The North Carolina Utilities Commission on Dec. 1 approved Innovative Solar 46 LLC to add new acres to the approved area for its 80-MW (ac) project in Cumberland County, which is an issue that threatened to hold up project construction.
In September 2014, the commission granted a certificate of public convenience and necessity to Innovative Solar 46 for construction of an 80-MW (ac) photovoltaic facility to be located at 1000 Roslin Farm Road, Hope Mills, Cumberland County. On Sept. 9, 2015, Entropy Investment Management LLC filed a letter with the commission stating that it had purchased the project company and the facility.
On Oct. 2, Innovative Solar 46 filed an amendment to its application stating that the facility will encompass additional acreage besides that identified in its initial application. The company said the 83 additional acres is contiguous to the approximately 450 acres originally identified in the certificate application and is similarly undeveloped agricultural land.
The physical address of the facility included in the initial application remained the same, and no other information included in the application changed due to these extra acres On Oct. 8, the commission issued an order requiring further review by the State Clearinghouse.
On Oct. 16, the applicant requested permission to construct perimeter fencing, erosion control measures, pile installation, equipment pads and underground wiring on the additional acreage identified in the Oct. 2 amendment to the application. On Oct. 20, the commission issued an order allowing limited construction. On Nov. 16, the State Clearinghouse filed comments. Because of the nature of the comments, the cover letter indicated that no further State Clearinghouse review action by the commission was required for compliance with the North Carolina Environmental Policy Act.
The Public Staff presented this matter to the commission at its Regular Staff Conference on Nov. 30. The Public Staff stated that it had reviewed the amendment and determined it to be in compliance with requirements. “Based upon the foregoing, and the recommendation of the Public Staff, the Commission finds good cause to approve the amended application and issue the requested certificate,” said the Dec. 1 order.
Innovative Solar 46 was one of several project companies founded by Innovative Solar Systems LLC to develop solar projects in North Carolina, with this being one of the largest of those projects.