Date August 25, 2015
Faith Communities join Solar Companies in call-out to Duke
Significant development in effort to get Duke Energy to publicly support solar legislation
Asheville, NC – As Legislators continue to delay in deciding upon a budget and if it will include an extension of the renewable energy tax credit, the solar industry’s effort to sway Duke Energy into issuing a public support statement in support of an extension is being fortified by an alliance with leaders in the faith community.
Today a press conference is being held at the United Church of Chapel Hill, a congregation that is in the process of installing a solar energy system. According to Kathy Miller, Co- Founder and CEO of Yes! Solar Solutions, faith-based communities are supporting extending the tax credit for two years so that other non-profit groups have time to assure the tax credits to their donors, stating “While installing an 83 kilowatt solar system on its roof, United Church of Chapel Hill realized the dilemma non-profits and churches and individuals face with the loss of the tax credit. It took UCCH the better part of two years to formulate, plan, raise the funds and contract for the solar system. In 2015, it took months for permitting and interconnection approval. Kehillah Synagogue had a similar story, as did Community Church of Chapel Hill and many others.”
On August 18, Sundance Power Systems, along with three other NC rooftop solar providers (Baker Renewables, Southern Energy Management, Yes! Solar Solutions) sent a letter to Duke Energy’s CEO Lynn Good urging that the Utility publicly endorse the proposed two year extension of the renewable energy tax credit. This coalition’s request of Duke Energy is based on the premise that delays in their interconnection process “threatens millions of dollars of lost revenue” for smaller-scale rooftop solar companies like theirs. Furthermore, Duke Energy itself has been the largest benefactor of the tax credit in North Carolina.
Faith Communities have been adopting solar energy across the state as they embrace sustainability initiatives within their congregations. Asheville’s First Congregational United Church of Christ led the movement in 2011, when Sundance Power Systems installed their 9.5 kW system. NC Interfaith Power and Light has been a tremendous resource for faith-based non-profits, helping identify different business models to help congregation members invest in solar and realize the benefits of tax incentives. Director Susannah Tuttle will be addressing the importance of these structures to the group today.
With the faith community engaged in this critical issue, the solar companies are working to get other organizations, businesses, and individuals to join the call to action. They are requesting that letters be sent Duke’s Strategic Outreach and Communications Manager Elizabeth.Bennett@duke-energy.com, asking that Duke Energy reconsider supporting the two year extension of the tax credit.
About Sundance Power Systems:Sundance Power Systems has been an active leader in the renewable energy industry since its founding in 1995. Dave Hollister, President and CEO, has been advocating for strong clean energy policies at legislative and utility levels for years, having served on the board of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association and participating in Progress Energy’s Community Energy Action Advisory Council, among others.