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Duke Caves To Criticism, Halves Solar Plan

solar_panel1.jpgDuke Energy has decided to cut its $100 million distributed solar rooftop program in half after the company was criticized by companies such has Wal-Mart as being “unfair,” New York Times reports.

Duke Energy’s new program will spend $50 million to install 10 megawatts of solar panels in North Carolina. Under the new program, customers will pay on average an extra 8 cents per month as opposed to an extra 34 cents under the original plan.

The company says despite all the criticism, it has received requests from 460 customers interested in having solar installed as well as proposals from 70 solar installers wanting to participate.

It’s unclear how Duke’s experience may affect other utilities with similar plans. Southern California Edison, for example,  has plans to install 250 megawatts of solar panels on 65 million square feet of roofs – that’s two square miles – of Southern California commercial buildings at a cost of $875 million.

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