Senate Bill #959 (2019)

AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS -- DISTRIBUTED GENERATION INTERCONNECTION

Electric distribution company to provide actual cost of interconnection. Amendments to ESB only with PUC approval and 30 days' notice.

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Changes since original draft

  • 2019 – S 0959
  • 2019 – S 0959 SUBSTITUTE A
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  • LC002631
  • LC002631/SUB A
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  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2019
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS – DISTRIBUTED GENERATION
  • INTERCONNECTION
  • Introduced By: Senator Louis P. DiPalma
  • Date Introduced: June 06, 2019
  • Referred To: Senate Environment & Agriculture
  • It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
  • SECTION 1. Section 39-26.3-4.1 of the General Laws in Chapter 39-26.3 entitled "Distributed Generation Interconnection" is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 39-26.3-4.1. 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 the interconnection. The electric distribution company shall provide a detailed audit and account of its actual cost to the interconnecting customer within ninety (90) calendar days of completing any system modifications including any and all supporting records and documentation.
  • (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. Any system modifications benefiting other customers shall be included in rates 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 shall make a prorated contribution toward the cost of the system modifications that will which shall be credited to the earlier interconnecting, renewable-energy customer as determined by the public utilities commission.
  • (d)(1) An electric distribution company shall acknowledge to the interconnecting, renewable-energy customer receipt of an application to initiate the interconnection process within three (3) business days of receipt. The electric distribution company shall notify the interconnecting, renewable-energy customer in writing within ten (10) business days of receipt that the application is or is not complete and, if not, advise what is missing. of any and all elements of the application that are incomplete within the ten (10) business days. Once the incomplete items are addressed, the electric distribution company shall conduct a supplemental completeness review and application screening within no more than five (5) business days, notifying the applicant which interconnection process will be followed and whether their application is incomplete or deficient and providing a complete and specific list of any and all incomplete items or deficiencies and provide specific detailed instructions or recommendations on why items are deficient and how to correct any remaining deficiencies in a form that enables the applicant to fully address them. Once the deficient items are then addressed, the electric distribution company shall issue a final decision on all screens and on which interconnection process shall be followed within two (2) business days.
  • S TATE OF RHODE IS L AND
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2019
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS – DISTRIBUTED GENERATION
  • INTERCONNECTION
  • Introduced By: Senator Louis P. DiPalma
  • Date Introduced: June 06, 2019
  • Referred To: Senate Environment & Agriculture
  • It is enacted by the GeneralAssembly as follows:
  • SECTION 1. Section 39-26.3-4.1 of the General Laws in Chapter 39-26.3 entitled "Distributed Generation Interconnection" is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 39-26.3-4.1. 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 the interconnection. The electric distribution company shall provide a detailed audit and account of its actual cost to the interconnecting customer within ninety (90) calendar days of completing any system modifications including any and all supporting records and documentation.
  • (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. Any system modifications benefiting other customers shall be included in rates 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 shall make a prorated contribution toward the cost of the system modifications that will which shall be credited to the earlier interconnecting, renewable-energy customer as determined by the public utilities commission.
  • (d)(1) An electric distribution company shall acknowledge to the interconnecting, renewable-energy customer receipt of an application to initiate the interconnection process within three (3) business days of receipt. The electric distribution company shall notify the interconnecting, renewable-energy customer in writing within ten (10) business days of receipt that the application is or is not complete and, if not, advise what is missing. of any and all elements of the application that are incomplete within the ten (10) business days. Once the incomplete items are addressed, the electric distribution company shall conduct a supplemental completeness review and application screening within no more than five (5) business days, notifying the applicant which interconnection process will be followed and whether their application is incomplete or deficient and providing a complete and specific list of any and all incomplete items or deficiencies and provide specific detailed instructions or recommendations on why items are deficient and how to correct any remaining deficiencies in a form that enables the applicant to fully address them. Once the deficient items are then addressed, the electric distribution company shall issue a final decision on all screens and on which interconnection process shallbe followed within two (2) business days.
  • (2) As long as the interconnecting customer provides all requested information within ten (10) business days of the request, the interconnection deadlines in this section shall not be extended. The electric distribution company shall maintain an example of a complete and current model interconnection application with all required attachments and supplemental information in an easily accessible location on its website for ease of reference. The model application shall be updated within five (5) business days of any update to any of the electric distribution company's technical standards or specifications for interconnection pursuant to the provisions of subsection (g) of this section. Any disputes regarding whether and when an application to initiate the interconnection process is complete shall be resolved expeditiously at the public utilities commission.
  • (3) The maximum time allowed between the date of the completed application and delivery of an executable interconnection service agreement shall be one hundred seventy-five (175) calendar days or two hundred (200) calendar days if a detailed study is required. All electric distribution company system modifications must shall be completed by the date which is the later of:
  • (3) The maximum time allowed between the date of the completed application and delivery of an executable interconnection service agreement shall be one hundred seventy-five (175) calendar days or two hundred (200) calendar days if a detailed study is required. Allelectric distribution company system modifications must shall be completed by the date which is the later of:
  • LC002631/SUB A - Page 2of 5
  • (1)(i) No longer than two hundred seventy (270) calendar days, or three hundred sixty (360) calendar days if substation work is necessary, from the date of the electric distribution company's receipt of the interconnecting, renewable-energy customer's executed interconnection service agreement; or
  • (2)(ii) The interconnecting, renewable-energy customer's agreed upon extension of the time between the execution of the interconnection service agreement and interconnection as set forth in writing. All deadlines herein are subject to all payments being made in accordance with the distributed generation interconnection tariff on file with the public utilities commission and the interconnection service agreement.
  • These system modification deadlines cannot shall not be extended due to customer delays in providing required information or the electric distribution company's studies, including, but not limited to, transmission studies, all of which must be requested, and obtained and completed within the time period required for before completion of the impact study. The deadlines for completion of system modifications will be extended only to the extent of events that are clearly not under the control of the electric distribution company, such as extended prohibitive weather, union work stoppage or force majeure, or third-party delays, including, without limitation, delays due to ISO-NE requirements not attributable to electric distribution company actions, and which cannot be resolved despite commercially reasonable efforts. The electric distribution company shall notify the customer of the start of any claimed deadline extension as soon as practicable within five (5) business days of occurrence to allow for customer intervention and involvement, provide information of its cause and shall also inform the customer of when it concludes, all in writing.
  • (4) Any actual, indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or punitive damages that a court of competent jurisdiction orders the electric distribution company to pay to an interconnecting, renewable-energy customer as a direct result of the electric distribution company's failure to comply with the requirements of this subsection shall be payable by its shareholders and may not be recovered from customers, provided that the total amount of damages awarded for any and all such claims shall not exceed, in the aggregate, an amount equal to the amount of the incentive the electric distribution company would have earned as provided for in §§ 39-26.6-12(j)(3) and 39-26.1-4 in the year in which the system modifications were required to be completed. In no event shall the electric distribution company be liable to the interconnecting, renewable-energy customer for any indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or punitive damages of any kind whatsoever as a result of the electric distribution company's failure to comply with this section.
  • These system modification deadlines cannot shallnot be extended due to customer delays in providing required information or the electric distribution company's studies, including, but not limited to, transmission studies, all of which must be requested, and obtained and completed within the time period required for before completion of the impact study. The deadlines for completion of system modifications will be extended only to the extent of events that are clearly not under the control of the electric distribution company, such as extended prohibitive weather, union work stoppage or force majeure, or third-party delays, including, without limitation, delays due to ISO-NE requirements not attributable to electric distribution company actions, and which cannot be resolved despite commercially reasonable efforts. As used herein, "third-party delays" shall not include delays caused by a subcontractor, affiliate or other party related to or under the direction of the electric distribution company. The electric distribution company shall notify the customer of the start of any claimed deadline extension as soon as practicable within five (5) business days of occurrence to allow for customer intervention and involvement, provide information of its cause and shallalso inform the customer of when it concludes, all in writing.
  • (4) Any actual, indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or punitive damages that a court of competent jurisdiction orders the electric distribution company to pay to an interconnecting, renewable-energy customer as a direct result of the electric distribution company's failure to comply with the requirements of this subsection shall be payable by its shareholders and may not be recovered from customers, provided that the total amount of damages awarded for any and all such claims shallnot exceed, in the aggregate, an amount equal to the amount of the incentive the electric distribution company would have earned as provided for in §§ 39-26.6-12(j)(3) and 39-26.1-4 in the year in which the system modifications were required to be completed. In no event shall the electric distribution company be liable to the interconnecting, renewable-energy customer for any indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or punitive damages of any kind whatsoever as a result of the electric distribution company's failure
  • LC002631/SUB A - Page 3of 5 to comply with this section.
  • (e) On or before September 1, 2017, the public utilities commission shall initiate a docket to establish metrics for the electric distribution company's performance in meeting the time frames set forth herein and in the distributed generation interconnection standards approved by the public utilities commission. The public utilities commission may include incentives and penalties in the performance metrics.
  • (f) The proposed interconnection of any new renewable energy resource that replaces the same existing renewable energy resource of the same or less nameplate capacity that has been in operation in the twelve (12) months preceding notification of such replacement shall be subject to a sixty-day (60) review. The purpose of such sixty-day (60) review is to allow the electric distribution company to determine whether any system modifications are required to support the interconnection of the replacement renewable energy resource. If there is a need for system modifications because of an interconnection policy change implemented by the electric distribution company, then the system modification may be included in rates as determined by the public utilities commission. If there is a need for system modifications only because of a change in the rating or utility disturbance response that adversely affects the impact of the facility on the distribution system, then the interconnecting, renewable-energy customer shall be responsible for the cost of the system modifications.
  • (g) The electric distribution company shall not change or amend technical standards, specifications or provisions of the electric system bulletin (ESB) for interconnection within the state without approval of the public utilities commission (PUC) and without publishing any proposed change or amendment to customers no less than thirty (30) calendar days prior to implementation. Any changed or amended interconnection standards, specifications or provisions shall not apply to interconnecting customers with completed interconnection service.
  • SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.
  • (f) The proposed interconnection of any new renewable energy resource that replaces the same existing renewable energy resource of the same or less nameplate capacity that has been in operation in the twelve (12) months preceding notification of such replacement shallbe subject to a sixty-day (60) review. The purpose of such sixty-day (60) review is to allow the electric distribution company to determine whether any system modifications are required to support the interconnection of the replacement renewable energy resource. If there is a need for system modifications because of an interconnection policy change implemented by the electric distribution company, then the system modification may be included in rates as determined by the public utilities commission. If there is a need for system modifications only because of a change in the rating or utility disturbance response that adversely affects the impact of the facility on the distribution system, then the interconnecting, renewable-energy customer shall be responsible for the cost of the system modifications.
  • (g) The electric distribution company shall not change or amend technical standards, specifications or provisions of the electric system bulletin (ESB) for interconnection within the state without approval of the public utilities commission (PUC) and without publishing any proposed change or amendment to customers no less than thirty (30) calendar days prior to implementation. Any changed or amended interconnection standards, specifications or provisions shall not apply to interconnecting customers with completed interconnection application.
  • SECTION 2. This act shalltake effect upon passage.
  • ========
  • LC002631
  • LC002631/SUB A
  • ========
  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS – DISTRIBUTED GENERATION
  • INTERCONNECTION
  • ***
  • LC002631/SUB A - Page 4of 5
  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS – DISTRIBUTED GENERATION
  • INTERCONNECTION
  • ***
  • This act would provide that an electric distribution company shall provide the actual cost of interconnecting to the customer within ninety (90) calendar days of system modification. It would also provide the electric system bulletin may only be amended with public utilities commission (PUC) approval and after thirty (30) calendar days' notice to customers. Amendments are not to apply to customers with completed interconnection service.
  • This act would take effect upon passage. ======== LC002631 ========
  • This act would take effect upon passage. ======== LC002631/SUB A ========
  • LC002631/SUB A - Page 5of 5

Votes

NOTE: Electronic voting records are unofficial and may not be accurate. For an official vote tally, check the House or Senate Journal from the day of the vote.

Floor vote for Passage

June 26, 2019 at 8:11pm
Yeas: 37 / Nays: 0 / Not voting: 1 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Algiere Y
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Bell Y
Sen. Cano Y
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Conley Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Crowley Y
Sen. Cruz Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Euer Y
Sen. Felag Y
Sen. Gallo NV
Sen. Goldin Y
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Lawson Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Lynch Prata Y
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. McKenney Y
Sen. Metts Y
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan Y
Sen. Murray Y
Sen. Nesselbush Y
Sen. Paolino Y
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Rogers Y
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Satchell Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sheehan Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y
Sen. Valverde Y