NC Sustainable Energy Association

The Commission Regulatory Process

The Commission process for getting a renewable energy facility on-line and selling RECs to an electric service provider for REPS compliance consists of three parts.  First, a facility must obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity (“CPCN”) or file a report with the Commission if a CPCN is not required.  Second, all owners of renewable energy facilities that wish to sell RECs to an electric service provider to comply with North Carolina’s REPS must register the facility with the Commission and annually re-certify the registration.  Third, after obtaining Commission registration as renewable energy facility, the facility’s owner must register with the North Carolina Renewable Energy Tracking System (“NC-RETS”).

For further assistance and information on any part of the regulatory process, facility owners may contact the Public Staff at the Commission, 4325 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-4325 or at (919) 733-2267.

Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (“CPCN”)

Before beginning construction or reworking an electric generating facility, the facility owner must apply for and receive a certificate of public convenience and necessity (“CPCN”) from the Commission.  N.C. Gen. Stat. 62-110.1 governs which facilities are required to obtain a CPCN.

N.C. Gen. Stat. 62-110.1(a) reads

"Notwithstanding the proviso in G.S. 62‑110, no public utility or other person shall begin the construction of any steam, water, or other facility for the generation of electricity to be directly or indirectly used for the furnishing of public utility service, even though the facility be for furnishing the service already being rendered, without first obtaining from the Commission a certificate that public convenience and necessity requires, or will require, such construction."

N.C. Gen. Stat. 62-110.1(g) makes an exemption to the statutes for renewable energy facilities with a generating capacity of less than 2 MW:

"The certification requirements of this section shall not apply to a nonutility‑owned generating facility fueled by renewable energy resources under two megawatts in capacity or to persons who construct an electric generating facility primarily for that person's own use and not for the primary purpose of producing electricity, heat, or steam for sale to or for the public for compensation; provided, however, that such persons shall, nevertheless, be required to report to the Utilities Commission the proposed construction of such a facility before beginning construction thereof."

The CPCN process for small power producers and qualifying cogenerators is found in Commission Rule R8-64.  Facility owners interested in obtaining qualifying facility (“QF”) status for their facility can visit the Qualifying Facilities section of the FERC website.

Renewable energy facilities that are exempt from obtaining a CPCN are still required to file a report with the Commission.  The reporting requirements for these facilities are found in Commission Rule R8-65.

Renewable Energy Facility Registration

All owners of renewable energy facilities that intend to sell RECs to an electric service provider for REPS compliance are required to register their facilities with the Commission.  This is true even of owners of out-of-state facilities and re-sellers of RECs.

The process for renewable energy facility registration and the annual reporting requirements is found in Commission Rule R8-66.

As part of the Commission’s order approving the renewable energy facility’s registration, the Commission will require the facility’s owner to register the facility with North Carolina’s Renewable Energy Tracking System (“NC-RETS”).

North Carolina Renewable Energy Tracking System (“NC-RETS”)

All owners of renewable energy facilities that intend to sell RECs to an electric service provider for REPS compliance must register with the North Carolina Renewable Energy Tracking System (“NC-RETS”).

Summary

The following table summarizes the regulatory process requirements at the Commission for getting a renewable energy facility on-line.

Type of Renewable Generating Facility Commission Requirement
Generating Capacity < 2 MW and not wish to sell RECs for REPS R8-65
Generating Capacity < 2 MW and wish to sell RECs for REPS R8-65, R8-66, NC-RETS
Generating Capacity ≥ 2 MW and wish to sell RECs for REPS R8-64, R8-66, NC-RETS

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