159B-11. General powers of joint agencies; prerequisites to undertaking projects.

(a) Each joint agency shall have all of the rights and powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this Chapter, including, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the rights and powers:

(1) To adopt bylaws for the regulation of the affairs and the conduct of its business, and to prescribe rules, regulations and policies in connection with the performance of its functions and duties.

(2) To adopt an official seal and alter the same at pleasure.

(3) To acquire and maintain an administrative office building or office at such place or places as it may determine, which building or office may be used or owned alone or together with any other joint agency or agencies, joint municipal assistance agency, municipalities, corporations, associations or persons under such terms and provisions for sharing costs and otherwise as may be determined.

(4) To sue and be sued in its own name, and to plead and be impleaded.

(5) To receive, administer and comply with the conditions and requirements respecting any gift, grant or donation of any property or money.

(6) To acquire by purchase, lease, gift, or otherwise, or to obtain options for the acquisition of, any property, real or personal, improved or unimproved, including an interest in land less than the fee thereof.

(7) To sell, lease, exchange, transfer or otherwise dispose of, or to grant options for any such purposes with respect to, any real or personal property or interest therein.

(8) To pledge, assign, mortgage or otherwise grant a security interest in any real or personal property or interest therein, including the right and power to pledge, assign or otherwise grant a security interest in any money, rents, charges or other revenues and any proceeds derived by the joint agency from the sales of property, insurance or condemnation awards.

(9) To issue bonds of the joint agency for the purpose of providing funds for any of its corporate purposes.

(10) To study, plan, finance, construct, reconstruct, acquire, improve, enlarge, extend, better, own, operate and maintain one or more projects, either individually or jointly with one or more municipalities in this State or any state contiguous to this State owning electric distribution facilities or with any political subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities of any state contiguous to this State or with other joint agencies created pursuant to this Chapter, and to pay all or any part of the costs thereof from the proceeds of bonds of the joint agency or from any other available funds of the joint agency; no provisions of law with respect to the acquisition, construction, or operation of property by other public bodies shall be applicable to any project as defined in this Chapter and as authorized by this subdivision unless the General Assembly shall specifically so state.

(11) To authorize the construction, operation or maintenance of any project or projects by any person, firm, association, or corporation, public or private.

(12) To acquire by private negotiated purchase or lease or otherwise an existing project, a project under construction, or other property, either individually or jointly, with one or more municipalities or joint agencies in this State or any state contiguous to this State owning electric distribution facilities or with any political subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities of any state contiguous to this State or with other joint agencies created pursuant to this Chapter; to acquire by private negotiated purchase or lease or otherwise any facilities for the development, production, manufacture, procurement, handling, storage, fabrication, enrichment, processing or reprocessing of fuel of any kind or any facility or rights with respect to the supply of water, and to enter into agreements by private negotiation or otherwise, for a period not exceeding fifty (50) years, for the development, production, manufacture, procurement, handling, storage, fabrication, enrichment, processing or reprocessing of fuel of any kind or any facility or rights with respect to the supply of water; no provisions of law with respect to the acquisition, construction or operation of property by other public bodies shall be applicable to any agency created pursuant to this Chapter unless the legislature shall specifically so state.

(13) To dispose of by private negotiated sale or lease, or otherwise, an existing project or a project under construction, or to dispose of by private negotiated sale or lease, or otherwise any facilities for the development, production, manufacture, procurement, handling, storage, fabrication, enrichment, processing or reprocessing of fuel of any kind or any facility or rights with respect to the supply of water; no provisions of law with respect to the disposition of property by other public bodies shall be applicable to an agency created pursuant to this Chapter unless the legislature shall specifically so state.

(14) To fix, charge and collect rents, rates, fees and charges for electric power or energy and other services, facilities and commodities sold, furnished or supplied through any project or activity permitted in this Chapter.

(14a) To fix, charge, and collect payments pursuant to support contracts authorized by G.S. 159B-12(b).

(15) To generate, produce, transmit, deliver, exchange, purchase, sell for resale only, electric power or energy, and to enter into contracts for any or all such purposes.

(16) To negotiate and enter into contracts for the purchase, sale for resale only, exchange, interchange, wheeling, pooling, transmission or use of electric power and energy with any person, firm, association, or corporation, public or private.

(17) To make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient in the exercise of the powers and functions of the joint agency under this Chapter, including contracts with persons, firms, associations, or corporations, public or private.

(18) To apply to the appropriate agencies of the State, the United States or any state thereof, and to any other proper agency, for such permits, licenses, certificates or approvals as may be necessary, and to construct, maintain and operate projects and undertake other activities permitted in this Chapter in accordance with such licenses, permits, certificates or approvals, and to obtain, hold and use such licenses, permits, certificates and approvals in the same manner as any other person or operating unit of any other person.

(19) To employ engineers, architects, attorneys, real estate counselors, appraisers, financial advisors and such other consultants and employees as may be required in the judgment of the joint agency and to fix and pay their compensation from funds available to the joint agency therefor and to select and retain subject to approval of the Local Government Commission the financial consultants, underwriters and bond attorneys to be associated with the issuance of any bonds and to pay for services rendered by underwriters, financial consultants or bond attorneys out of the proceeds of any such issue with regard to which the services were performed.

(19a) To purchase power and energy, and services and facilities relating to the utilization of power and energy, from any source on behalf of its members and other customers and to furnish, sell, lease, exchange, transfer, or otherwise dispose of, or to grant options for any such purposes with respect to the same, to its members and other customers in such amounts, with such characteristics, for such periods of time and under such terms and conditions as the governing board of the joint agency shall determine.

(19b) To provide aid and assistance to municipalities, and to act for or on behalf of any municipality, in any activity related to the development and implementation of integrated resource planning, including, but not limited to, the evaluation of resources, generating facilities, alternative energy resources, conservation and load management programs, transmission and distribution facilities, and purchased power options, and related to the development, construction and operation of supply-side and demand-side resources, and to do such other acts and things as provided in Article 3 of this Chapter as if the joint agency were a joint municipal assistance agency, and to carry out the powers granted in this Chapter in relation thereto; to provide aid and assistance to any joint municipal assistance agency in the exercise of its respective powers and functions.

(20) To do all acts and things necessary, convenient or desirable to carry out the purposes, and to exercise the powers granted to the joint agency in this Chapter.

(b) No joint agency shall undertake any project required to be financed, in whole or in part, with the proceeds of bonds without the approval of a majority of its members. Before undertaking any project, a joint agency shall, based upon engineering studies and reports, determine that such project is required to provide for the projected needs for power and energy of its members from and after the date the project is estimated to be placed in normal and continuous operation and for a reasonable period of time thereafter. Prior to or simultaneously with granting a certificate of public convenience and necessity for any such generation project the North Carolina Utilities Commission, in a proceeding instituted pursuant to G.S. 159B-24 of this Chapter, shall approve such determination. In determining the future power requirements of the members of a joint agency, there shall be taken into account the following:

(1) The economies and efficiencies to be achieved in constructing on a large scale facilities for the generation of electric power and energy;

(2) Needs of the joint agency for reserve and peaking capacity and to meet obligations under pooling and reserve-sharing agreements reasonably related to its needs for power and energy to which the joint agency is or may become a party;

(3) The estimated useful life of such project;

(4) The estimated time necessary for the planning, development, acquisition, or construction of such project and the length of time required in advance to obtain, acquire or construct additional power supply for the members of the joint agency;

(5) The reliability and availability of existing alternative power supply sources and the cost of such existing alternative power supply sources.

A determination by the joint agency approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission based upon appropriate findings of the foregoing matters shall be conclusive as to the appropriateness of a project to provide the needs of the members of a joint agency for power and energy unless a party to the proceeding aggrieved by the determination of said Commission shall file notice of appeal pursuant to Article 5 of Chapter 62 of the General Statutes of North Carolina.

Nothing herein contained shall prevent a joint agency from undertaking studies to determine whether there is a need for a project or whether such project is feasible. (1975, c. 186, s. 1; 1977, c. 385, ss. 6-10; 1983, c. 574, ss. 4, 4.1; 1985, c. 212, s. 1; c. 723, s. 3; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 888, s. 2; 1993, c. 182, s. 1; 1995, c. 412, s. 7; 2015-3, s. 3.)