An Act To Support Solar Energy Development in Maine
Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA c. 34-B is enacted to read:
THE MAINE SOLAR ENERGY ACT
§ 3471. Short title
This chapter may be known and cited as "the Maine Solar Energy Act."
§ 3472. Legislative findings
§ 3473. Specific measures to support solar energy
§ 3474. Determination of public policy; state solar energy generation goals
Sec. 2. Determination of the value of distributed solar energy generation.
1. Value of distributed solar energy generation. The Public Utilities Commission shall determine the value of distributed solar energy generation in the State. The commission shall develop a method for valuing distributed solar energy generation. The method developed by the commission must, at a minimum, account for the value of the energy; market price effects for energy production; the value of its delivery, generation capacity, transmission capacity and transmission and distribution line losses; and the societal value of the reduced environmental impacts of the energy. The commission may, based on known and measurable evidence of the cost or benefit of solar operation to utility ratepayers, incorporate other values into the method, including credit for systems installed at high-value locations on the electric grid, or other factors. The report required by subsection 4 must clearly identify the value of each of the individual components described in this subsection that comprise the value of solar energy generation as determined by the commission. For purposes of the report, the commission may rely on readily available data.
2. Method. In developing a method for valuing distributed solar energy generation pursuant to this section, the Public Utilities Commission shall consider published guidance from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council and any other published materials regarding methods for consistently evaluating the value of distributed solar energy generation. Prior to conducting its analysis of the value of solar energy generation, the commission shall make public its proposed methodology and underlying assumptions and the rationale for proposing them and provide for an opportunity for public comment on them.
3. Solar implementation options. The report required by subsection 4 must include a summary of options for increasing investment in or deployment of distributed solar energy generation that are used in other states or utility jurisdictions. The summary may include policy options or business models along with any existing information regarding costs, benefits and results of those approaches. The commission may provide an analysis of which options, approaches or models may be appropriate for this State considering this State's utility market structures.
4. Report. By February 15, 2015, the Public Utilities Commission shall submit to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over energy matters a report on the determination of the value of distributed solar energy generation in the State. The commission is not required to follow an adjudicatory proceeding pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 4 in developing its methodology or preparing the report.