AN ACT TO (I) ALLOW THE UTILITIES COMMISSION TO REQUIRE ELECTRIC PUBLIC UTILITIES TO PARTICIPATE IN OR ESTABLISH A REGIONAL TRANSMISSION ENTITY AND (II) STUDY THE PUBLIC BENEFITS ASSOCIATED WITH PARTICIPATION IN OR ESTABLISHMENT OF SUCH AN ENTITY.
Includes whereas clauses.
Enacts new GS 62-30.1 to allow the Utilities Commission (Commission), when it is in the public interest and consistent with providing reliable and safe electric service, to require any electric public utility that provides retail electric service to at least 15,000 in-state retail jurisdictional customers as of January 1, 2019, to apply for federal approval to establish or join a regional transmission entity (RTE) and to transfer the management and control of its transmission assets to the RTE. Defines RTE as an entity established for promoting the efficiency and reliability in the operation and planning of the electric transmission grid and ensuring nondiscrimination in the provision of electric transmission services meeting the minimum criteria established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Requires the Commission to establish requirements that: (1) promote the reliable planning, operating, maintaining, and upgrading of the transmission systems and any necessary additions; the safe, reliable, and efficient operation of transmission systems; and policies for the pricing and access for service over such systems that are not unduly discriminatory and consistent with the orderly development of competition in the state; (2) are consistent with lawful requirements of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding the establishment of an RTE; and (3) generally promote the public interest and are consistent with ensuring that consumers' needs for economic and reliable transmission are met and meeting the transmission needs of electric generation suppliers both within and outside the state. This statute does not apply to any electric membership corporation, municipal electric supplier, joint municipal power agency, or any other entity that does not own transmission assets but is authorized to provide retail electric service within the State.
Requires the Commission to solicit a third party to study participation by North Carolina electric utilities in RTEs. Sets out issues that are to be addressed in the study. Requires the Commission, within 90 days following the act’s effective date, to create a stakeholder process to provide comment on the study, with stakeholders including, to the extent feasible, representatives of the 15 named entities. Requires the Commission to establish the final scope and parameters of the study, including at a minimum the four specified issues, including recommendations concerning additional unbundling of electric power generation, transmission, and distribution services associated with the establishment of an RTE. Requires a final report to be made to the specified commission and council by March 1, 2020. Appropriates $750,000 from the General Fund to the Commission to implement these study requirements.
Requires the Commission to open a docket and begin proceedings to determine if participation in or establishment of an RTE is in the public interest within 30 days of submission of the study. Requires that if the Commission determines that participation in or the establishment of an RTE satisfies the standard in new GS 62-30.1, the Commission must issue an order requiring the affected IOUs to submit a proposal for participation in or establishment of an RTE; requires the order with its determination on this matter to be issued no later than September 31, 2020.
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