North Carolina snaps up 'green energy' certificates

An answer to North Carolina's green energy challenge is blowing in the wind-swept mesas of Texas.

With the first deadlines fast approaching for North Carolina's renewable energy targets, power companies in this state are snapping up green certificates from out-of-state wind farms. The certificates don't buy actual electricity, but pay for credits needed to meet state targets.

There are eight Texas wind farms registered in North Carolina to market the certificates to Duke Energy, Progress Energy and local power agencies. Just this week, a pair of wind farms in North and South Dakota were registered by the N.C. Utilities Commission.

State law allows North Carolina's power companies to buy renewable energy certificates without any electricity so that utilities would be free to shop around and keep costs down for customers.

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