Raleigh (AP) -- The nation's largest electric company wants to slash what it pays solar generators in North Carolina by as much as 29 percent.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that Progress Energy, which recently merged with Duke Energy, links the request to the plummeting cost of natural gas. The utility argues it's overpaying for the green energy state law requires it to buy, then passing on those inflated costs to customers.
The request comes as the utility seeks a 14 percent rate increase for North Carolina residential customers.
Advocates of renewable energy say North Carolina's solar industry already operates on very thin margins due to the impending loss of a subsidy, and the proposed cuts could bring the industry to a standstill.