Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.
Amends the short and long titles.
Adds new Part II to the bill, Amendments to Energy Policy Updated REPS Requirements, making the following changes to the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) program in GS 62-133.8: (1) capping REPS requirements to 6% of 2014 NC retail sales in 2015 and thereafter, (2) eliminating the authority of utilities to charge account holders a higher annual fee in 2015 and thereafter to recover costs related to REPS implementation (capped at 2012 amounts) (effective July 1, 2015), (3) allowing electric public utilities to meet 50% of the requirement for reducing energy consumption through energy efficiency measures (was, 25%) (effective July 1, 2015).
Provides that the Utilities Commission can allow an electric power supplier to recover incremental costs it incurred before July 1, 2015, in order to comply with REPS requirements that are amended or repealed in the act.
Amends GS 62-3(27a) concerning the definition for small power producer, providing that for the purposes of that section renewable resources, in addition to including hydroelectric power, also means solar electric, solar thermal, wind, geothermal, ocean current, wave energy resources, and biomass derived from agricultural waste, animal waste, wood waste, spent pulping liquors, combustible residues, liquids, or gases not derived from fossil fuel, energy crops, or landfill methane. Effective January 1, 2017, applying to facilities that have applied for a certificate of public convenience and necessity on or after that date.
Amends GS 62-156(b)(1) concerning terms of contracts for power sales by small power producers to public utilities, adding language that provides that the Utilities Commission must require public utilities to provide standard contracts to small power facilities which generate electricity from swine and/or poultry waste that has a capacity of no greater than five megawatts. Provides that the Utilities Commission must require electric public utilities to provide standard contracts for small power producers that have a capacity no greater than 100 kilowatts that generate electricity from all other renewable energy resources. Enacts new subsection (b)(4), providing that the standard contracts cannot require payment for capacity when the utility lacks a capacity need. Effective January 1, 2017, applying to facilities that have applied for a certificate of public convenience and necessity on or after that date.
Requires the Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy to study (1) the reforms to the REPS requirements, (2) issues related to grid security and stability related to dispatchable versus non-dispatchable power, and (3) any other matter related to the long-term energy needs of the state.
Adds a severability clause.
Summary date: May 19 2015 - View summary
Summary date: Apr 16 2015 - View summary
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.
Amends proposed GS 62-133.13(e) concerning rate adjustment mechanisms, providing that any rate adjustment surcharge mechanism adopted under the statute terminates upon the earlier of the full recovery of the allowed costs as specified or with the natural gas local distribution company's next general rate case, in which the eligible infrastructure development costs must be included in the company's rate base (previously, only could terminate with the next general rate case as specified). Adds language to subsection (f), the limitations provision, providing that the aggregate amount of eligible infrastructure development costs recovered under rate adjustment surcharge mechanisms for natural gas local distribution companies in North Carolina cannot exceed $75 million.
Makes clarifying changes.
Summary date: Apr 1 2015 - View summary
House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.
Amends GS 62-133.13 to modify the conditions that must be met for natural gas economic development infrastructure cost recovery to: (1) require the project be in an area where adequate natural gas infrastructure for the project is not economically feasible (was, is not available); (2) include a prospective customer in those that can enter into a binding commitment; and (3) require that the projected margin revenues not recoverable under GS 62-133.4 (was, the projected non-gas revenues) will not be sufficient to cover the cost of the infrastructure. Adds that any rate adjustment surcharge mechanism adopted under the statute terminates with the natural gas local distribution company's next general rate case, in which the eligible infrastructure development costs must be included in the company's rate base. Provides that nothing in the statute precludes the company from recovering eligible economic development infrastructure costs in a general rate case. Makes clarifying changes.
Amends GS 143B-437.021 to amend the eligibility requirements to include that the business employs or intends to employ (was, employs) the specified number of employees.
Summary date: Mar 23 2015 - View summary
Enacts new GS 62-133.13, "Cost recovery for natural gas economic development infrastructure," in Article 7 of GS Chapter 62 (Public Utilities). Provides that the purpose of this statute is to prescribe a procedure for a natural gas local distribution company to recover cost as a part of a project identified by the Department of Commerce (Department) as an eligible project under GS 143B-437.021 (enacted in this act). Directs the North Carolina Utilities Commission (Commission) to adopt rules to implement GS 62-133.13.
Limits eligibility for cost recovery under this section to natural gas economic development infrastructure determined by the Commission to satisfy all of the specified conditions which include specifications as to eligible locations, binding commitments such as a commercial contract, and determining if there are insufficient projected non-gas revenues from the eligible project to cover the cost associated with the project.
Also includes specifications regarding determining: (1) the economic feasibility ofthe construction of the infrastructure (2) the recoverable costs of an eligible project, and (3) the recovery of eligible economic development infrastructure costs in a rate adjustment surcharge mechanism. In addition, sets a limitation prohibiting a natural gas local distribution company from investing more than $25 million of eligible infrastructure development costs in any year and prohibits cumulative rate adjustments from exceeding 5% of the total annual service non-gas revenues approved by the Commission in the natural gas local distribution company's last general rate case.
Enacts new GS 143B-437.021, "Natural gas economic development infrastructure," in Article 10 of GS Chapter 143B (Executive Organization Act of 1973). States that the purpose of GS 143B-437.021 is to provide criteria for use by the Department of Commerce (Department) in determining the eligibility of an economic development project that requires natural gas service infrastructure.
Describes an eligible project as an economic development project that is determined by the Department to satisfy all of the following conditions: (1) provides opportunities for natural gas usage, jobs, and other economic development benefits in addition to those provided by the project; (2) has invested or intends to invest at least $200 million in private funds in improvements to real property and additions to tangible personal property in the project; and (3) the business employees at least 1,500 full-time employees or equivalent full-time employees at the project at the time the application is made, and the business agrees to maintain at minimum 1,500 full-time employees or equivalent full-time contract employees at the project.
Provides that a project may be considered as an eligible project under this section only if it is a project of a business that satisfies a wage standard, identified as an average weekly wage equal to at least 110% of the average wage for all insured private employers in the county. Provides additional criteria for the calculation of and annual publication and certification of the satisfaction of wage standard by the business.
Requires an eligible project to be one undertaken by a business that makes health insurance available to all full-time employees and equivalent full-time contract employees. Also provides that to be deemed an eligible project, the business undertaking the project must have no citations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act that have become a final order within the last three years for willful serious violations or for failing to abate "serious violations" (as defined in GS 95-127) with respect to the location for which the eligible project is located. Also requires that an eligible project be undertaken by a business that satisfies, at the time of the application, the environmental impact standard under GS 105-129.83.
Makes this act effective when it becomes law and provides that the act expires effective July 1, 2020; however, also provides that the expiration of the act does not affect the validity of any rate adjustment surcharge mechanism imposed or authorized under this act before the effective date of the expiration.