Carolinas Clean Energy Business Association (CCEBA) has had a successful inaugural year bringing together businesses in North and South Carolina’s clean energy industry. While it is hard to distill all of our accomplishments, we are sharing our most important internal and external ones.
A New Organization and New Members
CCEBA started the year as a new non-profit trade association. We hired our first General Counsel, John Burns, to represent CCEBA members before the North and South Carolina courts and utilities commissions. John has been instrumental in ensuring our industry’s voice is heard in venues where our interests are debated and discussed.
In addition, we launched our new brand and website and provide ongoing thought leadership on policies and decisions that affect our members.
CCEBA welcomed many new members this year: Blue Ridge EMC, BrightNight, East Point Energy, Power On Energy Consultants, REBA (Now CEBA), Sunrun, SunPower, Invenergy, Solterra Partners, Geenex, Leeward Renewable Energy, Johnson Development Associates, Urban Grid, Standard Solar, Orsted, and BayWa. Together our membership is strong and active throughout the Carolinas.
Market Access Successes in 2021
CCEBA’s mission is to ensure that the Carolinas’ energy regulatory and legislative environment provides market access to renewable energy entrepreneurs. CCEBA gained a number of policy and regulatory victories in both states allowing market access for its members.
- CCEBA successfully challenged Duke Energy and Dominion Energy’s integrated resource plans (IRPs). The S.C. Public Service Commission (PSC) directed Duke Energy to revise its energy price projections and energy mix over the next 15 years. It will result in accelerated cold retirement, less natural gas and more renewable energy and storage in the company’s long-term plans. Most importantly, this PSC action showed that independent power producer renewables are less expensive to ratepayers than utility self-build.
- We also represented the interests of our industry in the Dominion Energy South Carolina (DESC) Avoided Cost proceedings. Our work and the testimony of our witnesses resulted in improvements to a broad range of contractual issues and significantly reduced the amount of Integration Charges DESC had asked the PSC to approve. The efforts of our environmental partners in this proceeding also resulted in substantial improvements to the avoided cost methodologies used by DESC to calculate avoided energy and capacity rates.
- Finally, CCEBA negotiated a settlement with DESC and other intervenors to establish a first-of-its-kind all source procurement process in South Carolina for replacing peaking capacity on the DESC system.
- Energy Storage: CCEBA won a two-year proceeding at the N.C. Utilities Commission on energy storage. Over Duke Energy’s objections, independent power producers are now able to add energy storage to existing solar facilities, making them more flexible and resilient and adding long-term value to these generation sources.
- HB 951 Negotiation: CCEBA played a vital role in preserving a 45 percent ownership share for independent power producers for utility scale solar and solar+storage during the many months of bill negotiation, which ultimately established a 70% carbon reduction requirement for Duke Energy by 2030 and is anticipated to result in significant clean energy procurement.
- Decommissioning Stakeholder Process: CCEBA completed a year-long stakeholder process for solar/wind/storage decommissioning. It is important that we engage in these important but time consuming discussions as end of life asset issues arise.
Goals for 2022
As we look to 2022, we will continue to push for market access, competition, and utility transparency, which are the keys to a cost effective, reliable, and safe energy future in the Carolinas.
- Market Reform: Work with decision makers and stakeholders across the spectrum to bring expanded competition in energy generation to North and South Carolina. We will continue to support the South Carolina legislature’s efforts to develop wholesale competition and utility reform.
- Innovation through Choice: CCEBA will advocate for programs that actually work for customers (green source, community solar, net metering) through the regulatory process in both Carolinas.
- Competitive Procurement: CCEBA will push for everything in NC under House Bill 951– including utility owned assets – as well as solar plus storage, to be competitively procured. We will continue to advance competitive procurement opportunities in South Carolina for clean energy resources, as well as for the replacement of significant coal capacity currently scheduled for retirement later this decade.
We wish everyone a happy holiday season and are grateful for each of you for engaging with us in our work.