Solar developer seeks arbitration against Dominion in N.C.

After failing to come up with certain data related to in-negotiation power contracts, Fresh Air Energy-X LLC (FAE X) and Fresh Air Energy-II LLC (FAE II) asked the North Carolina Utilities Commission to order arbitration with Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion North Carolina Power.

The petitioning companies are both wholly owned subsidiaries of Ecoplexus Inc., a California corporation and large developer of solar generation facilities in the United States and abroad. Their request was filed with the commission on July 3.

  • FAE X plans to develop a solar photovoltaic (PV) facility to be located in Currituck County adjacent to Shawboro Road with a nameplate capacity of 20 MW (ac) (called the “Shawboro” project).
  • FAE II plans to develop two PV facilities to be located: in one case in Nash County at 16825 Watson Seed Farm Road at North Whitakers (called “Watson Seed Farm”) with a nameplate capacity of 20 MW (ac); and in Martin County at 1245 Meadows Road at Williamston (the “Meadows” project) with a nameplate capacity of 20 MW (ac).

“Despite the good faith efforts of the parties over the last several months to negotiate, several issues relating to the methodology for calculating avoided cost pricing, as well as [power purchase agreement] PPA terms, remain,” said the companies. “Because the same methodology for calculating the avoided costs underlying pricing is used by DNCP for all three Facilities and because, upon information and belief, the PPA offered to each Facility will include the Regulatory Disallowance Provision (defined below), Petitioners have elected to proceed with a single Petition for Arbitration to cover each of the Facilities.”

The companies said the pricing offered by DNCP for Shawboro and Watson Seed Farm is significantly lower than the standard rates established by the commission under the so-called “2012 Standard Rates.” The 2012 Standard Rates are in effect for the period that runs from on or around November 2012 through on or around Nov. 1, 2014.

“Pursuant to section 62-40 of the North Carolina General Statutes, Petitioners respectfully request that the Commission act as an arbiter and resolve the remaining issues in controversy,” the companies said. “Given that time is of the essence in developing the Facilities, Petitioners respectfully request an expedited process for resolving these issues.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.