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N.C. Utilities Commission Issues Order Involving Fresh Air Energy II Projects in Hertford County

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RALEIGH, N.C., July 31 -- The North Carolina Utilities Commission issued the following order issuing a certificate and accepting registration of new renewable energy facility of Fresh Air Energy II, LLC, for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct a 16-MW Solar Facility in Hertford County, N.C.

ORDER ISSUING CERTIFICATE AND ACCEPTING REGISTRATION OF NEW RENEWABLE ENERGY FACILITY

BY THE COMMISSION: On June 11, 2014, Fresh Air Energy II, LLC (Applicant), filed an application seeking a certificate of public convenience and necessity pursuant to G.S. 62-110.1(a) for construction of a 16-MWAC solar photovoltaic electric generating facility to be located at 301 Underwood Road, Murfreesboro, Hertford County, North Carolina. The Applicant plans to sell the electricity generated by this facility to Dominion Energy North Carolina, LLC (DENC).

Contemporaneously with the application, the Applicant filed a registration statement for a new renewable energy facility. The registration statement included certified attestations that: (1) the facility is in substantial compliance with all federal and state laws, regulations, and rules for the protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources; (2) the facility will be operated as a new renewable energy facility; (3) the Applicant will not remarket or otherwise resell any renewable energy certificates sold to an electric power supplier to comply with G.S. 62-133.8; and (4) the Applicant will consent to the auditing of its books and records by the Public Staff insofar as those records relate to transactions with North Carolina electric power suppliers.

On June 13, 2014, the Commission issued an Order Requiring Publication of Notice.

On July 28, 2014, the State Clearinghouse filed comments. Because of the nature of the comments, the cover letters indicated that additional information was requested by the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR).

On October 3, 2014, the Applicant filed a verified certificate of service stating that the application and the related public notice were provided to DENC on September 4, 2014.

Also on October 3, 2014, the Applicant filed an affidavit of publication from the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald (Ahoskie, North Carolina) stating that the publication of notice was completed on September 25, 2014. No complaints have been received.

On March 10, 2017, the DNCR filed letter regarding the archaeological survey and study report that was performed by the Applicant.

On March 29, 2017, the Applicant filed an amended certificate of public convenience and necessity application that added additional parcels of land to the proposed site of the facility.

Also on March 29, 2017, the Applicant filed an amended registration statement application.

On March 31, 2017, the Commission issued an amended Order Requiring Publication of Notice.

On May 15, 2017, and again on June 15, 2017, the State Clearinghouse filed comments. Because of the nature of the comments, the cover letters indicated that no further State Clearinghouse review action by the Commission was required for compliance with the North Carolina Environmental Policy Act. On July 7, 2017, the Applicant filed a verified certificate of service stating that the application and the related public notice were provided to DENC on May 3, 2017.

Also on July 7, 2017, the Applicant filed an affidavit of publication from the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald stating that the publication of notice was completed on July 6, 2017. No complaints have been received.

The Public Staff presented this matter to the Commission at its Regular Staff Conference on July 31, 2017. The Public Staff stated that it had reviewed the application and determined it to be in compliance with the requirements of G.S. 62-110.1(a) and Commission Rule R8-64. The Public Staff further stated that the registration statement contains the certified attestations required by Commission Rule R8-66(b). Therefore, the Public Staff recommended approval of the certificate and registration for the facility.

After careful consideration, the Commission finds good cause to approve the application and issue the attached certificate for the proposed solar photovoltaic electric generating facility. The Commission further finds good cause, based upon the foregoing and the entire record in this proceeding, to accept registration of the facility as a new renewable energy facility. The Applicant shall annually file the information required by Commission Rule R8-66 on or before April 1 of each year and will be required to participate in the NC-RETS REC tracking system (http://www.ncrets.org) in order to facilitate the issuance of RECs.

IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED as follows:

1. That the application of Fresh Air Energy II, LLC, for a certificate of public convenience and necessity shall be, and is hereby, approved;

2. That Appendix A shall constitute the certificate of public convenience and necessity issued to Fresh Air Energy II, LLC, for the 16-MWAC solar photovoltaic electric generating facility located at 301 Underwood Road, Murfreesboro, Hertford County, North Carolina;

3. That the registration statement filed by Fresh Air Energy II, LLC, for its solar photovoltaic facility located in Hertford County, North Carolina, as a new renewable energy facility, shall be, and is hereby, accepted; and

4. That Fresh Air Energy II, LLC, shall annually file the information required by Commission Rule R8-66 on or before April 1 of each year.

ISSUED BY ORDER OF THE COMMISSION.

This the ___31st_____ day of July, 2017.

NORTH CAROLINA UTILITIES COMMISSION

Paige J. Morris, Deputy Clerk

Chairman Edward S. Finley, Jr., and Commissioner Daniel G. Clodfelter did not participate in this decision.

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