By Stephen Nakrosis
Duke Energy on Wednesday said it has reached an agreement with solar installers, environmental groups and renewable energy advocates in South Carolina which could "create long-term stability for the residential solar industry in the state."
The deal, if approved by regulators, "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," Duke said.
The Solar Choice Net Metering plan would offer credits for small customers whose rooftop solar arrays generate excess electricity, which will then be provided to Duke Energy via the grid, the company said.
"Solar Choice Net Metering will include retail rates that vary based on the time of day and when utilities experience peak demand," Duke said, adding, "It will also give customers the ability to install a smart thermostat with their solar panels and receive an incentive for the combination."
Groups taking part in the agreement include Vote Solar, North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association and rooftop solar installer SunRun.
If the agreement gains regulatory approval, Duke Energy said, it anticipates a transitional tariff will be available prior to a full transition into the new plan on or before Jan. 1, 2022.
--Write to Stephen Nakrosis at firstname.lastname@example.org