An Act To Promote Community-based Energy
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §1766-A, as enacted by PL 2007, c. 52, §1, is amended to read:
§ 1766-A. Electricity purchases for state buildings
No later than January 1, 2010, all electricity consumed in state-owned buildings must be supplied by renewable resources. For purposes of this section, "renewable resource" means any renewable resource defined in Title 35-A, section 3210, subsection 2, paragraph C. In purchasing electricity for state-owned buildings and facilities, the State shall to the maximum extent practicable give preference to electricity generated by community-based energy facilities, as defined in Title 35-A, section 3602, subsection 2.
Sec. 2. 35-A MRSA §3210, sub-§8, as amended by PL 2007, c. 403, §6, is further amended to read:
Sec. 3. 35-A MRSA §3212, sub-§7 is enacted to read:
Sec. 4. 35-A MRSA c. 36 is enacted to read:
§ 3601. Short title
This chapter may be known and cited as "the Community-based Energy Act."
§ 3602. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 3603. Community-based energy
Sec. 5. 35-A MRSA §10008, sub-§6, ¶M is enacted to read:
Sec. 6. Consolidating state energy policy and energy efficiency responsibilities. Under the direction of the Public Utilities Commission, state agencies with responsibility for energy policy and programs, including, but not limited to, the Public Utilities Commission, the Energy and Carbon Savings Trust, the Energy Conservation Board, the Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security and the State Planning Office within the Executive Department and the Maine State Housing Authority, shall prepare a plan to consolidate and integrate state-level energy policy and program functions and responsibilities within a single entity. The plan must be designed to provide streamlined management and administration of state energy policy and programs and to maximize leveraging opportunities and strengthen program effectiveness and accountability. The duties of the single entity shall include providing technical assistance for the development of community-based energy facilities, as defined in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 3602, subsection 2.
By January 15, 2010, the Public Utilities Commission shall submit a report based on the plan, including any necessary implementing legislation, to the Joint Standing Committee on Utilities and Energy. After receipt and review of the report, the committee may submit legislation related to the report to the Second Regular Session of the 124th Legislature.
This bill includes a number of provisions designed to encourage the development of community-based energy facilities and to achieve a goal of having 5% of electricity consumed by retail customers produced by community-based energy facilities by 2017.
1. It requires the State to give preference to community-based energy facilities in purchasing electricity for state-owned buildings and facilities.
2. It increases the value of renewable energy credits for electricity generated by community-based energy facilities to 150% of the amount of the electricity.
3. It requires standard-offer service providers to purchase a minimum amount of electricity from community-based energy facilities.
4. It requires the Executive Department, State Planning Office to develop a model legal organizational structure for community-based energy facilities.
5. It requires the Public Utilities Commission and the Executive Department, Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security to develop and administer a system to track the development of community-based energy facilities.
6. It requires those state agencies that have energy-related responsibilities to develop a plan to consolidate and integrate state-level energy policy and program functions and responsibilities within a single state entity.
7. It authorizes funding from the Energy and Carbon Savings Trust Fund to be used for the development of community-based energy facilities.