SB 334 – AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE

03/24/10 1111s

03/24/10 1162s

2010 SESSION

10-2882

09/05

SENATE BILL 334

AN ACT establishing a committee to study methods of encouraging the installation and use of small scale renewable energy resources by homeowners and businesses and relative to investments in photovoltaic renewable energy projects.

SPONSORS: Sen. Janeway, Dist 7; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 24

COMMITTEE: Energy, Environment and Economic Development

AMENDED ANALYSIS

This bill establishes a committee to study methods of encouraging the installation and use of small scale renewable energy resources by homeowners and businesses.

This bill also authorizes the development of the solar photovoltaic renewable energy project in Manchester.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/24/10 1111s

03/24/10 1162s

10-2882

09/05

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Ten

AN ACT establishing a committee to study methods of encouraging the installation and use of small scale renewable energy resources by homeowners and businesses and relative to investments in photovoltaic renewable energy projects.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Committee Established. There is established a committee to study methods of encouraging the installation and use of small scale renewable energy resources by homeowners and businesses.

2 Membership and Compensation.

I. The members of the committee shall be as follows:

(a) Three members of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate.

(b) Three members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

II. Members of the committee shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the committee.

3 Duties. The committee shall study methods of encouraging the installation and use of small scale renewable energy resources by homeowners and businesses. The committee shall consider:

I. Allowing New Hampshire homeowners and small businesses to generate revenue from investments in small scale renewable generation.

II. The use of more modern billing and tracking systems such as the “feed-in tariff” approach, rather than the current “net metering” billing, metering, and tracking system.

III. Providing greater transparency in the billing and information exchange between a utility and its retail customers who have installed renewable generation on their premises.

IV. Ensuring that the regulated distribution charges are properly and fairly applied to all electric customers.

4 Chairperson; Quorum. The members of the study committee shall elect a chairperson from among the members. The first meeting of the committee shall be called by the first-named senate member. The first meeting of the committee shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section. Four members of the committee shall constitute a quorum.

5 Report. The committee shall report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the senate clerk, the house clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before November 1, 2010.

6 Findings and Purpose.

I. The general court finds that:

(a) New Hampshire’s unemployment rate is currently over 7 percent.

(b) It is in the public interest to accelerate investments in renewable energy in order to promote immediate job creation.

(c) The city of Manchester and its host utility, Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH), have identified a solar photovoltaic renewable energy project which has the potential to provide construction jobs immediately and benefits to all customers.

(d) This project will be highly visible to citizens and visitors and provide an educational opportunity for the city of Manchester school system.

(e) Since state and federal subsidies alone are insufficient to finance the Manchester solar photovoltaic renewable energy project, additional funding by PSNH will be necessary to create the near-term benefits of this project.

(f) It is therefore in the public interest to allow the city of Manchester and PSNH to develop a solar photovoltaic renewable energy project in accordance with this act.

II. The purpose of this act is to accelerate and authorize the development of the solar photovoltaic renewable energy project in the city of Manchester.

7 Solar Photovoltaic Renewable Energy Project.

I. PSNH shall make the initial up-front investment required for construction of the Manchester solar photovoltaic renewable energy project, and may earn a return on such investment with an incentive to the return on equity component as contemplated by RSA 374-G:5, IV. The costs of this project shall be recovered in the manner set forth in RSA 374-G:5, III.

II. In lieu of PSNH making payments under RSA 362-F:10 for class II electric renewable energy standard obligations or purchasing certificates, as defined in RSA 362-F:2, III, to comply with RSA 362-F class II electric renewable energy standard obligations, beginning upon the effective date of this act PSNH shall retain such payments and utilize $5,000,000 of such amounts to invest in the development of the solar photovoltaic renewable energy project in Manchester The amounts retained by PSNH shall be used to amortize the outstanding capital investment for the project. When the nominal payments retained by PSNH equal $5,000,000, PSNH shall return to routine compliance with RSA 362-F:10 for going-forward class II electric renewable energy standard obligations.

III. The Manchester solar photovoltaic renewable energy project shall be deemed to comply with the use requirements set forth in RSA 374-G:3, I.

IV. At least 75 percent of the construction jobs created by the Manchester solar photovoltaic renewable energy project shall be performed by contractors located in New Hampshire.

V. PSNH shall engage the community college system of New Hampshire to provide student training opportunities during the construction of the Manchester solar photovoltaic renewable energy project.

VI. The Manchester solar photovoltaic renewable energy project shall be reviewed by the public utilities commission pursuant to the following factors set forth in RSA 374-G:5, II:

(a) Whether the expected value of the economic benefits of the investment to the utility's ratepayers over the life of the investment outweigh the economic costs to the utility's ratepayers.

(b) The efficient and cost-effective realization of the purposes of the renewable portfolio standards of RSA 362-F and the restructuring policy principles of RSA 374-F:3.

(c) The costs and benefits to any participating customer or customers.

(d) The costs and benefits to the company's default service customers.

(e) The energy security benefits of the investment to the state of New Hampshire.

(f) The environmental benefits of the investment to the state of New Hampshire.

(g) The economic development benefits and liabilities of the investment to the state of New Hampshire.

(h) The effect on the reliability, safety, and efficiency of electric service.

(i) The effect on competition within the region's electricity markets and the state's energy services market.

8 Reporting.

I. PSNH shall report by June 30, 2011 and annually thereafter until June 30, 2015, to the legislative oversight committee on electric utility restructuring, established under RSA 374-F:5, and the chairpersons of the house science, technology and energy committee and the senate energy, environment and economic development committee, on the progress and status of the Manchester solar photovoltaic renewable energy project.

II. PSNH shall report on the Manchester photovoltaic renewable energy project in its annual compliance report to the public utilities commission pursuant to NH Admin. Rules, section Puc 2503.03.

9 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.