62-126.8. Community solar energy facilities.

(a) Each offering utility shall file a plan with the Commission to offer a community solar energy facility program for participation by its retail customers. The community solar energy facility program shall be designed so that each community solar energy facility offsets the energy use of not less than five subscribers and no single subscriber has more than a forty percent (40%) interest. The offering utility shall make its community solar energy facility program available on a first-come, first-served basis until the total nameplate generating capacity of those facilities equals 20 megawatts (MW).

(b) A community solar energy facility shall have a nameplate capacity of no more than five megawatts (MW). Each subscription shall be sized to represent at least 200 watts (W) of the community solar energy facility's generating capacity and to supply no more than one hundred percent (100%) of the maximum annual peak demand of electricity of each subscriber at the subscriber's premises.

(c) A community solar energy facility must be located in the service territory of the offering utility filing the plan. Subscribers shall be located in the State of North Carolina and the same county or a county contiguous to where the facility is located. The electric public utility may file a request for Commission approval for an exemption from the location requirement of this subsection and the Commission may approve the request for a facility located up to 75 miles from the county of the subscribers, if the Commission deems the exemption to be in the public interest.

(d) The offering utility shall credit the subscribers to its community solar energy facility for all subscribed shares of energy generated by the facility at the avoided cost rate.

(e) The Commission may approve, disapprove, or modify a community solar energy facility program. The program shall meet all of the following requirements:

(1) Establish uniform standards and processes for the community solar energy facilities that allow the electric public utility to recover reasonable interconnection costs, administrative costs, fixed costs, and variable costs associated with each community solar energy facility, including purchase expenses if a power purchase agreement is elected as the method of energy procurement by the offering utility.

(2) Be consistent with the public interest.

(3) Identify the information that must be provided to potential subscribers to ensure fair disclosure of future costs and benefits of subscriptions.

(4) Include a program implementation schedule.

(5) Identify all proposed rules and charges.

(6) Describe how the program will be promoted.

(7) Hold harmless customers of the electric public utility who do not subscribe to a community solar energy facility.

(8) Allow subscribers to have the option to own the renewable energy certificates produced by the community solar energy facility. (2017-192, s. 6(a).)