An Act To Promote Renewable Energy Resources by Establishing an Energy-to-Gas Pilot Project
Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA §103, sub-§2, ¶E is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. Renewable energy to methane gas pilot project. The Public Utilities Commission shall develop and oversee, pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 103, subsection 2, paragraph E, a pilot project to convert excess renewable energy to methane gas and to store the converted methane gas for future use.
1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
2. Pilot project requirements. The commission, no later than January 1, 2021, shall establish the pilot project with the following requirements:
3. One-time exemption from transmission and distribution charges. Renewable energy transmitted to an energy-to-gas facility for conversion to methane gas pursuant to the pilot project is exempt from transmission and distribution charges for delivery of electric power, including volumetric, demand and standby charges.
4. Report. The commission, by November 1, 2021, shall submit a report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over energy and utility matters regarding the progress made on establishing the pilot project, including the number of energy-to-gas facilities constructed and the amount of renewable energy converted into methane gas by those energy-to-gas facilities. The joint standing committee may report out a bill to the Second Regular Session of the 130th Legislature based on the report, including legislation extending or making permanent the pilot project.
This bill requires the Public Utilities Commission to develop and oversee a pilot project for the conversion of excess renewable energy generated from sources such as wind, solar or tidal power into methane gas and the storage of the converted methane gas for future use. Up to 3 energy-to-gas facilities, each up to 10 megawatts in production capacity, may be established. The transmission of the renewable energy to an energy-to-gas facility is exempt from all transmission and distribution charges. The commission is required to establish the pilot project no later than January 1, 2021; the pilot project expires December 31, 2026.