May 29, 2015
Image credit: Apple
North Carolina has been enjoying a solar boom of late, not least because tech giants like Apple, Google and Facebook have chosen to locate some of their huge, energy-hungry server farms here and to power them using solar energy and other clean technology. Now, as reported by Greentech Media, the three tech giants are flexing their political muscle in support of renewable energy, signing on to a letter in support of maintaining the state's current renewable energy targets. The move comes in response to a North Carolina Senate panel rushing through legislation that would freeze the amount of renewable energy utilities need to buy at the current 6% of retail sales, as opposed to raising that mandate to 10% by 2018.
Here's more from the letter:
The current policies were put in place after careful consideration and produce significant benefits – something we have seen consistently in states with strong commitments to renewable energy – which include providing sustainable sources of power, diversifying the energy supply, supporting innovation, and providing billions of dollars of in-state economic growth and thousands of jobs throughout the state. We are concerned the legislation would freeze the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS), which provides a steadily increasing baseline of clean energy for the North Carolina grid over time. We believe the REPS should be maintained because our collective experience shows that programs like the REPS can actually reduce the overall cost of energy to ratepayers.
The three companies also make it clear that the current REPS policy was an influencing factor in their decision to invest in North Carolina, urging law makers not to create "new risk and uncertainty" for their businesses.