(a) To procure the long-term contracts described in section 16-244r, each electric distribution company shall, not later than one hundred eighty days after July 1, 2011, propose a six-year solicitation plan that shall include (1) a timetable and methodology for soliciting proposals for the long-term purchase of renewable energy credits from in-state generators of Class I technologies that emit no pollutants and are not more than one megawatt in size, and (2) declining annual incentives during each of the six years of the program. The electric distribution company’s solicitation plan shall be subject to the review and approval of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.
Terms Used In Connecticut General Statutes 16-244s
- Authority: means the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and "department" means the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. See Connecticut General Statutes 16-1
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- distribution company: means any person providing electric transmission or distribution services within the state, but does not include: (A) A private power producer, as defined in section 16-243b. See Connecticut General Statutes 16-1
- public buildings: shall include a statehouse, courthouse, townhouse, arsenal, magazine, prison, community correctional center, almshouse, market or other building belonging to the state, or to any town, city or borough in the state, and any church, chapel, meetinghouse or other building generally used for religious worship, and any college, academy, schoolhouse or other building generally used for literary instruction. See Connecticut General Statutes 1-1
(b) The electric distribution company’s approved solicitation plan shall be designed to foster a diversity of project sizes and participation among all eligible customer classes subject to cost-effectiveness considerations. Separate procurement processes shall be conducted for (1) systems up to one hundred kilowatts; (2) systems greater than one hundred kilowatts but less than two hundred fifty kilowatts; and (3) systems between two hundred fifty and one thousand kilowatts. The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority shall give preference to competitive bidding for resources of more than one hundred kilowatts, with bids ranked in order on the basis of lowest net present value of required renewable energy credit price, unless the authority determines that an alternative methodology is in the best interests of the electric distribution company’s customers and the development of a competitive and self-sustaining market. Systems up to one hundred kilowatts in size shall be eligible to receive, on an ongoing and continuous basis, a renewable energy credit offer price equivalent to the weighted average accepted bid price in the most recent solicitation for systems greater than one hundred kilowatts but less than two hundred fifty kilowatts, plus an additional incentive of ten per cent.
(c) Each electric distribution company shall execute its approved six-year solicitation plan and submit to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority for review and approval of its preferred procurement plan comprised of any proposed contract or contracts with independent developers. If an electric distribution company’s solicitation does not result in proposed contracts totaling the annual expenditure pursuant to subsection (a) of section 16-244r and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has reduced the cap price by more than three per cent pursuant to subsection (c) of section 16-244r, the authority shall, within ninety days, issue a request for proposals for additional contracts. The authority shall approve contract proposals submitted in response to such request on a least-cost basis, provided an electric distribution company shall not be required to enter into a contract that provides for a payment in any year of the contract that exceeds the renewable energy price cap for the prior year by less than three per cent.
(d) The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority shall hold a hearing that shall be conducted as an uncontested case, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to approve, reject or modify an application for approval of the electric distribution company’s procurement plan. The authority shall only approve such proposed plan if the authority finds that (1) the solicitation and evaluation conducted by the electric distribution company was the result of a fair, open, competitive and transparent process; (2) approval of the procurement plan would result in the greatest expected ratepayer value from energy from Class I or renewable energy credits at the lowest reasonable cost; and (3) such procurement plan satisfies other criteria established in the approved solicitation plan. The authority shall not approve any proposal made under such plan unless it determines that the plan and proposals encompass all foreseeable sources of revenue or benefits and that such proposals, together with such revenue or benefits, would result in the greatest expected ratepayer value from energy technologies that emit no pollutants or renewable energy credits. The authority may, in its discretion, retain the services of an independent consultant with expertise in the area of energy procurement to assist in such determination. The independent consultant shall be unaffiliated with the electric distribution company or its affiliates and shall not, directly or indirectly, have benefited from employment or contracts with the electric distribution company or its affiliates in the preceding five years, except as an independent consultant. The electric distribution company shall provide the independent consultant immediate and continuing access to all documents and data reviewed, used or produced by the electric distribution company in its bid solicitation and evaluation process. The electric distribution company shall make all its personnel, agents and contractors used in the bid solicitation and evaluation available for interview by the consultant. The electric distribution company shall conduct any additional modeling requested by the independent consultant to test the assumptions and results of the bid evaluation process. The independent consultant shall not participate in or advise the electric distribution company with respect to any decisions in the bid solicitation or bid evaluation process. The authority’s administrative costs in reviewing the electric distribution company’s procurement plan and the costs of the consultant shall be recovered through a reconciling component of electric rates as determined by the authority.
(e) The electric distribution company shall be entitled to recover its reasonable costs and fees prudently incurred of complying with its approved procurement plan through a reconciling component of electric rates as determined by the authority. Nothing in this section shall preclude the resale or other disposition of energy or associated renewable energy credits purchased by the electric distribution company, provided the distribution company shall net the cost of payments made to projects under the long-term contracts against the proceeds of the sale of energy or renewable energy credits and the difference shall be credited or charged to distribution customers through a reconciling component of electric rates as determined by the authority that is nonbypassable when switching electric suppliers.
(f) Failure by the electric distribution company to execute its approved solicitation plan shall result in a noncompliance fee. Unless, upon petition by the electric distribution company, the authority grants the distribution company an extension not to exceed ninety days to correct this deficiency, the electric distribution company shall be assessed a noncompliance fee one hundred twenty-five per cent of the difference between the annual distribution company expenditures required pursuant to subsection (c) of section 16-244r and the contractually committed expenditure for renewable energy credits from eligible zero emissions customer-sited generating projects in that year. The noncompliance fees associated with the procurement shortfall shall be collected by the distribution company, maintained in a separate interest-bearing account and disbursed to the department on a quarterly basis. Funds collected by the authority pursuant to this section shall be used to support the deployment of Class I zero emissions generating systems installed in the state with priority given to otherwise underserved market segments, including, but not limited to, low-income housing, schools and other public buildings and nonprofits. The authority may waive a noncompliance fee assessed pursuant to this section if the authority determines that meeting the requirements of this subsection would be commercially infeasible.
(g) Not later than sixty days after its approval of the distribution company procurement plans submitted on or before January 1, 2013, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority shall submit a report to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy. The report shall document for each distribution company procurement plan: (1) The total number of renewable energy credits bid relative to the number of renewable energy credits requested by the distribution company; (2) the total number of bidders in each market segment; (3) the number and value of contracts awarded; (4) the total weighted average price of the renewable energy credits or energy so purchased; and (5) the extent to which the costs of the technology has been reduced. The authority shall not report individual bid information or other proprietary information.