Title 39
Public Utilities and Carriers

Chapter 26.6
The Renewable Energy Growth Program

R.I. Gen. Laws § 39-26.6-16

§ 39-26.6-16. Enrollment program.

(a) Each enrollment shall be open for a two-week (2) period during which the electric distribution company is required to receive standard short-form applications. The standard short-form application shall require the applicant to provide the following information: the project owner’s identity; the location of the proposed project; the nameplate capacity of the proposed project; and renewable energy class of the proposed project. The standard short-form application shall allow project owners to provide additional information relative to the permitting, financial feasibility, ability to build, and timing for deployment of the proposed projects. The applicant must submit an affidavit with the standard short-form application confirming that the project is not in violation of the rules that prohibit project segmentation, as set forth in § 39-26.6-9.

(b) For large distributed-generation projects only, the standard short-form application shall also require the applicant to bid a bundled price that applies to the energy, renewable energy certificates, and all other environmental attributes and market products that are available, or may become available, from the distributed-generation facility on a per-kilowatt-hour basis measured from the output of the project. At the election of the electric distribution company, and subject to the approval of the commission, the bid may be required to include the sale of capacity.

(c) For (i) Small distributed-generation projects other than small-scale and medium-scale solar projects; and (ii) Large distributed-generation projects, the electric distribution company shall select projects based on the lowest proposed prices received that do not exceed the ceiling price from the distributed-generation projects that meet the requirements of all applicable tariffs and regulations, and meet the criteria of the renewable energy class in effect, until the class target is met. Performance-based incentives shall be awarded to the winning bidders based on their bids submitted.

(d) For small-scale and medium-scale solar projects, awards shall be made in the manner set forth in §§ 39-26.6-15 and 39-26.6-19.

(e) If there are more projects bidding at the same price than the capacity that is specified for a class target, the electric distribution company shall, in consultation with the board and the office, select first those projects that appear to be the furthest along in development and that are most likely to be deployed. Those projects that are likely to be deployed at the earliest time shall be selected first. To the extent the electric distribution company is unable to make a clear distinction on this basis, the electric distribution company shall report its findings to the board and not award bids for those projects that are tied on pricing. In that case, the board may take such action as it deems appropriate for the selection of projects, including seeking more information from the projects.

(f) Should the electric distribution company determine that it has made sufficient awards to achieve a program-year class target, it shall immediately report this fact to the board, the office, and the commission, and may cease making awards for that renewable energy class for the remainder of the program year. In any event, the electric distribution company may exceed the renewable energy class target if the last award may cause the total purchased to exceed the target.

(g) The board, the office, and the electric distribution company shall enter into a memorandum of understanding regarding the sharing of the information and data related to the renewable energy growth program, including, without limitation, information on bids received, details regarding project ownership, and pricing. At the request of the board, the office, or the electric distribution company, the commission shall have the authority to protect from public disclosure individual bid information for any projects that have not been awarded performance-based incentives.

(h) The electric distribution company is authorized to award bids up to the applicable ceiling price. As long as the terms of the tariff are met, and the pricing is no higher than the applicable ceiling price, such awards shall be deemed prudent and approved by the commission for purposes of recovering the costs in rates.

(i) With respect to any procurement that includes bids from pre-existing, hydroelectric generation, the electric distribution company, in consultation with the office, shall have the authority to accept the applicant’s representation that its investment is material, within the meaning of § 39-26.6-3(7). However, if the electric distribution company or the office questions whether the material investment standard has been met or the application is otherwise rejected, the application shall be submitted to the board for review and the board shall draw its own conclusion and make a recommendation to the commission at the time the commission is approving awards from the procurement to which the application pertains. The commission shall have the final authority to make the determination as to whether the material investment standard has been met. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude a project developer from seeking a preliminary confirmation of eligibility for the material-investment exemption from the electric distribution company, the office, and the board prior to the submittal of a bid. In such case, if there is any disagreement, the final determination shall be submitted to the commission.

History of Section.
P.L. 2014, ch. 200, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 216, § 1.