form an unacceptable "compromise". Here's why: The power company's potential for profits for its stockholders is deeply connected to the size of its rate base (the value of its physical property, including its power generating plants). As a result, changes in the law which act to shift the RISK of new plant construction from the company stockholders to the public ratepayers promote that construction.

It is always possible (and frequently occurs) for the power company to argue that a new plant's construction is necessary, even when it is not. Further, decades of experience show us that it is terribly dangerous to count on the Utilities Commission to successfully weed out the unnecessary plants. The most recent experience with the Commission's authorization of a new Cliffside coal-fired unit underscores this point. The Commission authorized that plant despite a strong case from the state Attorney General's office and public intervenor groups that it was premature at best to do so.

And, let us not forget that the "compromise" changes in SB 3 would make it easier for such past mistakes to be perpetuated, and for the mistakes authorized by other states to be foisted upon North Carolina's ratepayers. The proposed new Cherokee nuke in South Carolina is a key example of that danger. Nuclear-friendly South Carolina officials cannot be counted on to vigorously examine the pros and cons of that plant for us.

In other words, the effectiveness of REPS in reducing the NEED for new polluting baseline plants won't protect us. If aggressive builders like Duke can build a new plant and feel assured that the public will pay the bills, they will do so. Once those plants are built, the companies will have every incentive to keep them running.

I agree that REPS is a strong, positive tool and much needed. I disagree that it is worth the price of utility financing law changes that will substantially increase the risk of construction of unneeded baseline plants—the very risk that REPS is intended to fight.

There may come a point in legislative work on the House side that the baseload financing risks have been watered down to the point that they are (just barely) acceptable. We are NOT at that point yet. Telegraphing that we would take the fatally flawed SB 3 "compromise" deeply weakens our bargaining position in House deliberations. We cannot afford that.

I urge our friends in the House to keep that in mind.

Dan Besse
Democrat for Lieutenant Governor

Dan Besse

No new coal plants, period. Ever.

New nuclear, until greener energy arrives? I'm all ears.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

False Hope

There is no question that the stakes are high in this bill. I have the highest respect for Dan and his distinguished record in support of NC's environment. Like Dan, I oppose CWIP. I have described it here as a "poison pill" and "slime," and encouraged us all to fight it vigorously. If we can win additional concessions on SB3, which has been negotiated in 605 Hearings for the past four months (with environmental groups well represented), CWIP should be our target.

Two points:

(1) SB3 does not guarantee CWIP, as it is guaranteed in our neighboring states -- thanks to already vigorous opposition from the evironmental community.

(2) H77 or SB3 will not pass without CWIP. We -- the environmental community have gone to the mat for a solid REPS. They -- the Utilities have gone to the mat for CWIP. We went from a 20% REPS goal to a 12.5% goal. They went from CWIP guarantees to CWIP potential. That's where things stand today.

Dan argues that we should not telegraph our willingness to accept "CWIP Light." He's a player -- my cards are on the table -- total transparency. There is too much at stake here to play games at the 11th hour and risk losing the REPS. Climate change marches on with increasing force and momentum while we play poker with our children's future. Time to declare: Game over.

The Utilities will NOT accept an REPS without baseload provisions, including some version of CWIP. We (environmentalists) have fought hard to get a strong REPS to begin to turn the tide away from fossil fuels and nuclear in NC. It raises false hope among progressives and environmentalists who have not fought in the trenches to suggest that we could get an REPS without CWIP. The risk is stalemate and failure.

Fight to weaken and remove CWIP. Fight like hell. But don't consider it a defeat if we end up with the country's 24th REPS and the FIRST in the Southeast. If we let CWIP defeat this bill, the Utilities and the Bushies WIN BIG. As Dan points out, the Utilities will still make their case for CWIP, and, if our neighboring states are any example, they will WIN. Meanwhile, we will have NO wind energy, NO solar energy, NO utility scale renewables, and NO proof for the NCUC or General Assembly that there is any alternative to coal and nuclear. What better evidence for them to win a CWIP rate case?

On another note, GO SEE THE FILM SICKO. It is simply brilliant. I wish MM would do his next one on the Energy Industry. It is likewise diseased and must be fundamentally rebuilt. Renewables and Efficiency are the answer. We must begin in 2007 in NC.

Self inflicted wounds

Senator Clodfelter warned the environmental community that opposing S3 "will only result in self-inflicted wounds."

He was right.

My question:

Unfortunately, the Utilities will not support the REPS Bills -- H77 or S3 -- without baseload provisions.

How bizarre is it that we live in a state where our so-called elected representatives can't won't do their jobs without getting permission from Big Energy.

Truth is, I don't blame the power companies. They're just doing whatever they believe is in their self-interest. I blame the people who are supposed to work for US in Raleigh.

Maybe not a question . . .

more like an observation I guess.

It's in the wording

where the problem occurs:

(2) An electric public utility may meet the requirements of this section by any one or more of the following:

a. Generate electric power at a new renewable energy facility.

b. Use a renewable energy resource to generate electric power at a generating facility other than the generation of electric power from waste heat derived from the combustion of fossil fuel.

c. Reduce energy consumption through the implementation of an energy efficiency measure; provided, however, an electric public utility subject to the provisions of this subsection may meet up to twenty‑five percent (25%) of the requirements of this section through savings due to implementation of energy efficiency measures. Beginning in calendar year 2021 and each year thereafter, an electric public utility may meet up to forty percent (40%) of the requirements of this section through savings due to implementation of energy efficiency measures.

d. Purchase electric power from a new renewable energy facility. Electric power purchased from a new renewable energy facility located outside the geographic boundaries of the State shall meet the requirements of this section if the electric power is delivered to a public utility that provides electric power to retail electric customers in the State; provided, however, the electric public utility shall not sell the renewable energy certificates created pursuant to this paragraph to another electric public utility.

e. Purchase renewable energy certificates derived from in‑State or out‑of‑state new renewable energy facilities. Certificates derived from out‑of‑state new renewable energy facilities shall not be used to meet more than twenty‑five percent (25%) of the requirements of this section, provided that this limitation shall not apply to an electric public utility with less than 150,000 North Carolina retail jurisdictional customers as of 31 December 2006.

f. Use electric power that is supplied by a new renewable energy facility or saved due to the implementation of an energy efficiency measure that exceeds the requirements of this section for any calendar year as a credit towards the requirements of this section in the following calendar year or sell the associated renewable energy certificates.

as I said before, they don't have to build any new renewable energy in North Carolina if they don't want to.

Even with threats, most NC groups oppose S3 as is

It's worth saying again that, even with threats from Clodfeltor, most enviromental advocacy organizations would rather fix S3 than see it pass in it's current form. These people who have been "in the trenches" on REPS, need help from the public and grassroots to demand a better renewables bill. We can't fix the bad parts of S3 AND tell legislators to pass the bill - those are two very different messages.

How sad is it that Duke and Progress are two of the most feared political machines in the legislature? They are a part of a tightly regulated monopoly in our state and need to be kept on a very short leash for the good of the people and our state. Unfortunately, 80% of the legislature fears them or does their bidding with far too much enthusiasm.

Which goes back to why some folks are ready to accept S3 as is - because it seems like a good deal to accept CWIP in a legislature that often does whatever asked by the big utilities. However, all that being said, I think we're in a new era. The last thing that Duke-Progress want to do is publically defend the merits of CWIP and the financing of new plants in a single bill. The renewables bill gives them cover.

We need to push back and make this a better bill.

I'll say it again,

we are the fourth largest carbon-emitting state in the country. SB3 does not have any provisions that will guarantee our carbon emissions will drop, or even not increase.

Some may say buying renewable energy from another state means we're still using renewable energy, regardless of where it comes from, and they would be correct. But what (in this bill) is to keep the utilities from purchasing renewable energy from a state that doesn't have an REPS, and then selling NC produced coal-fired energy back to that state? Nothing, and there would be no regional net gain of renewables or reduction of carbon emission.

If they must have baseload provisions, the least our lawmakers can do is force the utilities to spend some of that on the actual construction of renewable facilities here in North Carolina.

Renewables generators lined up for NC

Large wind and solar developers are lined up to build out the renewable resource in NC. Many have already submitted proposals to Duke Energy's RFI. Without an REPS, no utility scale wind or solar development will take place in NC. US capitial investment in utility scale renewables has followed the states that enact versions of the RPS. Construction of renewable facilities will take place in NC with an REPS. Construction will not take place without an RPS.

Duke Energy is a developer.

They've already bought out wind system manufacturers like Tierra so they could save money for their ratepayers by installing it themselves.

But they're not going to do it here because they don't have to do it here. They'll devote that resource to states that refuse to allow coal-fired or nuke, and leave us a few decades behind the rest.

Sorry, Tim. I know this negativity is frustrating to you, but positive thinking will only get you so far in this world. SB3 is written with some really promising stuff, but there's an escape clause for every damn one of them.

It's like when you win a contest, and it says,"You are guaranteed one of these great prizes!", and it shows a picture of a car, a boat, a fancy gas grill, a cruise to the Bahamas, and a "Photo Portrait Session".

Okay, it may not be like that, but it's beginning to feel like that to me.

Why SB3? This is our opportunity - let's not blow it...

Thanks Tim for your clear arguement for supporting SB3. Reading through the responses to your blog, I wanted to add to the discussion here in support of SB3.

Here are my reasons to support SB3:

1) SB3 Defeat Will Kill Long Term Possibility of REPS: If SB3 is defeated with the help of parts of the environmental movement, the Utilities win. The Utilities can say “look we tried, the environmentalist don’t want real sustainable energy policy…they don’t want an REPS”. While not accurate, it will be a long time before a real REPS gets back to General Assembly. The current legislation is the result of 3 years of hard, continuous work by a large coalition of partners. We can’t afford to pick up this discussion in 3-4 years time…it is urgent that we address these critical issues immediately.

2) No SB3 Does Not Equal No CWIP: Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina have all adopted CWIP independent of significant compromise. Regardless of SB3, the NC utilities will push for this legislation and there is a high probability that they will get CWIP without any quid pro quo. It is important to understand that killing SB3 will probably not kill CWIP.

3) CWIP Does Not Guarantee New Baseload: CWIP does not necessarily guarantee a green light for new base load coal and nuclear power plants. The same coalition that was partially successful with Cliffside will be able to mount similar campaigns to delay or block new baseload plants. I feel that with a more robust sustainable energy market, one created by a successful REPS, it will actually be easier to make the case against new coal and nuclear plants.

4) A Successful REPS Will Help Defeat New Baseload: A successful REPS will open the door to renewable energy and greater energy efficiency measures in North Carolina. Do not underestimate the value of this in changing “how things are done” in the energy world. I bump up against regulatory obstacles every day in trying to build this market. An REPS will force the Utilities to get out of the way and to participate in helping build this market…albeit unwillingly. The emergence of this sustainable energy market will reduce GHG, improve the environment and create jobs. I think that the most important results of an REPS is that it will disprove all the utilities disinformation about sustainable energy and will demonstrate the economic development potential of this emerging market.

5) Positive Federal Impact of SB3: If SB3 passes, a Southern state will have passed real, comprehensive sustainable energy legislation. This will break the chink in the armor of the Southeastern states and their long standing reactionary energy policies. The impact on the Federal sustainable energy policies will be highly favorable.

At the end of the day, if SB3 passes, a Southeast state will have a 12.5% REPS (one of the best in actual MW capacity in the U.S.), a 10 megawatt interconnection standard (top 15 in U.S.), 1 megawatt net metering if we can follow-through at the NCUC with a win (6th in U.S.), an energy efficient homes tax credit, inclusion of non-profits in our RE tax credits, protection of long-term contracts for solar (rare to have in law), the first Southeast RECs market, a massive GHG reduction policy in place, and finally some concrete NC evidence that new coal and nuclear power plants are not needed in part or in whole. We already have some of the best RE tax credits in the nation (renewed and increased 10-fold in 2005), and will make some further refinements next legislative session. This a huge step forward for North Carolina despite any concessions to the utilities in this bill.

Let me be clear, I do not like the CWIP provisions in SB3. However, I feel that the positive in this bill more than overcomes the limitations of the CWIP and the utilities will probably get CWIP anyway regardless of how the vote occurs on SB3. This is clearly a question of political pragmatism, of dogma versus practicality, and if we really want change to happen in our state’s energy paradigm SB3 is the best opportunity that we have.


Absolutely agree

Blair -- Your points are spot-on and crystal clear. Let's all fight to get CWIP concessions, while keeping our eye on the prize. This is NC's opportunity to make a difference in the climate crisis.

Please show me

where everything you mentioned here:

a 10 megawatt interconnection standard (top 15 in U.S.), 1 megawatt net metering if we can follow-through at the NCUC with a win (6th in U.S.), an energy efficient homes tax credit, inclusion of non-profits in our RE tax credits, protection of long-term contracts for solar (rare to have in law), the first Southeast RECs market, a massive GHG reduction policy in place.

is actually worded in the text of SB3. Unless I missed it, the version posted on the GA's website was apparently missing a bunch of stuff.

Senate passes S3 45-2

The NC Senate passed S3 on a 45-2 vote today. An amendment was offered on the senate floor which would have eliminated CWIP Provisions. It received only six votes and was defeated. This shows how thin the support is in the senate for the REPS without CWIP. If we force a showdown, we will lose the REPS and NC will remain in the dark ages as a nuclear and coal state.

Benefits of SB3 - Huge Leap Forward in SE Policy for NC & South

Not directed just at you here, but more generally, many of the opponents to this bill are stuck on CWIP without understanding the huge benefits of this legislation. Please pass this along this information to folks in your circle to study and evaluate the other side of this bill. Once again, while CWIP may be included in the bill, (unfortunately), killing this bill will not kill CWIP.

Here you go. This is a high level overview of SB3/S3 responding to your request. Here is the link to the details of SB3/S3: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2007/Bills/Senate/PDF/S3v2.pdf

Sections 1-3, generally:

will create the first Southeast Renewable Energy Certificates market, and the definition of REC specifies that RECs are the primary tracking and compliance verification mechanism for the REPS (both EE and RE).

Section 2(d), page 5, lines 39-41:

protection of long-term contracts for solar (rare to have in law),

Section 2(h), page 8:

a 10 megawatt interconnection standard (top 15 in U.S.),

1 megawatt net metering if we can follow-through at the NCUC with a win (6th in U.S.),

Section 13, page 24:

an energy efficient homes tax credit,

Section 14, page 26:

inclusion of non-profits in our RE tax credits,


The Climate Action Plan Advisory Group (CAPAG) found that an REPS will deliver massive GHG emission reductions and cost savings to North Carolina over ten years. Here are some links to this studies/documents.

http://www.ncclimatechange.us/capag.cfm (home page)

http://www.ncclimatechange.us/ewebeditpro/items/O120F11600.pdf (most recent ghg emission reduction potential summary memo)

Let me know if you have any questions here.

Best regards,


Some Things I Really Don't Understand

CWIP stands for what, exactly?

Tag ons shouldn't be in a green energy bill but apparently they are. I won't even bother to ask why ...


stands for Construction Work in Progress. It means the ratepayers (that'd be us) get to start paying for new power plants before the plants start producing electricity.