Private Enterprise Leads NC’s First Competitive Renewable Energy Procurement
Independent Power Producers Lead North Carolina’s First Competitive Renewable Energy Procurement Process
July 23, 2019
For Immediate Release
For More Information, Please Contact Chris Carmody: 919.608.1060 / Director@ncceba.com
RALEIGH, North Carolina – Independent power producers secured a majority of the contracts from North Carolina’s new competitive procurement of renewable energy program, according to a report released on July 18. Awards made to independent power producers represented 65 percent of the total 550 megawatts (MW), with awardees including several members of the North Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance (NCCEBA).
“This result is a success for the region’s electricity customers, and underscores once again how private enterprise continues to drive North Carolina’s leadership in solar energy,” said Chris Carmody, Executive Director of NCCEBA.
NCCEBA members Cypress Creek Renewables, Ecoplexus, and Southern Current were among the bids that were awarded contracts:
· Cypress Creek Renewables: 2 bids awarded, 138 MWac
· Ecoplexus: 2 bids awarded (solar-plus-storage), 115 MWac
· Southern Current: 1 bid awarded, 50 MWac
All 550 MW were awarded to new utility-scale solar projects, including 11 projects (464.5 MW) in Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) territory and two projects (85.7 MW) in Duke Energy Progress (DEP) territory, which are expected to commence operation in 2021.
The awarded power purchase agreements (PPAs) will provide clean, affordable, renewable power to North Carolina and South Carolina ratepayers at fixed rates for 20 years. These agreements will also offset electricity generation that would otherwise be supplied by fossil fuels, protecting customers against the risk of rising fuel prices and costly waste byproducts.
Other awardees included Duke Energy’s regulated arm, Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC), with 17 percent of the total procurement, and Duke Energy Renewables, also with 17 percent. The remaining independent recipients were not disclosed in the public version of the Independent Administrator’s report (available here).
“North Carolina’s solar versus solar bidding is a good first step to demonstrate how competition in energy generation benefits customers,” said Chris Carmody. “Bringing market competition to all generation - solar and wind versus other fuels - would result in hundreds of millions of dollars in savings for employers and residents alike,” Carmody concluded.
North Carolina’s Competitive Procurement for Renewable Energy (CPRE), was a result of North Carolina House Bill 589, which became law in 2017. CPRE’s total potential procurement volume is 2,660 MW, which must be procured by 2022, although Duke Energy currently estimates that it will procure 1,460 MW to 1,960 MW instead of the full 2,660 MW. Bids for the second procurement tranche will open later in 2019, for approximately 700-800 MW in DEC and 80-100 MW in DEP.
The North Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance is a 501c6 trade association that promotes the common business interests of clean energy businesses and energy consumers in North Carolina.