May, 2014 – In an earlier post, we discussed that Wake Electric had purchased solar renewable energy credits (RECs) from 23 large-scale solar projects in North Carolina. In some cases, we have purchased much of the entire output of RECs for the expected 20-year life of the project.
A renewable generation resource has three sources of revenue:
1) federal and state tax credits and tax benefits, such as accelerated depreciation,
2) sale of electricity to the interconnected electric utility and
3) sale of renewable energy credits. The revenue from all three sources is usually needed to make a project feasible.
Wake Electric is required to comply with the North Carolina Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) which requires 10 percent of our power supply come from renewable sources by 2018. While we could claim RECs from many sources, we determined that purchasing solar RECs was our best compliance option.
A number of members have asked for additional information about these projects. While we can’t release specific REC quantity and price data due to the competitive market for these products, we are happy to share some additional information about these existing and future projects.
The projects are developed by some of the larger players in the business, including FLS Energy, 02 Energies, and Strata Solar. The existing and proposed projects are located in the following communities: Bailey, Beulaville, Bladenboro, Bunn, Calypso, Chadbourn, Fairmont, Gibson, Goldsboro, Kenly, Maxton, Middle Creek, Mount Olive, Mt. Airy, Nashville, Pittsboro, Rockingham, Rockwell, Warrenton, and Warsaw. Some communities have multiple projects.
These locations were selected by the solar developers due to a number of factors, such as land cost, zoning restrictions, and community involvement. While none of these projects are directly connected to the Wake Electric system, most are a part of the generation mix of our wholesale power purchases.
When all these projects are complete, Wake Electric will be purchasing the RECs associated with more than 75 million kWh of solar energy every year. That’s enough energy to power more than 5,000 homes.
By choosing NC solar RECs as our primary resource in complying with the North Carolina REPS, Wake Electric members have made a big commitment to the future of solar power in North Carolina.
Do you have a question or comment about solar RECs? Suggestions for future topics? Please submit them to MAC@wemc.com.