Dear Mr. Speaker:
Our companies, like many of the leading companies in the United States, have set goals to increase our use of renewable energy. We recognize that environmental sustainability has become an essential ingredient to doing business responsibly and successfully. Collectively, we represent hundreds of facilities and tens of thousands of employees in North Carolina. With a quality workforce and a strong local economy, North Carolina has been an attractive place for us to do business. We are writing because we believe that it is important to have choice when selecting energy suppliers and products to meet our business and public goals. Changing North Carolina law to allow us – and others – to purchase renewable energy from third-party providers would create an even more positive business environment and would help us continue to create jobs and contribute to an even more robust local economy.
There are many benefits for North Carolina in allowing companies like us to enter into Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with different renewable energy providers. Such a change will enhance competition and consumer choice, lead to an increase in the amount of renewable energy projects being developed (creating more jobs for those who build, install, and maintain the equipment), keep North Carolina competitive with the majority of other states that allow companies greater access to renewable energy choices, and make the state an even more attractive place to work and live by contributing to a clean and healthy environment.
North Carolina is currently 1 of only 5 states that explicitly prohibits contracts with non-utility energy service providers for renewable energy using a PPA. These PPAs are important because they allow us to procure energy without making major capital expenditures up front or taking on the risk associated with operating and maintaining a power generation system. Powering our facilities with renewable energy allows us to: avoid power price fluctuations by locking in rates over a long period of time; reduce our greenhouse gas emissions profile; meet business strategies and consumer preferences; and, often save money that we can put back into our businesses.
The availability of competitive renewable energy choices is also a key factor for many of us when we choose where to do business. While regulated utilities can and sometimes do offer attractive clean energy options, we believe that choice and competition in the renewable energy sector is as important as it is in the many other aspects of our businesses.
For all of the above reasons we want to express our support for the Legislature bringing more choice and competition to this growing sector by allowing third party PPAs for clean energy. North Carolina has shown to be a leader in renewable energy and supporting this policy will not only expand the state’s leadership role it will also continue to strengthen the economy in North Carolina.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
Walmart, Target, Macy’s, VF Foundation, New Belgium Brewing Company, Unilever, Lowe’s, Family Dollar, Volvo, and Cargill
View or download the PDF here.