Progress Energy said today it is accepting proposals for electricity generated from wind farms in order to meet its state mandate for renewable energy.
The Raleigh-based electric utility said the minimum size of proposals it will consider is 5 megawatts, an industrial scale that represents a big boost to wind farm advocates in this state.
No wind farm of that size currently exists in North Carolina, but several much larger projects have been proposed, including an offshore wind farm that was approved by N.C. regulators earlier this year.
Progress said it will give preference to wind farms in North Carolina but will also consider out-of-state proposals as long as the electricity can be delivered to the company's transmission grid.
Under North Carolina's renewable energy portfolio standard, utilities in this state don't have to buy electricity to meet the state's green energy mandate. Instead, they can meet part of their targets by paying subsidies to green energy projects.
The subsidies are called "renewable energy certificates."
Several dozen out-of-state wind farms have applied to accept the certificates from North Carolina utilities without selling electricity here.
The deadline to submit proposals to Progress is July 25.