TITLE 39
Public Utilities and Carriers

CHAPTER 39-26.6
The Renewable Energy Growth Program

SECTION 39-26.6-3


§ 39-26.6-3 Definitions.

When used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) "Board" shall mean the distributed-generation board as established pursuant to the provisions of § 39-26.2-10 under the title distributed generation standard contract board, but shall also fulfill the responsibilities set forth in this chapter.

(2) "Ceiling price" means the bidding price cap applicable to an enrollment for a given distributed-generation class, that shall be approved annually for each renewable-energy class pursuant to the procedure established in this chapter. The ceiling price for each technology should be a price that would allow a private owner to invest in a given project at a reasonable rate of return, based on recently reported and forecast information on the cost of capital and the cost of generation equipment. The calculation of the reasonable rate of return for a project shall include, where applicable, any state or federal incentives, including, but not limited to, tax incentives.

(3) "Commercial-scale solar project" means a solar-distributed generation project with the nameplate capacity specified in § 39-26.6-7.

(4) "Commission" means the Rhode Island public utilities commission.

(5) "Community remote-distributed-generation system" means a distributed-generation facility greater than two hundred fifty kilowatt (250 kW) nameplate direct current which allocates bill credits for each kilowatt hour (kWh) generated to a minimum of three (3) eligible recipient-customer accounts, provided that no more than fifty percent (50%) of the credits produced by the system are allocated to one eligible recipient-customer account, and provided further that at least fifty percent (50%) of the credits produced by the system are allocated to eligible recipients in an amount not to exceed that which is produced annually by twenty-five kilowatt (25 kW) AC capacity. The community remote-distributed-generation system may transfer credits to eligible recipient-customer accounts in an amount that is equal to, or less than, the sum of the usage of the eligible recipient-customer accounts measured by the three-year (3) average annual consumption of energy over the previous three (3) years. A projected, annual consumption of energy may be used until the actual three-year (3) average annual consumption of energy over the previous three (3) years at the eligible recipient-customer accounts becomes available for use in determining eligibility of the generating system. The community remote-distributed-generation system may be owned by the same entity that is the customer of record on the net-metered account or may be owned by a third party.

(6) "Distributed-generation facility" means an electrical-generation facility located in the electric-distribution company's load zone with a nameplate capacity no greater than five megawatts (5 MW), using eligible renewable-energy resources as defined by § 39-26-5, including biogas created as a result of anaerobic digestion, but, specifically excluding all other listed eligible biomass fuels, and connected to an electrical power system owned, controlled, or operated by the electric-distribution company. For purposes of this chapter, a distributed-generation facility must be a new resource that:

(i) Has not begun operation;

(ii) Is not under construction, but excluding preparatory site work that is less than twenty-five percent (25%) of the estimated total project cost; and

(iii) Except for small-scale solar projects, does not have in place investment or lending agreements necessary to finance the construction of the facility prior to the submittal of an application or bid for which the payment of performance-based incentives are sought under this chapter except to the extent that such financing agreements are conditioned upon the project owner being awarded performance-based incentives under the provisions of this chapter. For purposes of this definition, pre-existing hydro generation shall be exempt from the provisions of subsection (i) of this section, regarding operation, if the hydro-generation facility will need a material investment to restore or maintain reliable and efficient operation and meet all regulatory, environmental, or operational requirements. For purposes of this provision, "material investment" shall mean investment necessary to allow the project to qualify as a new, renewable-energy resource under § 39-26-2. To be eligible for this exemption, the hydro-project developer at the time of submitting a bid in the applicable procurement must provide reasonable evidence with its bid application showing the level of investment needed, along with any other facts that support a finding that the investment is material, the determination of which shall be a part of the bid review process set forth in § 39-26.6-16 for the award of bids.

(7) "Distributed-generation project" means a distinct installation of a distributed-generation facility. An installation will be considered distinct if it does not violate the segmentation prohibition set forth in § 39-26.6-9.

(8) "Electric-distribution company" means a company defined in § 39-1-2(12), supplying standard-offer service, last-resort service, or any successor service to end-use customers, but not including the Block Island Power Company or the Pascoag Utility District.

(9) "ISO-NE" means Independent System Operator-New England, the Regional Transmission Organization for New England designated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

(10) "Large distributed-generation project" means a distributed-generation project that has a nameplate capacity that exceeds the size of a small, distributed-generation project in a given year, but is no greater than five megawatts (5 MW) nameplate capacity.

(11) "Large-scale solar project" means a solar distributed-generation project with the nameplate capacity specified in § 39-26.6-7.

(12) "Medium-scale solar project" means a solar distributed-generation project with the nameplate capacity specified in § 39-26.6-7.

(13) "Office" means the Rhode Island office of energy resources.

(14) "Program year" means a year beginning April 1 and ending March 31, except for the first program year, that may commence after April 1, 2015, subject to commission approval.

(15) "Renewable energy classes" means categories for different renewable-energy technologies using eligible renewable-energy resources as defined by § 39-26-5, including biogas created as a result of anaerobic digestion, but, specifically excluding all other listed eligible biomass fuels specified in § 39-26-2(6). For each program year, in addition to the classes of solar distributed generation specified in § 39-26.6-7, the board shall determine the renewable-energy classes as are reasonably feasible for use in meeting distributed-generation objectives from renewable-energy resources and are consistent with the goal of meeting the annual target for the program year. The board may make recommendations to the commission to add, eliminate, or adjust renewable-energy classes for each program year, provided that the solar classifications set forth in § 39-26.6-7 shall remain in effect for at least the first two (2) program years and no distributed-generation project may exceed five megawatts (5MW) of nameplate capacity.

(16) "Renewable-energy certificate" means a New England Generation Information System renewable energy certificate as defined in § 39-26-2(13).

(17) "Shared solar facility" means a single small-scale or medium-scale solar facility that must allocate bill credits to at least two (2), and no more than fifty (50), accounts in the same customer class and on the same or adjacent parcels of land. Public entities may allocate such bill credits to at least two (2), and up to fifty (50), accounts without regard to physical location so long as the facility and accounts are within the same municipality. In no case will the annual allocated credits in kWh exceed the prior three-year (3) annual average usage, less any reductions for verified energy-efficiency measures installed at the customer premises, of the customer account to which the bill credits are transferred.

(18) "Small-scale solar project" means a solar distributed-generation project with the nameplate capacity specified in § 39-26.6-7.

(19) "Small distributed-generation project" means a distributed-generation renewable energy project that has a nameplate capacity within the following: Wind: fifty kilowatts (50 KW) to one and one-half megawatts (1.5 MW); small-scale solar projects and medium-scale solar projects with the capacity limits as specified in § 39-26.6-7. For technologies other than solar and wind, the board shall set the nameplate capacity-size limits, but such limits may not exceed one (1MW) megawatt.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2014, ch. 200, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 216, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 149, § 4; P.L. 2016, ch. 163, § 4.)