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Fiscal conservatives put spotlight upon NC solar industry, seeking to end preferred treatment


RALEIGH, North Carolina — North Carolina's growing solar industry has an unwanted spotlight upon it from some fiscal General Assembly conservatives fixed on ending its preferential treatment.

Some Republicans are in a full-court press this year to freeze portions of a 2007 law that are raising over time the percentage of retail sales that electric utilities must originate from renewable energy sources and energy efficiencies.

Freezing the percentage at the current 6 percent has been debated in no less than three bills, including one that passed the House and another fast-tracked last week through Senate committees. House Majority Leader Mike Hager of Rutherfordton says a study also is needed to examine whether the standard should end or be further changed.

There's also debate over if or how long to extend renewable energy tax credits.

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