Article 2.

Joint Agencies; Municipalities.

159B-4. Authority of municipalities to jointly cooperate.

In addition and supplemental to the powers otherwise conferred on municipalities by the laws of the State, and in order to accomplish the purposes of this Chapter and to obtain a supply of electric power and energy for the present and future needs of its inhabitants and customers, a municipality may jointly or severally plan, finance, develop, construct, reconstruct, acquire, improve, enlarge, better, own, operate and maintain a project situated within or without the State with one or more other municipalities or joint agencies created pursuant to this Chapter or, in the case of projects for the generation and transmission of electric power and energy, jointly with any persons, firms, associations or corporations, public or private, engaged in the generation, transmission or distribution of electric power and energy for resale within this State or any state contiguous to the State, and may make such plans and enter into such contracts in connection therewith, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Chapter, as are necessary or appropriate.

Prior to acquiring any generation project the governing board shall determine the needs of the municipality for power and energy based upon engineering studies and reports, and shall not acquire a project in excess of that amount of capacity and the energy associated therewith required to provide for its projected needs for power and energy from and after the date the project is estimated to be placed in normal continuous operation and for such reasonable period of time thereafter as shall be determined by the governing board and approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission in a proceeding instituted pursuant to G.S. 159B-24. In determining the future power requirements of a municipality, 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) The municipality's needs 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 it 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; and

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

A determination by such governing board approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission based upon appropriate findings of the foregoing matters shall be conclusive as to the quantity of the interest which a municipality may acquire in a generation project 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 municipality or municipalities 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, s. 2; 1983, c. 574, s. 1; 1995, c. 412, s. 3.)