2017-03-29: Introduced, referred to Senate Environment and Agriculture
2017-04-21: Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (04/26/2017)
2017-04-26: Committee recommended measure be held for further study
2017-06-02: Scheduled for consideration (06/07/2017)
2017-06-07: Committee recommends passage of Sub A
2017-06-08: Placed on Senate Calendar (06/14/2017)
2017-06-14: Senate passed Sub A
2017-06-15: Referred to House Corporations
2017-06-16: Scheduled for consideration (06/20/2017)
2017-06-20: Committee recommends passage of Sub A in concurrence
2017-06-24: Placed on the House Consent Calendar (06/27/2017)
2017-06-27: House passed Sub A in concurrence
2017-06-28: Transmitted to Governor
2017-06-30: Signed by Governor
Changes since original draft
2017 – S 0637
S TATE OF RHODE IS L AND
IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2017
A N A C T
RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS
Introduced By: Senators DiPalma, Seveney, Miller, Satchell, and Kettle
Date Introduced: March 29, 2017
Referred To: Senate Environment & Agriculture
It is enacted by the GeneralAssembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 39-26.3-2 of the General Laws in Chapter 39-26.3 entitled "Distributed Generation Interconnection" is hereby amended to read as follows:
The following terms shall have the meanings given below for purposes of this chapter:
(1) "Applicant" means an electric distribution customer or distributed generation developer who submits an application to the electric distribution company for the installation of a renewable distributed generation interconnection to the distribution system for a renewable distributed generation project that, as contemplated, meets the eligibility requirements for net metering contained within title 39 or the eligibility requirements for a standard contract contained within title 39.
(2) "Impact study" means an engineering study that includes an estimate of the cost of interconnecting to the distribution system that would be assessed on the applicant for an interconnection that is based on an engineering study of the details of the proposed generation project. Such estimate generally will have a probability of accuracy of plus or minus twenty five percent (25%). Such an estimate may be relied upon by the applicant for purposes of determining the expected cost of interconnection, but the distribution company may not be held liable or responsible if the actual costs exceed the estimate as long as the estimate was provided in good faith and the interconnection was implemented prudently by the electric distribution company.
(3) "Impact study fee" means a fee that shall be charged to the applicant to obtain an impact study as specified in § 39-26.2-4 of this chapter.
(4) "Feasibility study" means a high-level project assessment that includes an estimate of the cost of interconnecting to the distribution system that would be assessed on the applicant for an interconnection. Such estimate is not based on any engineering study, but is based on past experience and judgment of the electric distribution company, taking into account the information in the application, the location of the interconnection, and general knowledge of the distribution and transmission system. Such estimate cannot be relied upon by the applicant for purposes of holding the electric distribution company liable or responsible for its accuracy as long as the electric distribution company has provided the estimate in good faith. The feasibility study estimate shall be a range within which the electric distribution company believes the interconnection costs are likely to be and shall include a disclaimer that explains the nature of the estimate.
(5) "Feasibility study fee" means a fee that shall be charged to the applicant to obtain a feasibility study as specified in § 39-26.2-4 of this chapter.
(6) "Renewable energy resource"shallhave the same meaning as defined in §39-26-5.
SECTION 2. Chapter 39-26.3 of the General Laws entitled "Distributed Generation Interconnection" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:
39-26.3-7. Interconnection standards.
(a) The electric distribution company may only charge an interconnecting renewable energy customer for any system modifications to its electric power system specifically necessary for and directly related to its interconnection. Any system modifications benefiting other customers shall be included in rates as determined by the public utilities commission.
(b) If the public utilities commission determines that a specific system modification benefiting other customers has been accelerated due to an interconnection request, it may order the interconnecting customer to fund the modification subject to repayment of the depreciated value of the modification as of the time the modification would have been necessary as determined by the public utilities commission.
(c) If an interconnecting renewable energy customer is required to pay for system modifications and a subsequent renewable energy or commercial customer relies on those modifications to connect to the distribution system within ten (10) years of the earlier interconnecting renewable energy customer's payment, the subsequent customer will make a prorated contribution toward the cost of the system modifications which will be credited to the earlier interconnecting renewable energy customer as determined by the public utilities commission.
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(d) All interconnection work must be performed no longer than two hundred seventy (270) calendar days from completion of the renewable energy customer's interconnection impact study pursuant to §39-26.3-3, if required, or else no more than three hundred sixty (360) calendar days from the customer's completed application for interconnection. Any disputes regarding whether and when an application is complete shall be resolved expeditiously by the public utilities commission. Deadlines shall not be extended due to customer delays in providing required information, all of which must be requested and obtained before completion of the impact study. Within thirty (30) days after receipt of an initial application for interconnection, the distribution company shall advise the customer, in writing, whether the application is complete, and, if not, shall specify all additional information the customer is required to provide. The customer must then complete the application within thirty (30) working days. The electric distribution company will then have ten (10) working days to determine and inform the applicant whether the application is complete. The deadlines for completion of interconnection will be extended only to the extent of events that are clearly not under the controlof the electric distribution company, such as extended prohibitive weather, union work stoppage or force majeure, and cannot be resolved despite commercially reasonable, diligent efforts. The electric distribution company shall clearly notify the customer of the start of any claimed deadline extension at the time it begins, its cause and when it concludes in writing. The electric distribution company will be liable to the interconnecting customer for all actual and consequential damages resulting from the noncompliant interconnection delay including, but not limited to, the full value of any lost energy production, and any reasonable legal fees and costs associated with the recovery of those damages. The public utilities commission shall hold a hearing to determine whether any penalties and damages are due to developer under this section. No later than thirty (30) days from the date of the commission's written decision, the electric distribution company shall remit to the interconnecting renewable energy customer an amount equal to such reasonable compensation as determined by the commission. The compensation shall be paid out of the incentive amount earned by the electric distribution company as provided for in §39-26.6-12(j)(3) and, until January 1, 2022, as provided for in §39-26.1-4.
(e) The interconnection of any new renewable energy resource that replaces the same existing renewable energy resource of the same or less nameplate capacity shallnot be considered a material modification requiring interconnection study or approval other than a review to determine consistency with this section and to establish any costs specifically necessary to interconnect the replacement renewable energy resource, which shall not include any system modifications or system improvements. This review shall take no longer than sixty (60) days
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SECTION 3. This act shalltake effect upon passage. ======== LC001675 ========
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BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
A N A C T
RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS
This act would prohibit electrical distribution companiefrom charging an interconnecting renewable energy customer for system modifications that are not directly related to the interconnection, except accelerated modifications for which the developer is repaid when the modification would have otherwise been made. It would require that any interconnection work must be completed no later than two hundred seventy (270) days from the applicant's impact study or three hundred sixty (360) days from its initial applications. The act would enable replacement of a renewable energy resource without study or system improvement.
This act would take effect upon passage. ======== LC001675 ========
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House or Senate Journal from the day of the vote.