North Carolina commission okays certificate for 80-MW Haslett Solar project

On Nov. 3, the North Carolina Utilities Commission approved an Aug. 20 application from Haslett Solar LLC for a certificate of public convenience and necessity on an 80-MW (ac) solar photovoltaic facility to be located to the south and west of Black Mingle Road and the north and east of Medical Center Road, near Gates in Gates County, North Carolina.

The applicant plans to sell the electricity generated by this facility to Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion North Carolina Power (DNCP) or to other wholesale or retail customers where allowed.

Said the Nov. 3 approval on the point about power sales: “The Public Staff noted that Exhibit 3 of the application indicated that the Applicant ‘is in discussions to sell the output through a negotiated Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to DNCP or to one or more retail customers in deregulated states that allow for such sales, or to sell the output in the PJM market.’ Pursuant to [a commission rule], however, an applicant for a CPCN for a solar facility exceeding 25 MWAC in capacity must submit ‘[a] statement obtained by the applicant from the electric utility to which the applicant plans to sell the electricity to be generated setting forth an assessment of the impact of such purchased power on the utility’s capacity, reserves, generation mix, capacity expansion plan, and avoided costs.’ The Applicant therefore requested a waiver of this requirement, since the Applicant has not yet determined to which entity the output of the facility will be sold.

“The Public Staff indicated that it supports the Applicant’s request for a waiver, due to the uncertainty at this time as to which entity the applicant plans to sell the power, and also because DNCP’s obligation under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) to purchase energy and capacity from QFs is limited to QFs with a net capacity of 20 MW or less. Since DNCP does not have a mandatory purchase obligation for this facility, requiring the utility to prepare a statement of this nature seems unnecessary, unless DNCP ultimately does become the purchaser of the facility. The Public Staff therefore requests that the Commission require the Applicant, upon determining the entity to which the output of the facility will be sold, to make a supplemental filing of this information to the Commission.”

The facility is to be a single-axis tracking, ground-mounted solar photovoltaic system consisting of approximately 367,213 solar PV modules and will utilize fifty-four 1.56 MW inverters set to 1.482 MW each. The maximum gross power production capacity of the facility will be 80 MW (ac). The facility is projected to come online in phases with the complete system online by Aug. 31, 2016.

The service life of the equipment is expected to be a minimum of 20 years. The projected annual sales of the facility are 193,957,198 kWh.

A project contact is: Haslett Solar LLC, Attn: Kenny Habul, 192 Raceway Drive, Mooresville, NC 28117, Phone: (704) 662-0375, legal@sunenergy1.com.

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.