Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory says he expects a bill that would, in its current form, end requirements for power companies to buy some energy from renewable energy companies.
This year's measure would essentially wipe away the program set up under 2007's Senate Bill 3, which established requirements for utility companies to acquire a growing percentage of their power from sources such as wind, solar and even hog waste. The proposal has drawn opposition from both environmental advocates and those in the renewable energy industry, who say it would undercut a growth sector in the state's economy.
"On some of these things, I've got to let the legislative process work, but I think the bill will be greatly improved in the near future," McCrory said in an interview with WRAL News Tuesday morning.
A month ago, McCrory spoke to reporters after announcing a deal to create an eco-industrial park in Mecklenburg County. A key component of that park will be renewable energy manufacturing.
At the time, McCrory said he was still discussing which parts of the state's renewable program ought to be preserved and provide "the best return on investment and how long does that subsidy need to go." Tuesday morning, he said those discussions had progressed, and he had a clearer idea of what the state should do.
"I think the bill will be more strategic in the long run, taking into account how long something should be subsidized, but the potential for renewable power," McCrory said. "I think there's very positive dialog occurring ... to make it a better bill and to help both the consumer of energy and those investing in new energy."