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NC Utilities Commission to Issue Rules for Competitive Procurement of Renewable Energy

The NC Utilities Commission is working in Docket E-100, Sub 150 on rules to implement House Bill 589 – An Act to Reform North Carolina’s Approach to Integration of Renewable Electricity Generation through Amendment of Laws Related to Energy Policy and to Enact the Distributed Resources Act.

One of the main components of the new law requires electric public utilities to create a competitive procurement program for 2,660 megawatts of renewable energy over a 45-month period. Under the law, renewable energy capacity can be supplied by (i) renewable energy facilities acquired from third parties; (ii) renewable energy facilities constructed, owned and operated by the soliciting public utility; or (iii) the purchase of renewable energy, capacity, and environmental and renewable energy attributes from facilities owned and operated by third parties that commit to allow the electric public utility to dispatch, operate and control the facility. No more than 30% of the procurement requirement can come from the electric public utility’s own development of renewable energy facilities or from any subsidiary in the electric public utility’s service area.

All competitive procurements must be “independently administered by a third party entity to be approved by the Commission.” The role and authority of the third party are critical issues to be decided by the Commission.

Proposed rules and three rounds of comments have been filed by Duke Energy, the North Carolina Clean Energy Alliance, and the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association. The Public Staff and other parties also have filed comments, which can be found here on the Commission’s website.  The Commission will consider the proposed rules and comments of the parties and issue draft rules in the near future.