Public Laws

124th Legislature

Second Regular Session


Parts: A B C D E F G H

Chapter 615

S.P. 710 - L.D. 1810

PART A

Sec. A-1. 35-A MRSA §3132, sub-§6,  as amended by PL 2009, c. 309, §3, is further amended to read:

6. Commission order; certificate of public convenience and necessity.   In its order, the commission shall make specific findings with regard to the public need for the proposed transmission line. If the commission finds that a public need exists, it shall issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the transmission line. In determining public need, the commission shall, at a minimum, take into account economics, reliability, public health and safety, scenic, historic and recreational values, state renewable energy generation goals, the proximity of the proposed transmission line to inhabited dwellings and alternatives to construction of the transmission line, including energy conservation, distributed generation or load management. If the commission orders or allows the erection of the transmission line, the order is subject to all other provisions of law and the right of any other agency to approve the transmission line. The commission shall, as necessary and in accordance with subsections 7 and 8, consider the findings of the Department of Environmental Protection under Title 38, chapter 3, subchapter 1, article 6, with respect to the proposed transmission line and any modifications ordered by the Department of Environmental Protection to lessen the impact of the proposed transmission line on the environment. A person may submit a petition for and obtain approval of a proposed transmission line under this section before applying for approval under municipal ordinances adopted pursuant to Title 30A, Part 2, Subpart 6A; and Title 38, section 438A and, except as provided in subsection 4, before identifying a specific route or route options for the proposed transmission line. Except as provided in subsection 4, the commission may not consider the petition insufficient for failure to provide identification of a route or route options for the proposed transmission line. The issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity establishes that, as of the date of issuance of the certificate, the decision by the person to erect or construct was prudent. At the time of its issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity, the commission shall send to each municipality through which a proposed corridor or corridors for a transmission line extends a separate notice that the issuance of the certificate does not override, supersede or otherwise affect municipal authority to regulate the siting of the proposed transmission line. The commission may deny a certificate of public convenience and necessity for a transmission line upon a finding that the transmission line is reasonably likely to adversely affect any transmission and distribution utility or its customers.

Sec. A-2. 35-A MRSA §3402, sub-§1,  as enacted by PL 2007, c. 661, Pt. A, §4, is amended to read:

1. Contribution of wind energy development.   The Legislature finds and declares that the wind energy resources of the State constitute a valuable indigenous and renewable energy resource and that wind energy development, which is unique in its benefits to and impacts on the natural environment, makes a significant contribution to the general welfare of the citizens of the State for the following reasons:
A. Wind energy is an economically feasible, large-scale energy resource that does not rely on fossil fuel combustion or nuclear fission, thereby displacing electrical energy provided by these other sources and avoiding air pollution, waste disposal problems and hazards to human health from emissions, waste and by-products; consequently, wind energy development may address energy needs while making a significant contribution to achievement of the State's renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction objectives, including those in Title 38, section 576; and
B. At present and increasingly in the future with anticipated technological advances that promise to increase the number of places in the State where grid-scale wind energy development is economically viable, and changes in the electrical power market that favor clean power sources, wind energy may be used to displace electrical power that is generated from fossil fuel combustion and thus reduce our citizens' dependence on imported oil and natural gas and improve environmental quality and state and regional energy security . ; and
C Renewable energy resources within the State and in the Gulf of Maine have the potential, over time, to provide enough energy for the State's homeowners and businesses to reduce their use of oil and liquid petroleum-fueled heating systems by transition to alternative, renewable energy-based heating systems and to reduce their use of petroleum-fueled motor vehicles by transition to electric-powered motor vehicles. Electrification of heating and transportation has potential to increase the State’s energy independence, to help stabilize total residential and commercial energy bills and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Sec. A-3. 35-A MRSA §3404, sub-§1,  as enacted by PL 2007, c. 661, Pt. A, §6, is amended to read:

1. Encouragement of wind energy-related development.   It is the policy of the State that, in furtherance of the goals established in subsection 2, its political subdivisions, agencies and public officials take every reasonable action to encourage the attraction of appropriately sited development related to wind energy , including any additional transmission and other energy infrastructure needed to transport additional offshore wind energy to market, consistent with all state environmental standards; the permitting and financing of wind energy projects; and the siting, permitting, financing and construction of wind energy research and manufacturing facilities.

Sec. A-4. 35-A MRSA §3404, sub-§2,  as enacted by PL 2007, c. 661, Pt. A, §6, is amended to read:

2. State wind energy generation goals.   The goals for wind energy development in the State are that there be:
A. At least 2,000 megawatts of installed capacity by 2015; and
B. At least 3,000 megawatts of installed capacity by 2020, of which there is a potential to produce including 300 megawatts or more from generation facilities located in coastal waters, as defined by Title 12, section 6001, subsection 6, or in proximate federal waters . ; and
C At least 8,000 megawatts of installed capacity by 2030, including 5,000 megawatts from generation facilities located in coastal waters, as defined by Title 12, section 6001, subsection 6, or in proximate federal waters.

Sec. A-5. 38 MRSA §631, sub-§3  is enacted to read:

3 Encouragement of tidal and wave power development.   It is the policy of the State to encourage the attraction of appropriately sited development related to tidal and wave energy, including any additional transmission and other energy infrastructure needed to transport such energy to market, consistent with all state environmental standards; the permitting and siting of tidal and wave energy projects; and the siting, permitting, financing and construction of tidal and wave energy research and manufacturing facilities.

Sec. A-6. Competitive solicitation; long-term contracts; deep-water offshore wind energy pilot projects and tidal energy demonstration projects. By September 1, 2010, in accordance with the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 3210-C, except as otherwise provided by this section, the Public Utilities Commission shall conduct a competitive solicitation for proposals for long-term contracts to supply installed capacity and associated renewable energy and renewable energy credits from one or more deep-water offshore wind energy pilot projects or tidal energy demonstration projects.

The commission shall consult with the University of Maine, Department of Industrial Cooperation, Office of Research and Economic Development and the Department of Economic and Community Development in developing the request for proposals under this section and in its review of proposals submitted in response to the request.

Subject to the requirements of this section, the commission may direct one or more transmission and distribution utilities, as appropriate, to enter into a long-term contract of up to 20 years for the installed capacity and associated renewable energy and renewable energy credits of one or more deep-water offshore wind energy pilot projects or tidal energy demonstration projects.

For purposes of this section, "deep-water offshore wind energy pilot project" means a wind energy development, as defined by Title 35-A, section 3451, subsection 11, that is connected to the electrical transmission system located in the State and employs one or more floating wind energy turbines in the Gulf of Maine at a location 300 feet or greater in depth no less than 10 nautical miles from any land area of the State other than coastal wetlands, as defined by Title 38, section 480B, subsection 2, or an uninhabited island. "Tidal energy demonstration project" has the same meaning as in Title 38, section 636A, subsection 1, paragraph A.

1. Following review of proposals submitted in response to the competitive solicitation, the commission may negotiate with one or more potential suppliers to supply an aggregate total of no more than 30 megawatts of installed capacity and associated renewable energy and renewable energy credits from deep-water offshore wind energy pilot projects or tidal energy demonstration projects as long as no more than 5 megawatts of the total is supplied by tidal energy demonstration projects. Consistent with such negotiations, the commission may direct one or more transmission and distribution utilities, as appropriate, to enter into a long-term contract under this section only if the commission determines that the potential supplier:

A. Proposes sale of renewable energy produced by a deep-water offshore wind energy pilot project or a tidal energy demonstration project, referred to in this section as "the project;"
B. Has the technical and financial capacity to develop, construct, operate and, to the extent consistent with applicable federal law, decommission and remove the project in the manner provided by Title 38, section 480HH, subsection 3, paragraph G;
C. Has quantified the tangible economic benefits of the project to the State, including those regarding goods and services to be purchased and use of local suppliers, contractors and other professionals, during the proposed term of the contract;
D. Has experience relevant to tidal power or the offshore wind energy industry, as applicable, including, in the case of a deep-water offshore wind energy pilot project proposal, experience relevant to the construction and operation of floating wind turbines, and has the potential to construct a deep-water offshore wind energy project 100 megawatts or greater in capacity in the future to provide electric consumers in the State with project-generated power at reduced rates;
E. Has demonstrated a commitment to invest in manufacturing facilities in the State that are related to deep-water offshore wind energy or tidal energy, as applicable, including, but not limited to, component, turbine, blade, foundation or maintenance facilities; and
F. Has taken advantage of all federal support for the project, including subsidies, tax incentives and grants, and incorporated those resources into its bid price.

2. To mitigate any impacts of a long-term contract entered into under this section on electric rates, the commission shall:

A. Require the supplier, as part of the long-term contract, to take advantage of future federal support that may become available to the project over the contract term to mitigate impacts of the contract on electric rates;
B. Use the following funds to the full extent that such funds are available to mitigate impacts of the long-term contract on electric rates over the contract term:
(1) A portion of federal revenues from leasing areas of the Outer Continental Shelf for the project that is received by the State;
(2) A portion of the rent received by the State for leasing state submerged lands;
(3) A portion of the funds collected in the energy independence fund under Title 5, section 282, subsection 9; and
(4) Any other sources of revenue or funds accessible to the commission to mitigate impacts on ratepayers;
C. Develop and market an ocean wind green power offer, in accordance with provisions governing green power offers under Title 35-A, section 3212A, that is composed of electricity or renewable energy credits for electricity generated from deep-water offshore wind energy pilot projects to coincide with the start-up date of any deep-water offshore wind energy pilot project that secures a long-term contract under this section. In its annual report under Title 35-A, section 120, subsection 7, the commission shall report on the development, marketing and purchase of the ocean wind green power offer.

The commission may not approve any long-term contract under this section that would result in an increase in electric rates in any customer class that is greater than the amount of the assessment charged under Title 35-A, section 10110, subsection 4 at the time that the contract is entered.

Any contract entered into pursuant to this section must require that the deep-water offshore wind energy pilot project or tidal energy demonstration project, as appropriate, be constructed and operating within 5 years of the date the contract is finalized, unless the commission and project developer mutually agree to a longer time period.

In purchasing electricity for state-owned buildings pursuant to Title 5, section 1766A, the State shall consider the ocean wind green power offer. In purchasing electricity for the university system, the University of Maine System shall consider the ocean wind green power offer.

Sec. A-7. Review of terms and conditions for long-term contracts for renewable ocean energy. No later than January 15, 2012, the Executive Department, Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security shall make a recommendation to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over utilities and energy matters regarding terms and conditions for long-term contracts for installed capacity and associated renewable energy and renewable energy credits produced by renewable ocean energy projects, except for those addressed in section 8. For the purposes of this section, "renewable ocean energy project" has the same meaning as in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 12, section 1862, subsection 1, paragraph F1. In making a recommendation under this section, the office shall, at a minimum, consider the following issues:

1. Risks to ratepayers associated with fossil fuel price volatility over the next 20 years;

2. State goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions established in Title 38, section 576;

3. State wind energy generation goals under Title 35-A, section 3404, subsection 2; and

4. Other potential benefits attributable to the development of offshore wind, tidal and wave energy projects, including but not limited to public health, job creation and other economic benefits and energy security.

Sec. A-8. State energy plan amendment. No later than September 15, 2010, the Executive Department, Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security shall amend the state energy plan under Title 2, section 9 to acknowledge the need for new transmission capacity to support attainment of state offshore wind energy generation goals established in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 3404, subsection 2.

Sec. A-9. Assess the need for port-side land acquisition. No later than January 15, 2011, the Maine Port Authority shall assess existing port facilities in the State and make a recommendation to the joint standing committees of the Legislature having jurisdiction over transportation matters and utilities and energy matters regarding acquisition of real estate needed to facilitate renewable ocean energy development opportunities.

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