AN ACT TO (I) EXEMPT ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS FROM REGULATION AS PUBLIC UTILITIES, (II) REQUIRE THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION TO ADOPT RULES TO ESTABLISH A REGULATORY PROGRAM TO GOVERN THE MANAGEMENT OF END-OF-LIFE PHOTOVOLTAIC MODULES AND ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM BATTERIES, AND DECOMMISSIONING OF UTILITY-SCALE SOLAR PROJECTS AND WIND ENERGY FACILITIES, AND REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY TO ESTABLISH A STAKEHOLDER PROCESS TO SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT OF THE RULES, AND (III) PROVIDE SMALL HYDROELECTRIC POWER FACILITIES CERTAIN TREATMENT SIMILAR TO THAT GIVEN TO SMALL POWER PRODUCERS THAT PRODUCE ENERGY FROM SWINE AND POULTRY WASTE.
Senate committee substitute to the 1st edition adds the following.
Requires the Environmental Management Commission (Commission) to adopt rules by January 1, 2022, establishing a regulatory program to govern (1) the management of end-of-life photovoltaic modules and energy storage system batteries and (2) decommissioning of utility-scale solar projects and wind energy facilities. Defines end-of-life, energy storage system battery, photovoltaic module, utility-scale solar project, and wind energy facility. Details nine elements the Commission must consider in developing the rules, including (1) whether any photovoltaic modules, energy storage system batteries, or their constituent materials or other equipment used in utility-scale solar projects or wind energy facilities exhibit any characteristics of hazardous waste or solid waste; (2) preferred methods of reuse, refurbishing, recycling, and safe disposal of the materials and equipment; and (3) a survey of federal and other states' and countries' related regulatory requirements. Directs the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to establish a stakeholder process within 60 days of the date the act becomes law for development of the regulatory program. Requires DEQ and the Commission to submit quarterly joint interim reports beginning December 1, 2019, and submit a joint final report to the Environmental Review Commission and the NCGA by January 1, 2021. Requires that the interim report due April 1, 2020, must include legislative recommendations regarding the resources needed to implement the act's requirements.
Amends GS 62-156(b)(3), which requires that the rates to be paid by electric public utilities for capacity purchased from a small power producer be established with consideration of the reliability and availability of the power. Provides that a future capacity need must only be avoided in a year where the utility's most recent biennial integrated resource plan filed with the Utilities Commission (Commission) has identified a projected capacity need to serve system load and the identified need can be met by the type of small power producer resource based upon its availability and reliability of power, other than hydropower small power producers with purchase agreements with an electric public utility in effect as of July 27, 2017, and the renewal of such a power purchase agreement, if the hydroelectric power facility total capacity is equal to or less than five megawatts (MW) (maintains existing exclusion for swine or poultry waste for which a need is established).
Makes conforming changes to the act's titles.
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