North Carolina commission okays Dominion buy of 20-MW Invenergy solar project

The North Carolina Utilities Commission on Oct. 27 approved the transfer to a new owner of a December 2014 certificate of public convenience and necessity it had issued to Morgans Corner Solar Energy LLC for the construction of a 20 MW (ac) solar photovoltaic facility in Pasquotank County, North Carolina.

Morgans Corner is a third-tier subsidiary of Invenergy Clean Power LLC, which is an affiliate of Invenergy LLC. On Sept. 14, Morgans Corner and Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion North Carolina Power (DNCP) filed a request for approvalto transfer the certificate for the facility from Morgans Corner to DNCP. DNCP is an operating subsidiary of Dominion Resources (NYSE: D).

The applicants requested expedited approval of the transfer so that the facility can achieve commercial operation under DNCP’s ownership by year end, but no later than April 1, 2016, and take advantage of the state’s renewable energy tax credits. DNCP plans to acquire the facility and its associated rights and assets from Morgans Corner and to sell the entire energy output of the facility to the U.S. Department of the Navy for use at the Norfolk Naval Base. DNCP signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Department of the Navy Renewable Energy Program Office (REPO) on Dec. 29, 2014, in furtherance of the Secretary of the Navy’s goal of producing or procuring 1 GW of renewable energy by the end of 2015.

The facility, which is currently under construction, will be located on seven tracts of privately-owned land totaling 221 acres fronting on U.S. Highway 158 in Pasquotank County within DNCP’s service territory. The interconnection facilities will occupy approximately one-half acre and will be located near the point of interconnection on DNCP’s existing 34.5-kV transmission line. Interconnection service to the facility will be provided pursuant to an interconnection service agreement (ISA) between and among PJM Interconnection, DNCP, and Tonopah Energy LLC, which is a subsidiary of Invenergy Solar Development.

DNCP selected the facility after issuing a request for proposals (RFP) and having subsequent discussions with solar generation developers, including Morgans Corner. 

Rather than transfer the renewable energy certificates (RECs) produced by the facility to the Navy, DNCP proposes to retire annually, on behalf of the Navy, a REC for every 1,000 kWh produced by the facility. The RECs will be tracked and retired using the North Carolina Renewable Energy Tracking System (NCRETS). DNCP will not use the RECs associated with the facility to comply with its own obligations under the North Carolina Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS), nor will it use energy or RECs acquired for its REPS compliance for the Navy.

Invenergy Clean Power on Sept. 22 had announced this build-transfer agreement. It said this 20-MW facility located in Pasquotank County is Invenergy’s first project in the state of North Carolina. Proceeds from the transfer will be used for continued expansion of Invenergy’s business of investing in development activities across North America.

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.