Dominion settles dispute with North Carolina solar developers

Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion North Carolina Power and two solar project developers told the North Carolina Utilities Commission on Feb. 20 that they have settled issues over three solar projects.

The utility was in a dispute with the project developers – Fresh Air Energy-II LLC (FAE II) and Fresh Air Energy-X LLC (FAE X) – over power purchase agreements (PPAs) for solar qualifying facilities (QFs). FAE II is developing a 20 MW (ac) photovoltaic facility at 16825 Watson Seed Farm Road in Nash County, N.C. (the “Watson Seed Farm Facility”), and a 20 MW (ac) photovoltaic facility at 1245 Meadows Road in Martin County, N.C. (the “Meadows Facility”). FAE X is developing a 20 MW (ac) photovoltaic facility in Currituck County, adjacent to Shawboro Road in Moyock, N.C. (the Shawboro Facility”).

The commission had put this proceeding in abeyance while parties worked on a settlement, and the parties reported back on Feb. 20 by saying: “FAE and DNCP hereby notify the Commission that on February 18, 2015, the parties executed mutually acceptable PPAs for each of the three FAE facilities that were the subject of this arbitration proceeding. The execution of the PPAs resolves all matters at issue in this docket.” They didn’t offer any further details about those PPAs.

In part, Dominion had argued that because each of the FAE facilities is larger than 5 MW, FAE is not entitled either to a Schedule 19-FP contract for any of the facilities or to the avoided cost rates or options contained in Schedule 19-FP. Although not eligible for Schedule 19-FP, under PURPA and this commission’s precedent, FAE is entitled to a PPA with avoided cost rates that are calculated as of the date of its legally enforceable obligation (LEO), Dominion had added in prior arguments.

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.