§ 39-26.1-9. Town of Johnston Project.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter to the contrary:
(1) The Narragansett Electric Company is hereby authorized, at its sole discretion, to procure a commercially reasonable long-term contract for a newly developed renewable energy resource fueled by landfill gas from the central landfill in the town of Johnston on a timetable earlier than is otherwise set forth in this chapter.
(2) Any such contract executed on or before May 21, 2010 shall be legal, binding and enforceable and shall not be subject to commission approval if:
(i) Such resource has a gross nameplate capacity rating of less than thirty-seven (37) megawatts; and
(ii) Such contract is:
(A) For a term not in excess of twenty (20) years; and
(B) Contains such other terms and conditions as may be approved by the director of the department of administration, such approval to be indicated by written confirmation of the director delivered to an electric distribution company prior to such contract becoming effective.
(3) The power purchase agreement shall be reviewed by the administrator of the division of public utilities and carriers, the executive director of the Rhode Island economic development corporation, the administrator of the office of energy resources, and the director of the department of administration. Certified copies of the executed agreement shall be provided to each agency by the Narragansett Electric Company and published on the website of the division of public utilities and carriers for public inspection. Members of the public shall have fifteen (15) days to submit written comments to the four (4) agencies for the respective agency consideration; however, no evidentiary hearings shall be required.
(4) Within thirty (30) days of receipt of the agreement each of the four (4) agencies in subsection (c) shall issue a certification or decline certification in writing. Such certifications or declinations shall be final and conclusive as a matter of law and not subject to appeal. The respective certification determinations shall be made to the division of public utilities and carriers as follows:
(i) The administrator of the division of public utilities and carriers shall certify the agreement if the administrator determines that the agreement is consistent with the provisions of this chapter and this section;
(ii) The executive director of the Rhode Island economic development corporation shall certify the agreement if the executive director determines that the project encourages and facilitates the creation of jobs in Rhode Island in the renewable energy sector;
(iii) The administrator of the office of energy resources shall certify the agreement if the administrator determines that the agreement fulfills the declared policy of this chapter and this section.
(iv) The director of the department of administration shall certify the agreement if the director determines that the contractual terms of the agreement are reasonable and in the best interest of the state in accordance with this chapter and section.
(5) Upon receipt of the certifications pursuant to subsection (d) the division shall review such certifications and confirm that each is in conformance with this section.
(6) Within five (5) days of receipt of the certifications by the division, the division shall file the agreement with the commission. Upon such filing, the agreement shall be deemed accepted and fully enforceable.
(7) If one or more of the certifications is not received by the division within the thirty (30) day period established by this section, the division shall, within fifteen (15) days, consider the reasons, if any, provided by the agency not providing such certification and the division shall, within such fifteen (15) day period, make a final determination on the question originally assigned to the non-certifying agency. If the division determines that, notwithstanding the lack of certification from the non-certifying agency, such certification should be issued, the division shall make such certification, which certification shall have the same effect as if it had been made by the agency which first considered such question. If, in the case of a lack of certification from an agency, the division determines that such certifications shall not be issued, then the division shall not file the agreement with the commission and the agreement shall have no effect.
(8) The Narragansett Electric Company's act of having entered into this agreement and its terms and pricing shall be deemed prudent for purposes of any future regulatory proceedings before the commission and recovery of the costs incurred in making payments under the terms of the agreement shall not be subject to challenge in any future commission proceedings. The provisions of § 39-26.1-4 and the provisions of subsections (b), (c), (d), and (f) of § 39-26.1-5 shall apply, and all costs incurred in, or savings resulting from, the administration and implementation of the agreement shall be recovered annually by the electric distribution company and its customers in electric distribution rates. Any contract entered into pursuant to this section shall count as part of the minimum long-term contract capacity.
(9) The electric distribution company shall be authorized upon appropriate notice and filing with the commission, to allocate all products purchased under any power purchase agreements entered into pursuant to chapter 39-26.1 to its standard offer service customers at the market price and to allocate any difference, whether positive or negative, between the costs of the power purchase agreement and the market price of the products purchased under the power purchase agreement to all of its electric distribution customers.
(10) The provisions of this section shall be severable from the other provisions of this chapter, and shall remain in effect regardless of any judicial challenge to other sections of this chapter.
(P.L. 2010, ch. 14, § 2; P.L. 2010, ch. 18, § 2.)