North Carolina commission okays 75-MW Chestnut Solar project

The North Carolina Utilities Commission on Oct. 31 approved an April 2015 application from Chestnut Solar LLC seeking a certificate of public convenience and necessity for construction of a 74.9-MW (ac) solar facility to be located just north and south of NC Highway 481 within approximately a 1.5 mile radius of the intersection of Woodridge Road and NC Highway 481 in an unincorporated area approximately 2.5 miles west of Enfield, Halifax County, North Carolina.

The applicant plans to sell the output pursuant to a negotiated Power Purchase Agreement to Dominion North Carolina Power (DNCP) and/or to other utility retailers, the commission noted.

On April 25 and 29, 2016, the applicant filed amendments to the application that included a change in the proposed facility’s footprint. On May 9, 2016, it filed another amendment to the application that changed the proposed facility’s footprint again. Said the Oct. 31 approval: “After careful consideration, the Commission finds good cause to approve the application and issue the attached certificate for the proposed solar photovoltaic electric generating facility.”

The original application said the facility was projected to come on line by June 1, 2016. The service life of the project is expected to be a minimum of twenty five years. The projected year one annual sales of the facility is approximately 167,000,000 kWh.

The application provided background on Geenex Energy LLC, the parent of Chestnut Solar, which develops solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities with the primary intention of selling to third parties that become the long-term operator and owners of the facilities. The contact information from the application is: Chestnut Solar LLC, 7804-C Fairview Road #257, Charlotte, NC 28226 e-mail:, Phone: (704) 907-7163.

A map in the May 9 amendment has this further contact information: BayWa r.e. Solar Projects LLC, 17901 Von Karman Ave, Suite 1050, Irvine, CA 92614.

Notable is that a System Impact Study, dated March 2016, from PJM Interconnection says that Chestnut Solar LLC is working on a project that would interconnect into the Dominion North Carolina Power system. The System Impact Study is a mid-point in the PJM queue process. Chestnut Solar has proposed a solar facility located at west of Enfield and south of Highway 481 in Halifax County, N.C. The installed facilities will have a total capability of 74.9 MW with 50 MW of this output being recognized by PJM as capacity.

The proposed in-service date for this project is June 1, 2016. This PJM study does not imply a Dominion commitment to this in-service date. The project, under PJM queue numbers AA2-057/AA2-165 will interconnect with the Dominion transmission system via a new three breaker ring bus switching station that connects on the Hornertown–Whitakers 115-kV line.

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.