Atlantic Wind gets extra year to build 300-MW project in North Carolina

The North Carolina Utilities Commission on March 16 granted a break to Atlantic Wind LLC, which is developing a 300-MW wind project in the state, related to the construction deadline under a prior commission approval.

In May 2011, the commission issued an order granting Atlantic Wind a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct a 300-MW wind turbine facility in Perquimans and Pasquotank counties. That order was conditioned upon Atlantic Wind’s adherence to certain commission rules and regulations. On the date that the order was issued by the commission, a rule required that the certificate be renewed if the applicant had not begun construction of the facility within two years.

In March 2013, Atlantic Wind filed a motion to renew the certificate, which the commission approved in April of that year. In November 2014, the commission amended its rules to extend the renewal period for a merchant plant certificate for which construction has not yet begun from two years after the certificate is granted to three years.

On Feb. 4, Atlantic Wind filed a petition requesting a declaratory ruling that this new three-year deadline retroactively applied to the 2013 extension order, which would push its deadline out to 2016. On Feb. 25, the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) filed comments stating that it is reasonable to interpret the rule amendment as relating back to both prior orders. The commission’s Public Staff stated that it agrees with Atlantic Wind and NCSEA.

“Based on the foregoing and the record, the Commission concludes that amended Rule R8-63(e)(3) applies to the renewal of Atlantic Wind’s [certificate],” said the March 16 order. “Therefore, the amended Rule requires that Atlantic Wind renew its certificate every three (3) years if construction of the facility has not yet begun.”

Atlantic Wind is an affiliate of Iberdrola Renewables. The facility under the 2011 approval will consist of up to 150 wind turbines, electrical collector lines, a collection substation, a transmission voltage step-up substation, an interconnection switching station, an overhead sub-transmission line, an operations and maintenance facility, and several meteorological towers. It will interconnect with the Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion North Carolina Power 230-kV Winfall-to-Suffolk transmission line, which crosses the southwest portion of the 20,000-acre project area in Perquimans County.

Company contact information is: Atlantic Wind LLC, c/o lberdrola Renewables Inc., 1125 NW Couch Street, #700 Portland, OR 97209-4129.

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.