BOONE—New River Light and Power Company (New River), an operating unit of Appalachian State University, has entered an agreement to purchase electricity from NTE Carolinas LLC (NTE) from Jan. 1, 2022 through Dec. 31, 2038. NTE was chosen from a field of wholesale power suppliers that submitted proposals to the university. After thorough review, university officials concluded that NTE’s proposal best meets the needs of the university’s electric utility and its customers.
“This contract with NTE will provide a range of economic and academic benefits to the university consistent with our strategic plan and commitment to sustainability principles, said Chancellor Sheri N. Everts. “The university expects to continue its excellent, decades-long, relationship with Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation (Blue Ridge) under an agreement for transmission of power through Blue Ridge’s utility system to New River’s system. Blue Ridge has always provided a high level of service to its members, including New River and many of the university’s faculty, staff and students. We look forward to continuing partnership with Blue Ridge over the long term to meet the High Country’s power needs.”
Other regional utilities, including the Town of Kings Mountain, City of Concord and Greenwood (South Carolina) Commissioners of Public Works, have entered similar agreements with NTE to begin purchase of electric power in 2019. The vast majority of the power will be produced by a 475 megawatt, state-of-the-art, natural gas fired turbine at the Kings Mountain Energy Center, which is currently under construction and scheduled to be ready for service in fall 2018. That plant is strategically located near the intersection of the Transcontinental (Transco) Natural Gas Pipeline and Duke Energy’s electric transmission lines. New River and its customers will also benefit from NTE’s ability to purchase power from multiple suppliers in the marketplace in the event market purchases become more economical than production at the Kings Mountain Energy Center.
In July 2014, NTE Energy secured an equity investment for the Kings Mountain Energy Center, from Capital Dynamics and Wattage Finance LLC. Wattage Finance is owned by a group of private investors and managed by an affiliate of Guggenheim Partners LLC. Guggenheim is a privately held global investment and advisory firm with more than $220 billion in assets under management. Capital Dynamics is an independent, global asset manager, investing in private equity and clean energy infrastructure and currently has $19 billion in assets under management/advisement.
NTE Energy, through its affiliates, develops and acquires strategically located electric generation and transmission facilities within North America. The team executes all aspects of project development, from initial market and site evaluations and permitting to financing, construction and operation. For more information on the Kings Mountain Energy Center, visit http://www.kmenergycenter.com or http://www.nteenergy.com.
Ed Miller, general manager of New River Light and Power Company, said, “The contract with NTE will provide flexibility to New River in offering innovative rates, conservation incentives and customer-owned generation programs to New River customers and alignment of the university’s long-term power purchase strategy with its sustainability programs. We are excited about the opportunities we will have under the new contract with NTE. It will help us maintain low rates and a high level of service for all customers in our service area.”
Seth Shortlidge, CEO of NTE, added, “We are excited about this opportunity to work with Appalachian, a university with a solid track record of incorporating sustainability principles into its instruction and implementing those principles in its operations. NTE is committed to support Appalachian’s academic mission through internships, guest lectures and other opportunities to generate discussion about the future of utilities and to prepare students for employment in the utilities industry. We will also explore opportunities for NTE and Appalachian to collaborate on development of renewable energy projects.”
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.