Public Laws

124th Legislature

First Regular Session


Parts: A B C D E F G H I J K

Chapter 372

H.P. 1038 - L.D. 1485

PART D

Sec. D-1. 10 MRSA 963-A, sub-10, R, as corrected by RR 1999, c. 1, 8, is amended to read:

R.Any paper industry job retention project; and

Sec. D-2. 10 MRSA 963-A, sub-10, S, as reallocated by RR 1999, c. 1, 9, is amended to read:

S (REALLOCATED TO T. 10, 963-A, sub-10, R).Any transmission facilities project . ; and

Sec. D-3. 10 MRSA 963-A, sub-10, T is enacted to read:

T. An Efficiency Maine project.

Sec. D-4. 10 MRSA 963-A, sub-10-A is enacted to read:

10-A. Efficiency Maine project. "Efficiency Maine project" means a project approved by the Efficiency Maine Trust Board, as established in Title 5, section 12004-G, subsection 10-C, to carry out the purposes of Title 35-A, chapter 97 relating to increasing energy efficiency or conservation.

Sec. D-5. 10 MRSA 1043, sub-2, K, as amended by PL 2003, c. 506, 3, is further amended to read:

K.In the case of a paper industry job retention project, the applicant is creditworthy and there is a strong likelihood that the revenue obligation securities will be repaid through the revenues of the project and any other sources of revenues and collateral pledged to the repayment of those securities. To assist in making its determination the authority may engage, at the borrower's expense, independent consultants to assist in the evaluation of the project. In making this determination, the authority shall consider factors it considers necessary to measure and evaluate the sufficiency of the pledged revenues to repay the securities, including:

(1) Whether individuals or entities obligated to repay the securities have demonstrated sufficient revenues from the project or from other sources to repay the securities and a strong probability that those revenues will continue to be available for the term of the securities;

(2) Whether the applicant demonstrates a strong probability that the project will continue to operate and to provide the public benefits projected to be created for the term of the securities;

(3) Whether the applicant demonstrates that the benefits projected to be created by the project are enhanced through the use of financial assistance from the authority;

(4) Whether the applicant's creditworthiness is demonstrated by such factors as historical financial performance, management ability and the applicant's plan for marketing products or service and its ability to access conventional financing;

(5) Whether the applicant meets or exceeds industry average financial performance ratios commonly accepted in determining creditworthiness in that industry. In assessing projected financial performance, the authority must consider the value and effect of any contractual labor cost reductions that will be in effect at the time the financial assistance is provided;

(6) Whether collateral securing the repayment obligation, valued in place and in use, is reasonably sufficient under the circumstances;

(7) Whether the owner will make an important equity contribution to the project. If the applicant requests financing assistance from the authority in an amount greater than $25,000,000, the amount financed by the authority may not exceed $25,000,000 plus 50% of the total project costs in excess of $25,000,000. If other financing is subordinate to the financing provided by the authority, the amount financed by the authority may not exceed $25,000,000 plus 70% of the total project costs in excess of $25,000,000; and

(8) Whether the applicant demonstrates that the need for authority assistance is due to the reduced cost and increased flexibility of the financing for the project that result from the authority assistance and not from an inability to obtain necessary financing without the capital reserve fund security provided by the authority; and

Sec. D-6. 10 MRSA 1043, sub-2, L, as enacted by PL 2003, c. 506, 4, is amended to read:

L.In the case of transmission facilities projects, the applicant is creditworthy and there is a strong likelihood that the revenue obligation securities will be repaid through the revenues of the project and any other source of revenues and collateral pledged to the repayment of those securities. In order to make this determination, the authority shall consider such factors as it considers necessary and appropriate in light of the special purpose or other nature of the business entity owning the project to measure and evaluate the project and the sufficiency of the pledged revenues to repay the obligations, including:

(1) Whether the individuals or entities obligated to repay the obligations have demonstrated sufficient revenues from the project or from other sources to repay the obligations and a strong probability that those revenues will continue to be available for the term of the revenue obligation securities;

(2) Whether the applicant demonstrates a strong probability that the project will continue to operate and provide the public benefits projected to be created for the term of the revenue obligation securities;

(3) Whether the applicant demonstrates that the benefits projected to be created by the project are enhanced through the use of financing assistance from the authority;

(4) Whether the applicant's creditworthiness is demonstrated by factors such as its historical financial performance, management ability, plan for marketing its product or service and ability to access conventional financing;

(5) Whether the applicant meets or exceeds industry average financial performance ratios commonly accepted in determining creditworthiness in that industry;

(6) Whether the applicant demonstrates that the need for authority assistance is due to the reduced cost and increased flexibility of the financing for the project that result from authority assistance and not from an inability to obtain necessary financing without the capital reserve fund security provided by the authority;

(7) Whether collateral securing the repayment obligation is reasonably sufficient under the circumstances;

(8) Whether the proposed project enhances the opportunities for economic development;

(9) The effect that the proposed project financing has on the authority's financial resources; and

(10) Whether the Northern Maine Transmission Corporation, as established in section 9202, has recommended the project.

Upon request by the authority, state agencies, including but not limited to the Public Utilities Commission, shall provide necessary assistance to the authority in evaluating the feasibility of the project and its importance for northern Maine. In providing assistance, the Public Utilities Commission shall consider whether the proposed project enhances the competitiveness of the wholesale and retail energy market; how the proposed project is likely to affect energy prices for Maine residents; whether the proposed project will augment or enhance the reliability and stability of the grid; and whether there is likely to be a long-term need for the product as produced by the proposed project.

The authority may establish, pursuant to rules adopted in accordance with Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2, application procedures, approval criteria and reasonable fees for transmission facilities projects. Rules adopted by the authority under this paragraph are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A. In addition, the authority may require the applicant to pay the reasonable costs of an evaluation of the project risks by an independent consultant. If the authority directs the applicant to pay for such an independent evaluation of the project, the authority shall make every reasonable effort, in its discretion, to minimize the cost of the evaluation and any delay such an evaluation may cause in authority action.

The authority may not finance any project involving an electric transmission line capable of operating at 69 kilovolts or more unless the Public Utilities Commission has issued a certificate of public convenience for the construction of the line pursuant to Title 35-A, section 3132 . ; and

Sec. D-7. 10 MRSA 1043, sub-2, M is enacted to read:

M. In the case of an Efficiency Maine project, as defined in section 963-A, subsection 10-A, there is a reasonable likelihood that the income, proceeds, revenues and funds of Efficiency Maine Trust derived from or held for activities under Title 35-A, chapter 97 or otherwise pledged to payment of the bonds will be sufficient to pay the principal, the interest and all other amounts that may at any time become due and payable under the bonds. In making this determination, the authority shall consider Efficiency Maine Trust's analysis of the proposed bond issue and the revenues to make payments on the bonds and may require such information, projections, studies and independent analyses as it considers necessary or desirable and may charge Efficiency Maine Trust reasonable fees and expenses. The authority may require that it be indemnified, defended and held harmless by Efficiency Maine Trust for any liability or cause of action arising out of or with respect to the bonds. The principal and interest of bonds must be made payable solely from the income, proceeds, revenues and funds of Efficiency Maine Trust derived from or held for activities under Title 35-A, chapter 97 or other provision of law. Payment of the principal and interest of bonds may be further secured by a pledge of a loan, grant or contribution from the Federal Government or other source in aid of activities of Efficiency Maine Trust under Title 35-A, chapter 97.

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333