North Carolina commission okays changes to two adjacent solar projects

The North Carolina Utilities Commission in one Aug. 9 order approved the realignment of two solar projects that had previously been approved for certificates of public convenience and necessity, with both projects changing size but still coming to a total of 120 MW of capacity.

  • In June 2015, the commission issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) to Wildwood Solar LLC for construction of a 40-MW solar photovoltaic facility to be located at 1374 Caratoke Highway, Moyock, Currituck County, North Carolina.
  • In July 2015, the commission issued a CPCN to Duke Energy Renewables NC Solar LLC (Duke Solar) for construction of an 80-MW photovoltaic facility to be located at 1384-1390 Caratoke Highway, Moyock, Currituck County, North Carolina.

On July 27, Wildwood filed an application with the commission for a transfer of the Duke Solar CPCN to Wildwood. On Aug. 3, Duke Solar filed a verified statement confirming the transfer of the Duke Solar CPCN to Wildwood.

On Aug. 3, Wildwood filed an application for the commission to amend the Duke Solar and Wildwood CPCNs to authorize Wildwood to construct a 60-MW solar facility on the parcel of land previously identified for use by Duke Solar for an 80-MW facility, and to authorize Wildwood to construct a 60-MW facility on the parcel of land previously identified for use by Wildwood for a 40-MW facility. The application further described a minor adjustment to the common boundary line between the two parcels of land and explained that a substation and ancillary facilities will also be constructed on the sites.

In addition, the application requested that the Wildwood CPCN be transferred to Summit Farms Solar LLC and that the Duke Solar CPCN be transferred to Ranchland Solar LLC. The application noted that both Summit and Ranchland are affiliates of SunEnergy1 LLC.

Said the Aug. 9 commission order: “Based upon the foregoing and the record in these dockets, the Commission finds good cause to transfer the Duke Solar CPCN to Ranchland, and to amend the Duke Solar CPCN to authorize Ranchland to construct a 60-MW solar facility on the parcel of land previously identified for use by Duke Solar for an 80-MW facility. Further, the Commission finds good cause to transfer the Wildwood CPCN to Summit, and to amend the Wildwood CPCN to authorize Summit to construct a 60-MW facility on the parcel of land previously identified for use by Wildwood for a 40-MW facility.”

The commission issued new certificates of public convenience and necessity reflecting the transfers to Summit Farms Solar and Ranchland Solar, and amendments authorizing each entity to construct a 60-MW solar facility, along with a substation and other ancillary facilities to serve both generating facilities.

The Aug. 3 letter requesting these changes said: “The E911 address of both facilities is 1374 Caratoke Hwy, Moyock, NC 27958. As of the date of this filing, Summit Farms and Ranchland are both affiliates of SunEnergy1, LLC. However, in compliance with [federal regulations] and the associated FERC Form No. 556 for Certification of QF Status for Small Power Production and Cogeneration Facilities, there will be no common ownership of Summit Farms and Ranchland upon operation of the facilities. As both projects will now be 60 MW facilities, each will utilize approximately 280,000 panels and 40 1,500 kVA inverters. The projected maximum net power production capacity of both facilities is 58.8 MW (AC). The initial nameplate capacity of both facilities is 62.4 MW. The projected annual sales of both facilities are approximately 144,800 MWh.”

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.