AN ACT TO CLARIFY THE LAW GOVERNING DEED RESTRICTIONS ON SOLAR COLLECTORS AND TO ALLOW FOR CERTAIN THIRD-PARTY SALES OF RENEWABLE ENERGY.
Amends GS 22B-20, which deems void any deed, restriction, covenant, or other binding agreement that runs with the land that would prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the installation of solar collectors for residential property on the subject land. Specifically allows for binding agreements that run with the land to regulate the location or screening of solar collectors so long as the agreements do not have the effect of reducing the operating efficiency (was, does not have the effect of preventing the reasonable use) of a solar collector for a residential property. Defines reducing the operating efficiency of a solar collector as regulation of the location or screening that would decrease the efficiency or performance of the solar collector by more than 10% of the amount that was originally specified for the solar collector. Eliminates subsection (d) which allows for a binding agreement that runs with the land to prohibit the location of solar collectors that are visible by a person on the ground in one of three ways, such as on the facade of a structure that faces areas open to common or public access.
Amends the definition of public utility in GS 62-3 to include a person who constructs or operates a renewable energy facility on the site of a customer's property and sells the electricity produced to that customer pursuant to GS 62-353, as enacted.
Enacts GS 62-353 to exempt from the sales restrictions of GS 62-110.2 and from regulation as a public utility, third-party owners or operations of on-site generating equipment located on a customer's property where the electricity will be sold and consumed, if (1) the facility is sized to supply no more than 125% of the average annual consumption of electricity by the customer at that site, and (2) the owner reports to the Utilities Commission (Commission) the proposed construction of the facility prior to beginning construction. Allows for net metering arrangement with applicable public utilities. Defines the customer's property for purposes of the statute. Authorizes the Commission to approve a new schedule of fees or credits for customers who choose to use distributed energy resources with a utility or nonutility provider, applies in a nondiscriminatory manner and only after investigation of the costs and benefits of customer-sited generation.
Adds to the fees the Commission may authorize under GS 62-300 to include a $25 fee for each report of proposed construction filed by a third-party owner or operator of an on-site renewable energy facility subject to GS 62-353.
Part II is effective July 1, 2022.