Duke Energy stated an agreement with leading solar installers, environmental groups and renewable energy advocates that, if approved by regulators, will create long-term stability for the residential solar industry in South Carolina. The deal will provide options for customers while allowing the company to address increasing electric demand periods in the winter for the benefit of the company’s systems and customers in both North Carolina and South Carolina.
The proposed plan is Solar Choice Net Metering which could be the next generation of net energy metering for the Carolinas, a billing process that credits small customers with rooftop solar arrays for excess electricity they generate and provide to Duke Energy via the grid. Solar Choice Net Metering will include retail rates that vary based on the time of day and when utilities experience peak demand. It will also give customers the ability to install a smart thermostat with their solar panels and receive an incentive for the combination.
Lon Huber, Vice President – Rate Design and Strategic Solutions, Duke Energy said: “This first-of-a-kind package completely modernizes the rooftop solar transaction. This new arrangement not only recognizes the value of solar and the enabling energy grid, but it unlocks additional benefits for all customers by addressing when utilities experience peak demand across their systems in the Carolinas.”
Mike Callahan, South Carolina State President, Duke Energy said: “Collaboration brought us a pathway to growing renewables in the state with Act 62, and that spirit of working together created this plan for the continued expansion of solar in South Carolina. Duke Energy is committed to the cooperative spirit that has been a hallmark of achieving successful solar policy and creating a cleaner energy future for customers in South Carolina.”
If approved by regulators, the company anticipates a transitional tariff to be available on June 1, 2021, to allow for a full transition into the new plan on or before Jan. 1, 2022.