§ 39-26-4. Renewable energy standard.
(a) Starting in compliance year 2007, all obligated entities shall obtain at least three percent (3%) of the electricity they sell at retail to Rhode Island end-use customers, adjusted for electric line losses, from eligible renewable energy resources, escalating, according to the following schedule:
(1) At least three percent (3%) of retail electricity sales in compliance year 2007;
(2) An additional one-half of one percent (0.5%) of retail electricity sales in each of the following compliance years 2008, 2009, 2010;
(3) An additional one percent (1%) of retail electricity sales in each of the following compliance years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, provided that the commission has determined the adequacy, or potential adequacy, of renewable energy supplies to meet these percentage requirements;
(4) An additional one and one-half percent (1.5%) of retail electricity sales in each of the following compliance years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022;
(5) [Deleted by P.L. 2016, ch. 144, § 1 and P.L. 2016, ch. 155, § 1.]
(6) An additional four percent (4%) of retail electricity sales in 2023;
(7) An additional five percent (5%) of retail electricity sales in 2024;
(8) An additional six percent (6%) of retail electricity sales in 2025;
(9) An additional seven percent (7%) of retail electricity sales in 2026 and 2027;
(10) An additional seven and one-half percent (7.5%) of retail electricity sales in 2028;
(11) An additional eight percent (8%) of retail electricity sales in 2029;
(12) An additional eight and one-half percent (8.5%) of retail electricity sales in 2030;
(13) An additional nine percent (9%) of retail electricity sales in 2031; and
(14) An additional nine and one-half percent (9.5%) of retail electricity sales in 2032 and 2033 to achieve the goal that one hundred percent (100%) of Rhode Island’s electricity demand is from renewable energy by 2033 and each year thereafter.
(b) For each obligated entity and in each compliance year, the amount of retail electricity sales used to meet obligations under this statute that are derived from existing renewable energy resources shall not exceed two percent (2%) of total retail electricity sales.
(c) The minimum renewable energy percentages set forth in subsection (a) shall be met for each electrical energy product offered to end-use customers, in a manner that ensures that the amount of renewable energy of end-use customers voluntarily purchasing renewable energy is not counted toward meeting such percentages. Notwithstanding the foregoing, municipalities engaged in aggregation pursuant to § 39-3-1.2 may include in their aggregation plan terms that would allow voluntary renewable energy products to be counted toward meeting such percentages. In 2024, the commission, with input from the office of energy resources, division of public utilities and carriers, obligated entities, other market participants, and the public, shall assess the impact of allowing voluntary renewable energy purchases to be counted toward meeting the annual percentages. The commission shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the governor, speaker of the house, and senate president no later than September 1, 2024.
(d) To the extent consistent with the requirements of this chapter, compliance with the renewable energy standard may be demonstrated through procurement of NE-GIS certificates relating to generating units certified by the commission as using eligible renewable energy sources, as evidenced by reports issued by the NE-GIS administrator. Procurement of NE-GIS certificates from off-grid and customer-sited generation facilities, verified by the commission as eligible renewable energy resources, may also be used to demonstrate compliance. With the exception of contracts for generation supply entered into prior to 2002, initial title to NE-GIS certificates from off-grid and customer-sited generation facilities and from all other eligible renewable energy resources, shall accrue to the owner of such a generation facility, unless such title has been explicitly deemed transferred pursuant to contract or regulatory order.
(e) In lieu of providing NE-GIS certificates pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, an obligated entity may also discharge all or any portion of its compliance obligations by making an alternative compliance payment to the renewable energy development fund established pursuant to § 39-26-7.
(f) Retail electricity sales pursuant to a nonregulated power producer’s supply contract that was executed prior to July 1, 2022, shall be required to obtain an additional one and one-half percent (1.5%) of retail electricity sales each year and are exempted from the requirements of subsections (a)(6) through (a)(14) of this section until the end date of the term of the nonregulated power producer’s supply contract.
History of Section.
P.L. 2004, ch. 199, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 205, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 144, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 155, § 1; P.L. 2022, ch. 218, § 1, effective June 27, 2022; P.L. 2022, ch. 226, § 1, effective June 27, 2022.