An Act To Create Jobs through the Establishment of the Renewable Energy Resources Feed-in Tariff Program
Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA §3218 is enacted to read:
§ 3218. Renewable Energy Resources Feed-in Tariff Program
(1) Solar power;
(2) Wind power;
(3) Hydroelectric power; or
(4) Tidal power.
(1) A renewable energy project must have an in-service date after January 1, 2012 and may not be part of a larger system or project.
(2) A renewable energy project may not simultaneously subscribe to both the program and net energy billing as defined in commission rules. A renewable energy project may participate in net energy billing at the expiration of a program contract.
(1) If a renewable energy project under a standard contract is transferred to a new project owner, the new project owner must notify the transmission and distribution utility within 30 days of the transfer in order to continue receiving payments under existing terms of the previous project owner's standard contract for the electricity generated from the renewable energy project.
(1) The requirements of chapter 3;
(2) Installed capital costs;
(3) Fixed and variable operation and management expenses;
(4) Fuel costs;
(5) Cost of financing;
(7) Transmission and interconnection costs; and
(8) Estimated project life and projected generation degradation.
In developing the rate, the commission shall ensure the rate is reasonable and fair to the project owner and to ratepayers. For purposes of calculating the average generation costs for each class of renewable energy project, the commission shall assume that the project is sited and designed in an optimal manner, such that only the most cost-effective projects within a class are likely to realize a 3.5% rate of return.
(1) Renewable energy credits as defined in section 3210, subsection 2, paragraph B-2;
(2) Payments under the forward capacity market, as defined in section 10102, subsection 6, administered by the regional transmission organization, as defined in section 10102, subsection 8, or other capacity payments; and
(3) Voluntary carbon market payments or credits under chapter 97.
Project owners shall, upon request, provide the commission with any information that may be relevant to the commission's performing its duties under this section.
This bill requires the Public Utilities Commission to establish a renewable energy resources feed-in tariff program to encourage the rapid and sustainable development of renewable energy resources and technology for the clean generation of electricity. It requires that transmission and distribution utilities purchase electricity produced by renewable energy systems at commission-prescribed rates that give high-performing generators a rate of return of no more than 3.5%. It requires that utilities enter into standard contracts with qualified project owners. It includes provisions for commission and legislative oversight of the program.