Raleigh, NC – The prominence of the energy industry is evident across the State of North Carolina – from Charlotte Headquarters of the nation’s largest electric utility, to the nuclear plants it operates, to the proliferation of solar farms, and the construction underway on the Southeast’s first wind farm in northeastern North Carolina.
Business North Carolina, the largest statewide business publication, recently held a roundtable to discuss the state’s energy industry and impact on the State’s economy. Panelists were asked to discuss the energy industry’s place in North Carolina’s future and how it can be supported. Parker Poe Partner Henry Campen, leader of the firm’s multidisciplinary energy group, was selected to participate as a panelist.
The roundtable took place at the UNC-Charlotte EPIC center with the discussion moderated by David Doctor, president and CEO of e4 Carolinas. Campen was joined by several other distinguished panelists, including:
- Johan Enslin, director, Energy Production and Infrastructure Center, UNC Charlotte
- Ivan Urlaub, executive director, North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association
- Jay Potter, PE, Harper Campus Dean, Central Piedmont Community College
- Jenn Bosser, executive director, Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster
- Elizabeth Bennett, strategic outreach manager, Distributed Energy Resources, Duke Energy Corporation
- George Baldwin, managing director, Government Relations and Sustainability, Piedmont Natural Gas
“Throughout our conversation, there was broad consensus on both the large impact this industry has on our state’s economy and the diversity of the industry.” said Campen. According to a recent study, in the last eight years, renewable energy alone has generated more than 26,000 jobs in North Carolina and an overall economic impact of $12 Billion to our state. The impact of renewable energy has had a particularly large and positive impact on rural North Carolina. The installation of solar and wind facilities in these areas has provided a substantial new source of tax revenue for the rural areas of our state.
In just an hour, the panelists offered their thoughts on the opportunities and challenges facing the energy industry. Among the many bright spots highlighted were the amount of energy related manufacturing in North Carolina and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline that will make natural gas more available to eastern North Carolina. Topics also included how North Carolina’s energy initiatives are being recognized and compared around the country and what types of training and education programs supply the energy workforce. During the roundtable, it was widely agreed upon that renewable energy has the ability to reboot the economy, reduce tax rates, and bring tremendous employment to North Carolina.
For more information about the roundtable, excerpts will be available in the August 2016 issue of Business North Carolina magazine.
About Parker Poe
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP has approximately 200 lawyers in seven offices located in major markets across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The firm provides legal counsel to large commercial and public organizations on litigation, corporate and regulatory matters.
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