Title 39
Public Utilities and Carriers

Chapter 26.6
The Renewable Energy Growth Program

R.I. Gen. Laws § 39-26.6-5

§ 39-26.6-5. Tariffs proposed and approved.

(a) Each year the electric distribution company shall file tariffs with the commission that are designed to provide a multiyear stream of performance-based incentives to eligible renewable-distributed-generation projects for a term of years, under terms and conditions set forth in the tariffs and approved by the commission. The tariffs shall set forth the rights and obligations of the owner of the distributed-generation project and the conditions upon which payment of performance-based incentives by the electric distribution company will be paid. The tariffs shall include the non-price conditions set forth in §§ 39-26.2-7(2)(i) — (vii) for small distributed-generation projects (other than small- and medium-scale solar) and large distributed-generation projects; provided, however, that the time periods for the projects to reach ninety percent (90%) of output shall be extended to twenty-four (24) months (other than eligible anaerobic-digestion projects, which shall be thirty-six (36) months, and eligible small-scale hydro, and large-scale solar projects which shall be forty-eight (48) months). The non-price conditions in the tariffs for small- and medium-scale solar shall take into account the different circumstances for distributed-generation projects of the smaller sizes.

(b) In addition to the tariff(s), the filing shall include the rules governing the solicitation and enrollment process. The solicitation rules will be designed to ensure the orderly functioning of the distributed-generation growth program and shall be consistent with the legislative purposes of this chapter.

(c) In proposing the tariff(s) and solicitation rules applicable to each year, the tariff(s) and rules shall be developed by the electric distribution company and will be reviewed by the office and the board before being sent to the commission for its approval. The proposed tariffs shall include the ceiling prices and term lengths for each tariff that are recommended by the board. The term lengths shall be from fifteen (15) to twenty (20) years; provided, however, that the board may recommend shorter terms for small-scale solar projects. Whatever term lengths between fifteen (15) and twenty (20) years are chosen for any given tariff, the evaluation of the bids for that tariff shall be done on a consistent basis such that the same term lengths for competing bids are used to determine the winning bids.

(d) In setting the ceiling prices, the board may specifically consider:

(1) Transactions for newly developed renewable energy resources, by technology and size, in the ISO-NE control area and the northeast corridor;

(2) Pricing from bids received during the previous program year;

(3) Environmental benefits, including, but not limited to, reducing carbon emissions;

(4) For community remote distributed-generation systems, administrative costs and financial benefits for participating customers;

(5) System benefits;

(6) Cost-effectiveness;

(7) Location of projects, including climate resilience and conservation benefits; and

(8) Labor standards pursuant to chapter 26.9 of this title.

(e) At least forty-five (45) days before filing the tariff(s) and solicitation rules, the electric distribution company shall provide the tariff(s) and rules in draft form to the board for review. The commission shall have the authority to determine the final terms and conditions in the tariff and rules. Once approved, the commission shall retain exclusive jurisdiction over the performance-based incentive payments, terms, conditions, rights, enforcement, and implementation of the tariffs and rules, subject to appeals pursuant to chapter 5 of this title.

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; P.L. 2023, ch. 300, § 2, effective June 24, 2023; P.L. 2023, ch. 301, § 2, effective June 24, 2023.