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State threatens to revoke 112 green energy producers

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State regulators are threatening to revoke registrations of 112 renewable energy facilities because of incomplete paperwork.

The N.C. Utilities Commission today put the organizations on notice and gave them a July 1 deadline to file their annual certificates. Last year the commission revoked 18 green energy producers that were not properly certified to sell clean power in the state.

The organizations notified this time are among the 1,000 or so renewable facilities registered in the state, said James McLawhorn, director of the electric division of the Public Staff, the state's consumer advocacy agency in utility matters.

But the organizations on the list include some of the biggest and highly publicized green energy generators in the state, such as SAS Institute of Cary, Semprius of Durham, FLS Energy of Asheville, the City of Raleigh and Appalachian State University.

Contacted today, a SAS spokeswoman said the company is properly registered and blamed its appearance on the shame sheet as a glitch. The list was news to Raleigh assistant city manager Julian Prosser but he said the city has every intention of being registered and operating clean energy facilities. Both Raleigh and SAS operate large solar farms in the Triangle.

It's expected that the list will be winnowed down to a smaller group of offenders.

"I'm sure some are oversights," McLawhorn said. "Some likely have yet to be built, or may never be built."

The green energy producers generate power that helps Progress Energy, Duke Energy, rural cooperatives and municipal power agencies comply with a 2007 state law requiring greater reliance on renewable energy.

If their licenses are yanked, the green projects will not qualify electric utilities for renewable certificates necessary to meet state mandates.

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About the blogger

John Murawski has been a full-time newspaper reporter since 1991, with stints at Legal Times and The Chronicle of Philanthropy (both in Washington, DC), The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Palm Beach Post (in South Florida) before arriving at the N&O in December 2004. At the N&O he covers energy (nuclear, coal, renewable, efficiency), hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking"), public utilities and health care. His beat includes PSNC Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, Duke Energy Progress, PowerSecure International, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Biogen Idec and others. He has also contributed more than 30 book reviews on topics spanning botany, history, science and religion. You can reach him at 919-829-8932 or e-mail him.