An Act To Amend the Community-based Renewable Energy Program
Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA §3210, sub-§8, as amended by PL 2009, c. 329, Pt. A, §2, is further amended to read:
Sec. 2. 35-A MRSA §3602, as amended by PL 2009 c. 542, §8, is further amended to read:
§ 3602. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
Sec. 3. 35-A MRSA §3603, as amended by PL 2013, c. 454, §3, is further amended to read:
§ 3603. Community-based renewable energy program
(1) Have an installed generating capacity of less than 100 kilowatts; or
(2) Are located in the service territory of a consumer-owned transmission and distribution utility.
The commission may modify the amount of generating capacity reserved under this paragraph based on program experience.
The commission shall prescribe an application form or procedure that must be used to apply to the program under this chapter. The application form or procedure must include any information that the commission determines necessary for the purpose of administering the program. The commission shall, within 30 days of receipt of a completed application, determine whether a community-based renewable an energy project qualifies to participate in the program and respond in writing.
If in the opinion of the commission a project is no longer viable, the commission may remove the project from the program.
Sec. 4. 35-A MRSA §3604, as amended by PL 2013, c. 454, §4, is further amended to read:
§ 3604. Long-term contracts for community-based renewable energy
Long-term contracts with program participants who elect the long-term contract for community-based renewable energy pursuant to section 3603, subsection 4, paragraph A are governed by this section. In January 2016 and every 6 months thereafter until the program limits established under section 3603, subsection 2 are reached, the commission shall conduct a competitive bidding process to select community-based renewable energy projects to become program participants and enter long-term contracts under this section. The total installed capacity of community-based renewable energy projects selected in each competitive bid process must be as close as possible to but may not exceed 15 megawatts. The commission shall select the lowest cost bids, based 50% on the proposed contract price and 50% on resulting ratepayer costs. After a community-based renewable energy project is selected to be a program participant, the project must become operational and commence generating electricity within 3 years or the project's participation in the program is terminated, except that the commission may, on petition, grant an extension of up to 6 months if project completion was delayed due to factors beyond the control of the program participant.
The commission shall establish prices under this subsection based on an analysis of reasonable costs and may establish different prices for different resources or technologies and different prices by time of generation in accordance with that analysis.
Sec. 5. 35-A MRSA §3605, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 329, Pt. A, §4, is repealed.
Sec. 6. 35-A MRSA §3609, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 329, Pt. A, §4, is repealed.
This bill makes various changes to the community-based renewable energy pilot program. It makes the program permanent, broadens eligibility, adds provisions to ensure program participant viability, eliminates the program incentive of renewable energy credit multipliers and requires the Public Utilities Commission to use a periodic competitive bidding process to choose projects that will receive long-term contracts.