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NC Clean Energy Listening Session Comes to Asheville


Last Fall Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order directing North Carolina to step up its efforts to combat and adapt to Climate Change. This week, state officials are in Asheville gathering public input as they shape a plan to meet those goals.  BPR’s Helen Chickering talks with Department of Environmental Quality Public Information Officer Sharon Martin about the upcoming meeting.

Executive order 80 calls on the state to dramatically cut its greenhouse gas emissions by  2025, and directs the Department of Environmental Quality to come up with a Clean Energy Plan.  In an effort to engage businesses, local governments and residents in the planning process the DEQ is hosting workshops and listening sessions around the state.

The Asheville listening session will be held Thursday March 14 beginning from 1- 3:30 at The Collider in Downtown Asheville.  Comments can also be submitted online.  Another session will be held in Asheville on June 5.

Information on the Clean Energy Plan Development process can be found  here.

The materials from the first workshop are posted under “facilitated workshops” with a  direct link here.

Here’s more on the Clean Energy Plan from the Department of Environmental Quality website:

Topics to Be Explored:     

In developing the Clean Energy Plan, DEQ will investigate and seek feedback on a range of topics, including, but not limited to:

Ways to ensure all North Carolinians, including underserved communities, have access to clean, reliable, and affordable energy.

The role of emerging technologies such as distributed energy resources (e.g. solar, storage, energy efficiency, demand management, microgrids, electric vehicles, wind), decreasing costs of those technologies, consumer preferences, and new energy service providers.

The role of existing and new resources in transitioning NC into a clean energy economy.

The role of power sector transformation occurring in policy, regulatory, and utility business model across the country.

Creating a more reliable and resilient power grid in the face of increasingly severe weather events.

The ways in which clean energy can spur economic expansion and economic development, including innovation, workforce development and educational opportunities.

The opportunities for reducing environmental and public health impacts, including opportunities for reducing carbon emissions in the power sector and the economy as a whole.


Engage with stakeholders to understand their vision for NC’s clean energy future.

Identify stakeholder needs, issues, barriers, solutions, unrealized opportunities, equity concerns, and required actions.

Analyze future energy demand, generation and supply strategies, national trends in power grid modernization/transformation, and explore options for NC.

Assess economic opportunity, rate impacts, environmental benefits, health impacts, and jobs outlook associated with North Carolina’s transition to clean energy.

Recommend policy, regulatory, administrative, local government, public, and business community actions for achieving North Carolina’s clean energy future.

Helen Chickering is a host and reporter on Blue Ridge Public Radio. She joined the station in November 2014.