Printer-friendly: Click to view
  • Summary date: Jun 26 2023 - View Summary


  • Summary date: Jun 6 2023 - View Summary

    Senate committee substitute to the 3rd edition makes the following changes.

    Amends GS 130A-309.240 as follows. Amends the definition of recycle, as it is used in new Part 2J of Article 9 of GS Chapter 130A, to require PV modules determined to be hazardous to comply with applicable hazardous waste requirements even when recycled (no longer limits this requirement to until rules are adopted that classify solar panels as universal waste). Amends the steps that an owner must take in decommissioning a project to also require components that do not meet the definition of hazardous waste to be property disposed of in an industrial landfill or a municipal solid waste landfill. Amends information that must be provided when an owner of a utility-scale solar project registers to require that the PV module hazardous waste determination that must be made be done be in compliance with rules adopted by the Department of Environmental Quality or the Environmental Management Commission (was, by the Department of Environmental Quality). Makes additional clarifying changes. 

  • Summary date: Jun 1 2023 - View Summary

    Senate committee substitute to the 2nd edition makes the following changes.

    Adds the following new content.

    Enacts GS 130A-309.240, pertaining to decommissioning and restoration requirements for utility-scale solar projects, as part of new Part 2J (Management of Solar Energy Equipment) to Article 9 of GS Chapter 130A. Defines photovoltaic module (PV module) to mean the smallest nondivisible, environmentally protected assembly of photovoltaic cells or other photovoltaic collector technology and ancillary parts intended to generate electrical power under sunlight that is part of a utility-scale solar project. Also defines cessation of operations, expansion or expanded, rebuild or rebuilt, recycle, and utility-scale solar project.

    Requires the owner of a utility-scale solar project to be responsible for proper decommissioning of the project upon cessation of operations and restoration of the property, as described below, including all costs, by no later than one year following cessation of operations. Requires the property to be restored: (1) as nearly as practicable to its condition before the utility-scale solar project was sited or (2) to an alternative condition agreed upon in a written contract or lease agreement between the landowner and the project owner; allows land that was cleared of trees for the project to be revegetated or reforested with seedlings. Specifies the following additional minimum steps to be taken in decommissioning a project: (1) Disconnect the solar project from the power grid. (2) Remove all equipment from the solar project, and collect and ship equipment for reuse, or recycle all of the components practicably capable of being recycled, including the PV modules; the entire solar module racking system; aboveground electrical interconnection and distribution cables no longer deemed necessary; subsurface cable no longer deemed necessary; any metal fencing; electrical and electronic devices, including transformers and inverters; and defined term energy storage system batteries. Components that will not be shipped for reuse, and are incapable of being recycled, must be properly disposed of in (i) an industrial landfill or (ii) a municipal solid waste landfill. Requires owners to register with the Department of Environmental Quality (Department) by the specified time frame and update the registration every five years. Sets out information that must be provided. Effective November 1, 2025, and applies to utility-scale solar projects constructed before or after that date.

    Requires the owner to submit a decommissioning plan, by the specified time frame, containing six required elements (contact information, project narrative, information on equipment to be salvaged, information on how the property will be restored, cost estimate, and how the financial assurance requirement will be met) prepared by a professional engineer licensed in North Carolina for approval by the Department. Requires the owner of the project to establish financial assurance either by November 1, 2025 (or before starting construction if the project is constructed after November 1, 2025), and at least 90 days prior to the commencement of the project. Specifies that the financial assurance must be in an amount acceptable to the Department that will ensure that sufficient funds are available for decommissioning the project and restoration of the property. Effective November 1, 2025, and applies only to (1) utility-scale solar projects for which applications for certificates of public convenience and necessity are pending or submitted on or after the effective date of the act and (2) utility-scale solar projects that are generating solar energy or are interconnected to a transmission facility on the date this act becomes effective only if the project is rebuilt or expanded after the effective date of this act, in which case the project will be subject to the registration and decommissioning plan requirements of GS 130A-309.240(c) and (d).

    Requires the Utilities Commission to develop and maintain a list of all utility-scale projects operating within the State and to provide the Department with an updated list on or before July 1 each year. Permits landowners and local governments to establish more stringent requirements for decommissioning and financial assurance projects for their property/jurisdictions. Permits the Department to collect fees.

    Requires the Department to adopt permanent rules establishing criteria to set the amount of financial assurance criteria and other rules as necessary setting criteria for decommissioning plans, registration fees, and any other matter it deems necessary by August 1, 2025.  Requires quarterly reports to the specified NCGA committees on the implementation of the act starting December 1, 2023, through December 1, 2025.

    Enacts GS 130A-309.241 requiring the Department and the Department of Commerce to identify existing incentives and grant programs to encourage research and development on recycling and reuse of PV modules and to facilitate growth of the State's PV module recycling and reuse industry. Enacts GS 130A-309.242 creating the Utility-Scale Solar Management Fund consisting of revenue from the proceeds of the fee imposed on owners of utility-scale solar projects. Allows the money in the Fund to be used to implement provisions related to decommissioning. Enacts GS 130A-309.243 permitting enforcement of the act under the remedies provision of GS Chapter 130A, including any appeals taken as part of an enforcement action.

    Makes conforming changes to GS 130A-309.06 (pertaining to the powers and duties of the Department).

    Requires the Public Staff of the Utilities Commission to identify existing laws that do not require ratepayer contribution or governmental appropriations that would enable recovery of the costs of decommissioning for utility-scale solar facilities not subject to a financial assurance requirement pursuant to GS 130A-309.240, a requirement of local government with jurisdiction over the property where the facility is located, or a lease or other binding contract and to compile a list in consultation with the Department of all utility-scale solar projects operating within the State as of the effective date of the act and to report this information to the NCGA by no later than January 1, 2025.

    Specifies rules of construction pertaining to existing contracts. Contains severability clause.

    Amends the act’s titles.

  • Summary date: Mar 15 2023 - View Summary

    House amendment to 1st edition makes the following changes. Amends GS 160A-203.3(a) (applicable to cities) and GS 153A-145.11(a) (applicable to counties) by also barring cities and counties from adopting ordinances that prohibit or has the effect of prohibiting the sale, purchase, or installation of an appliance utilized for cooking, space heating, water heating, or any other appliance included under the definition of “white good” under GS 130A-290(a)(definitions pertaining to solid waste management). Adds new GS 160A-203.3(d) and GS 153A-145.11(d) that declares invalid any municipal or county ordinance that prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting the activities described in (a).

  • Summary date: Feb 15 2023 - View Summary

    Enacts new GS 160A-203.3 (applicable to cities) and GS 153A-145.11 (applicable to counties), forbidding ordinances that would prohibit the connection, reconnection, modification, or expansion of energy services to a consumer if the prohibition is based on the type of energy to be delivered. Defines “energy service” as the energy source a consumer may choose to use to illuminate, heat, or cool buildings; produce hot water; operate equipment; operate appliances; or any other similar activities where the energy source is derived from one or more of a variety of sources such as natural gas, renewable gas, hydrogen, liquified petroleum gas, renewable liquified petroleum gas, or other liquid petroleum products and that is delivered to the consumer by an entity legally authorized to provide such service, or electricity that is derived from one or more sources of electric generation and is delivered to the consumer by an entity legally authorized to provide such service and the distribution of the electricity occurs according to the specified territorial rights. Specifies activities that are not prohibited by the statutes.