LD 1494 LR 1616(02)
An Act To Reform Maine's Renewable Portfolio Standard
Fiscal Note for Bill as Amended by Committee Amendment " "
Committee: Energy, Utilities and Technology
Fiscal Note Required: Yes
Fiscal Note
FY 2019-20 FY 2020-21 Projections  FY 2021-22 Projections  FY 2022-23
Other Special Revenue Funds $300,000 $300,000 $300,000 $300,000
Other Special Revenue Funds $300,000 $300,000 $300,000 $300,000
Fiscal Detail and Notes
The bill directs the Public Utilities Commission to enter into long term contracts for the procurement of renewable capacity resources and establishes the evaluative criteria the PUC must use when awarding the contracts. The PUC has indicated that certain assessments related to the economic benefits of the contracts will require the use of an outside consultant.  Based on the cost of previous consulting agreements, the PUC estimates these contracted services would cost $300,000 a year beginning in fiscal year 2019-20. The PUC is funded by an assessment set to produce sufficient revenue for the expenditures allocated by the Legislature for operating the PUC.  The increased allocations in this bill require a corresponding increase in revenue from the assessment on transmission and distribution utilities.  These costs may eventually be passed on to customers through scheduled rate cases.
The bill also directs the Governor's Office of Policy and Management and the Future (OPMF) and the Governor's Energy Office (GEO) to conduct a market assessment study and an analysis of the opportunities, potential and challenges of meeting the State's renewable energy goals. Upon request, the PUC may provide technical, legal and other assistance to the OPMF and GEO as part of the study and may recover up to $150,000 of the cost of doing so from an additional assessment on transmission and distribution utilities.  If the PUC's assistance is requested, a financial order for an additional allocation would be required to allow for the expenditure of the funds.