North Carolina municipals want extended time to install small peakers

The municipals haven't used construction authority granted to them in 2015

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The North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA) and its 32 member municipalities on Jan. 10 petitioned the North Carolina Utilities Commission to extend a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity issued in February 2015.

That certificate authorized NCEMPA and/or its participants to install up to 14.67 MW of additional diesel-fired generating capacity (for a total generating capacity of 40 MW) at or near customers’ premises during a two-year period ending Feb. 26, 2017. Under that order, the capacity of each facility was to be 2.5 MW or less and the construction was to be completed on or before Feb. 26, 2017.

The certificate also requires the petitioners to provide individual site information to the State Clearinghouse, obtain all necessary local, state and federal permits prior to construction and installation of any generating facility, imposes certain requirements for facilities proposed to be located at a location near, rather than at, the site of a customer, and requires the filing of annual facilities reports with the commission.

The current certificate extended a certificate issued by the commission in February 2013 (the “Original Certificate”), authorizing the petitioners to install a maximum of 35 MW of generating capacity. To date, the petitioners have constructed and installed facilities having an aggregate generating capacity of 25.33 MW pursuant to the Original Certificate, while no generating capacity has been installed under the Current Certificate.

At this point, the petitioners said they plan to install approximately 6 MW of generating capacity in calendar year 2017 and may install up to an additional 8 MW of capacity in calendar year 2018.

The purpose of such generating facilities was and is to enable petitioners to generate their own electricity and provide the same to the customer at the time of the monthly coincident peak with Duke Energy Progress, the time when the petitioners experience their highest costs for purchased power. As a result, they reduce purchases of electricity during peak periods and otherwise enhance their ability to obtain lower wholesale costs.

They now want authorization to construct and operate an additional maximum of 14.67 MW of additional generating capacity (for a total installed capacity of 40 MW) at or near customers’ premises for the purpose of reducing purchases of electricity during peak periods and otherwise enhancing the ability of the petitioners to provide a reliable and economic power supply, provided that the capacity of each generator is 2.5 MW or less and the construction is completed by Feb. 26, 2019.

Barry Cassell
About the Author

Barry Cassell

Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 26 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.

Barry can be reached at

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