Title 39
Public Utilities and Carriers

Chapter 26
Renewable Energy Standard

R.I. Gen. Laws § 39-26-2

§ 39-26-2. Definitions.

When used in this chapter:

(1) “Alternative compliance payment” means a payment to the renewable energy development fund of fifty dollars ($50.00) per megawatt-hour of renewable energy obligation, in 2003 dollars, adjusted annually up or down by the consumer price index, which may be made in lieu of standard means of compliance with this statute.

(2) “Commission” means the Rhode Island public utilities commission.

(3) “Compliance year” means a calendar year beginning January 1 and ending December 31, for which an obligated entity must demonstrate that it has met the requirements of this statute.

(4) “Customer-sited generation facility” means a generation unit that is interconnected on the end-use customer’s side of the retail electricity meter in such a manner that it displaces all or part of the metered consumption of the end-use customer.

(5) “Electrical energy product” means an electrical energy offering, including, but not limited to, last-resort and standard-offer service, that can be distinguished by its generation attributes or other characteristics, and that is offered for sale by an obligated entity to end-use customers.

(6) “Eligible biomass fuel” means fuel sources including brush, stumps, lumber ends and trimmings, wood pallets, bark, wood chips, shavings, slash, and other clean wood that is not mixed with other solid wastes; agricultural waste, food, and vegetative material; energy crops; landfill methane; biogas; or neat biodiesel and other neat liquid fuels that are derived from such fuel sources.

(7) “Eligible renewable energy resource” means resources as defined in § 39-26-5.

(8) “End-use customer” means a person or entity in Rhode Island that purchases electrical energy at retail from an obligated entity.

(9) “Existing renewable energy resources” means generation units using eligible renewable energy resources and first going into commercial operation before December 31, 1997.

(10) “Generation attributes” means the nonprice characteristics of the electrical energy output of a generation unit including, but not limited to, the unit’s fuel type, emissions, vintage, and policy eligibility.

(11) “Generation unit” means a facility that converts a fuel or an energy resource into electrical energy.

(12) “High-heat medical waste processing facility” means a facility that:

(i) Generates electricity from the combustion, gasification, or pyrolysis of regulated medical waste;

(ii) Generates electricity from the combustion of fuel derived from the gasification or pyrolysis of regulated medical waste; or

(iii) Disposes of, processes, or treats regulated medical waste through combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, or any process that exposes waste to temperatures above four hundred degrees Fahrenheit (400ºF).

(13) “NE-GIS” means the generation information system operated by NEPOOL, its designee or successor entity, that includes a generation information database and certificate system, and that accounts for the generation attributes of electrical energy consumed within NEPOOL.

(14) “NE-GIS certificate” means an electronic record produced by the NE-GIS that identifies the relevant generation attributes of each megawatt-hour accounted for in the NE-GIS.

(15) “NEPOOL” means the New England Power Pool or its successor.

(16) “New renewable energy resources” means generation units using eligible renewable energy resources and first going into commercial operation after December 31, 1997; or the incremental output of generation units using eligible renewable energy resources that have demonstrably increased generation in excess of ten percent (10%) using eligible renewable energy resources through capital investments made after December 31, 1997; but in no case involve any new impoundment or diversion of water with an average salinity of twenty (20) parts per thousand or less.

(17) “Obligated entity” means a person or entity who or that sells electrical energy to end-use customers in Rhode Island, including, but not limited to: nonregulated power producers and electric utility distribution companies, as defined in § 39-1-2, supplying standard-offer service, last-resort service, or any successor service to end-use customers, including Narragansett Electric, but not to include Block Island Power Company as described in § 39-26-7 or Pascoag Utility District.

(18) “Off-grid generation facility” means a generation unit that is not connected to a utility transmission or distribution system.

(19) “Renewable energy resource” means any one or more of the renewable energy resources described in § 39-26-5(a).

(20) “Reserved certificate” means a NE-GIS certificate sold independent of a transaction involving electrical energy, pursuant to Rule 3.4 or a successor rule of the operating rules of the NE-GIS.

(21) “Reserved certificate account” means a specially designated account established by an obligated entity, pursuant to Rule 3.4 or a successor rule of the operating rules of the NE-GIS, for transfer and retirement of reserved certificates from the NE-GIS.

(22) “Self-generator” means an end-use customer in Rhode Island that displaces all or part of its retail electricity consumption, as metered by the distribution utility to which it interconnects, through the use of a customer-sited generation facility, and the ownership of any such facility shall not be considered an obligated entity as a result of any such ownership arrangement.

(23) “Small hydro facility” means a facility employing one or more hydroelectric turbine generators and with an aggregate capacity not exceeding thirty megawatts (30 MW). For purposes of this definition, “facility” shall be defined in a manner consistent with Title 18 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 292.204; provided, however, that the size of the facility is limited to thirty megawatts (30 MW), rather than eighty megawatts (80 MW).

History of Section.
P.L. 2004, ch. 199, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 205, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 348, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 356, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 91, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 111, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 134, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 147, § 1; P.L. 2020, ch. 79, art. 1, § 16; P.L. 2021, ch. 334, § 1, effective July 9, 2021.