2007 -- H 5566 SUBSTITUTE B
A N A C T
RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS -- RENEWABLE ELECTRIC GENERATION
Introduced By: Representatives Segal, Handy, Ajello, Walsh, and Ginaitt
Date Introduced: February 28, 2007
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 39-26-6 of the General Laws in Chapter 39-26 entitled "Renewable
Energy Standard" is hereby amended to read as follows:
39-26-6. Duties of the commission. -- The commission shall:
(a) Develop and adopt regulations on or before December 31, 2005, for implementing a
renewable energy standard, which regulations shall include, but be limited to, provisions for:
(1) Verifying the eligibility of renewable energy generators and the production of energy
from such generators, including requirements to notify the commission in the event of a change in
a generator's eligibility status.
(2) Standards for contracts and procurement plans for renewable energy resources, to
achieve the purposes of this chapter.
(3) Flexibility mechanisms for the purposes of easing compliance burdens, facilitating
bringing new renewable resources on-line, and avoiding and/or mitigating conflicts with state
level source disclosure requirements and green marketing claims throughout the region; which
flexibility mechanisms shall allow obligated entities to: (i) demonstrate compliance over a
compliance year; (ii) bank excess compliance for two (2) subsequent compliance years, capped at
thirty percent (30%) of the current year's obligation; and (iii) allow renewable energy generated
during 2006 to be banked by an obligated entity as early compliance, usable towards meeting an
obligated entity's 2007 requirement. Generation used for early compliance must result in the
retirement of NE-GIS certificate in a reserved certificate account designated for such purposes.
(4) Annual compliance filings to be made by all obligated entities within one month after
NE-GIS reports are available for the fourth (4th) quarter of each calendar year. All electric utility
distribution companies shall cooperate with the commission in providing data necessary to assess
the magnitude of obligation and verify the compliance of all obligated entities.
(b) Authorize rate recovery by electric utility distribution companies of all prudent
incremental costs arising from the implementation of this chapter, including, without limitation,
the purchase of NE-GIS certificates, the payment of alternative compliance payments, required
payments to support the NE-GIS, assessments made pursuant to section 39-26-7(c) and the
incremental costs of complying with energy source disclosure requirements.
(c) Certify eligible renewable energy resources by issuing statements of qualification
within ninety (90) days of application. The commission shall provide prospective reviews for
applicants seeking to determine whether a facility would be eligible.
(d) Determine, on or before January 1, 2010, the adequacy, or potential adequacy, of
renewable energy supplies to meet the increase in the percentage requirement of energy from
renewable energy resources to go into effect in 2011 and determine on or before January 1, 2014,
the adequacy or potential adequacy, of renewable energy supplies to meet the increase in the
percentage requirement of energy from renewable energy resources to go into effect in 2015. In
making such determinations the commission shall consider among other factors the historical use
of alternative compliance payments in Rhode Island and other states in the NEPOOL region. In
the event that the commission determines an inadequacy or potential inadequacy of supplies for
scheduled percentage increases, the commission shall delay the implementation of the scheduled
percentage increase for a period of one year or recommend to the general assembly a revised
schedule of percentage increases, if any, to achieve the purposes of this chapter.
(e) Establish sanctions for those obligated entities that after investigation have been
found to fail to reasonably comply with the commission's regulations. No sanction or penalty
shall relieve or diminish an obligated entity from liability for fulfilling any shortfall in its
compliance obligation; provided, however, that no sanction shall be imposed if compliance is
achieved through alternative compliance payments. The commission may suspend or revoke the
certification of generation units, certified in accordance with subsection (c) above, that are found
to provide false information, or that fail to notify the commission in the event of a change in
eligibility status or otherwise comply with its rules. Financial penalties resulting from sanctions
from obligated entities shall not be recoverable in rates.
(f) Report, by February 15, 2006, and by February 15 each year thereafter, to the
governor, the speaker of the house and the president of the senate on the status of the
implementation of the renewable energy standards in Rhode Island and other states, and which
report shall include in 2009, and each year thereafter, the level of use of renewable energy
certificates by eligible renewable energy resources and the portion of renewable energy standards
met through alternative compliance payments, and the amount of rate increases authorized
pursuant to subsection (b) above.
(g) Implement the following changes regarding distributed generation from renewable
energy systems by January 1, 2008 and until January 1, 2010.
(1) Increase the maximum allowable distributed generation capacity for eligible net-
metered energy systems to one megawatt (MW); except that for eligible net-metered renewable
energy systems owned by cities and towns of Rhode Island and the Narragansett Bay
Commission, increase said maximum to 1.65 MW.
(2) Increase the aggregate amount of net metering to a minimum of five (5) megawatts,
provided that at least one megawatt is reserved for projects less than twenty-five (25) kW.
(h) The distribution portion of any small or large renewable credits and the distribution
portion of any distribution company delivery charges displaced by renewable energy systems
subject to subsection (g) above shall be aggregated by the distribution company and billed to all
customers on an annual basis through a uniform per kilowatt-hour surcharge or surcharges.
(i) Report, by July 1, 2010 to the governor, the speaker of the house and the president of
the senate on the status of the implementation of subsection (g) above and if said provisions are
optimally cost-effective, reliable, prudent and environmentally responsible.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.