§ 39-26.6-20. Issuance of certificates and right to incentive payments.
(a) For small-scale and medium-scale solar projects, the electric-distribution company shall provide certificates of eligibility to the selected projects without commission confirmation of approval ("distribution company awarded certificates"), subject to the review and consent of the office. The electric-distribution company shall file with the commission a list of all such distribution-company-awarded certificates.
(b) For commercial-scale and large-scale solar, and all other distributed-generation projects, the electric-distribution company shall file with the commission a list of the distributed-generation projects selected together with the corresponding pricing information. Within sixty (60) days of receipt of the list, the commission shall issue an order awarding certificates of eligibility to the distributed-generation projects ("PUC awarded certificates").
(c) Upon receipt of a PUC-awarded certificate or a distribution-company certificate, a distributed-generation project shall be entitled to receive, and the electric-distribution company shall pay and/or credit (as applicable), the performance-based incentives for the specified term, and under the terms and conditions of the applicable tariff in the manner set forth below.
(d) The performance-based incentive shall be the price-per-kilowatt-hour that was bid and awarded, or established as a standard incentive, as applicable. The performance-based incentive shall be applied as a price-per-kilowatt-hour for all kilowatt-hours actually produced from the distributed generation (net of station service, if any) for the term of years specified in the applicable tariff, less the value of any kilowatt-hour charges that were offset by any net metering (if applicable) for the host customer associated with the distributed generation for the billing month; provided, however, if the value of kilowatt-hour charges that otherwise would be offset by net metering in a given month exceeds the total value of the performance-based incentive for the month, the customer shall not be subject to any additional charge, nor receive any additional net-metering credit, for the difference between the performance-based incentive value and net-metering value for the month.
(e) Except as provided herein for residential, small-scale solar projects, in every case where a distributed-generation project can be configured for net metering, it shall be the election of the owner of such generation to choose one of two (2) separate methods through which the owner will be compensated for the performance-based incentive:
(1) The owner is compensated solely through direct payments under the performance-based incentive provisions of this chapter for the life of the tariff term with no net metering implemented; or
(2) The owner is compensated through a combination of direct payments and the bill credit value of net metering for the life of the term of the tariff under the provisions of this chapter.
(3) In the case of residential small-scale solar projects, only option (2) shall be available.
(4) In either option, the total value of the performance-incentive per-kilowatt-hour is the same. An owner shall have a one-time right to switch the compensation methods after the generation commences operation, provided that at least sixty (60) days notice is given to the electric-distribution company. Thereafter, any further compensation method switches shall be at the sole discretion of the electric distribution company if requested again by the owner.
(f) Every owner who elects the compensation method shall:
(1) Receive compensation solely in the form of a check from the electric-distribution company, or such other payment method that is mutually agreed between the electric-distribution company and the owner; and
(2) Shall receive compensation in the form of offsets against its electricity bill from the electric-distribution company from net metering and the balance in the form of a check from the electric-distribution company, or such other payment method that is mutually agreed upon between the electric-distribution company and the owner; provided, however, that no owner of a distributed-generation project may be compensated twice for the same kilowatt hour of electricity, and that every self-generator shall receive the full pecuniary benefit of its election to participate in the performance-based incentive program.
(g) Every owner of a distributed-generation project that can be configured for net metering that elects the first option for compensation under the provisions of § 39-26.6-20(e) shall become eligible to net meter its output in conformity with the provisions of existing law upon the completion of the full term of the applicable tariff. Nothing in this section shall preclude a customer from electing not to participate in the performance-based program and electing simply to net meter under the provisions of existing law; provided, however, once an election is made to participate, the customer will remain subject to the performance-based tariff conditions and may not terminate the arrangement without the consent of the electric distribution company.
(h) As provided in § 39-26.6-9, any project developer may designate a generation unit on the same parcel or contiguous parcel for net metering, provided that such unit or portion of such unit designated for net metering is not receiving performance-based incentives under this chapter, is capable of being segregated electrically, is configured with such electrical segregation, and is separately metered.
(i) All distributed-generation projects accepting certificates shall be obligated to abide by all the terms and conditions of the approved, applicable tariff.
(P.L. 2014, ch. 200, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 216, § 1.)