STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA EX REL. UTILITIES COMMISSION; PUBLIC STAFF - NORTH CAROLINA UTILITIES COMMISSION; DUKE ENERGY CAROLINAS, LLC; DUKE ENERGY PROGRESS, LLC; SOUTHERN ALLIANCE FOR CLEAN ENERGY, Appellees,
NORTH CAROLINA SUSTAINABLE ENERGY ASSOCIATION, Appellant.
in the Court of Appeals 3 May 2017.
by appellants from order entered 6 June 2016 by the North
Carolina Utilities Commission Docket No. E-100, Sub 113.
Attorney David T. Drooz, for Appellee Public Staff - North
Carolina Utilities Commission.
Troutman Sanders, LLP, by Brian L. Franklin and Molly
McIntosh Jagannathan, for Appellee Duke Energy Carolinas,
L. Luhr and Gudrun Thompson, for Appellant North Carolina
Sustainable Energy Association and Appellee Southern Alliance
for Clean Energy.
H. Ledford, for Appellant North Carolina Sustainable Energy
North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association
("NCSEA") appeals from a ruling from the North
Carolina Utilities Commission (the "Commission")
that "a topping cycle CHP system does not constitute an
energy efficiency measure under [ N.C. G.S. §]
62-133.8(a)(4), except to the extent that the . . . waste
heat component is used and meets the definition of [an]
energy efficiency measure in [ N.C. G.S. §]
62-133.8(a)(4)." We disagree and hold that, for the
purposes of classifying a topping cycle CHP as an energy
efficiency measure, N.C. G.S. § 62-133.8(a)(4) (2015) is
unambiguous. A plain reading of the statute at issue includes
the entire topping cycle CHP system.
heat and power ("CHP") systems generate both
electricity and useable thermal energy in contrast to
conventional power generation in which electricity is
purchased from a central power plant, which is less
efficient. Conventional power generation based on amount of
fuel used to produce electricity and useful thermal energy is
45 % to 50% efficient, while CHP systems are typically 60% to
cycle CHP systems burn fuel to generate electricity, and then
some of the resulting waste heat is recovered and used as
thermal energy. As of 7 August 2013, there were 62 topping
cycle CHP systems in North Carolina.
June 2015, NCSEA filed a Request for Declaratory Ruling
asking the Commission to issue a declaratory ruling that:
A new topping cycle combined heat and power . . . system-
including such a system that uses non-renewable energy
resources-that both (a) produces electricity or useful,
measureable thermal or mechanical energy at a retail electric
customer's facility and (b) results in less energy being
used to perform the same function or provide the same level
of service at the retail electric customer's facility
constitutes an "energy efficiency measure" for
purposes of [ N.C. G.S] § 62-133.9 and Commission Rule
asked that, "if deemed necessary or helpful, " the
Commission issue a ...