Today, Governor Cooper signed into law House Bill 589, “Competitive Energy Solutions for North Carolina”. Below is a statement by Ivan Urlaub, Executive Director of the NC Sustainable Energy Association:
“We applaud Governor Cooper for his thoughtful consideration of this compromise energy legislation over the last four weeks, and again express our appreciation to Rep. John Szoka, Rep. Dean Arp and House Speaker Tim Moore for their leadership in advancing a positive, forward-thinking clean energy bill through the House in early June.
The introduction of the unnecessary and anti-business wind energy moratorium added to the legislation by the Senate put NCSEA between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, we recognize the legislation will result in expanding much-needed, affordable clean energy options for all consumers in our great state, and continue to drive much needed economic development opportunities and investments in communities across North Carolina, especially our most rural, economically distressed counties. On the other, wind energy and eastern North Carolina communities were dealt a huge – and totally unnecessary – blow; a blow that, as an organization dedicated to championing all forms of clean energy, we cannot stand behind, and tried to the bitter end of the legislative session to prevent.
Despite its anti-wind provisions, on the whole, NCSEA is confident the new law will help move North Carolina clean energy forward, which includes maintaining our leadership in solar energy. Furthermore, we applaud Governor Cooper’s efforts to minimize the potential negative impacts of the 18-month wind moratorium. With the Executive Order issued today, Governor Cooper sends a positive signal to the people of eastern North Carolina and to wind developers who want to continue advancing their projects in the region during the moratorium. We look forward to continuing to work with all elected officials and stakeholders to ensure North Carolina’s clean energy economy will continue to grow and more North Carolinians will have access to clean, affordable energy.”