AN ACT relative to public utilities commission orders concerning renewable portfolio standards.

SPONSORS: Rep. Kurk, Hills 7

COMMITTEE: Science, Technology and Energy


This bill requires suspension of an order of the public utilities commission concerning renewable portfolio standards to allow for legislative review and the final disposition of certain retained bills.

This bill revises the laws relative to sustainable and renewable generation.

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.




In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twelve

AN ACT relative to public utilities commission orders concerning renewable portfolio standards.

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

1 Public Utilities Commission; Stay of Order. On May 25, 2011 the public utilities commission suspended Order No. 25, 213, which approved a power purchase agreement between Public Service Company of New Hampshire and Laidlaw Berlin Biopower, in order to determine compliance and review motions for rehearing. The order shall be suspended until June 30, 2012 to allow for legislative review of the commission’s report on the renewable portfolio standard required by RSA 362-F:5, which is due on November 1, 2011, and for the final disposition of bills currently retained by the science, technology and energy committee related to the renewable portfolio standard.

2 Sustainable and Renewable Generation. RSA 362-F is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:



362-F:1 Purpose and Findings. New Hampshire’s economic vitality and competitiveness is sensitive to energy prices. High electricity prices are therefore not in the public interest. New Hampshire should strive to consistently have the lowest electric prices in New England. Sustainable and renewable energy sources can help New Hampshire maintain fuel diversity, contribute to clean air and water, foster in-state and regional innovation, and have positive economic development impacts.

362-F:2 Definitions. In this chapter:

I. “Commission” means the public utilities commission.

II. “Department” means the department of environmental services.

III. “Provider of electricity” means a distribution company providing default service or an electricity supplier as defined in RSA 374-F:2, II, but does not include municipal suppliers.

IV. “Renewable source” means new or existing:

(a) Wind energy.

(b) Geothermal energy.

(c) Hydrogen derived from biomass fuels or methane gas.

(d) Ocean thermal, wave, current, or tidal energy.

(e) Methane gas.

(f) Biomass technologies, including but not limited to combined heat and power, that meets department emission standards, but excluding any use in whole or in part of construction and demolition debris.

(g) The equivalent displacement of electricity from solar hot water heating systems used instead of electric hot water heating.

(h) Solar energy.

(i) In-state, synchronous hydroelectric.

(j) Net-metered solar and wind.

V. “Sustainable source” means new or existing:

(a) In-state nuclear generation.

(b) Combined heat and power natural gas units with an efficiency of 65 percent or greater that meet department emission standards.

(c) Energy efficiency that is both measurable and verifiable.

(d) Net-metered, combined heat and power meeting department emission standards.

362-F:3 Sustainable and Renewable Energy Targets. Each provider of electricity shall deliver 30 percent of its total annual load from sustainable and renewable energy sources by the year 2030, with a short term goal of 15 percent of its total annual load by the year 2015. No public utility shall procure power from sustainable and renewable sources if such procurement would result in default service rates that are higher then they would otherwise be.

362-F:4 Renewable Energy Fund.

I. There is hereby established a renewable energy fund. This nonlapsing, special fund shall be continually appropriated to the commission to be expended in accordance with this section. The state treasurer shall invest the moneys deposited therein as provided by law. Income received on investments made by the state treasurer shall also be credited to the fund. Moneys paid into the fund shall be used by the commission to support sustainable and renewable source initiatives.

II. By April 1 of each year, the commission shall determine the number of kilowatt-hours provided by all providers of electricity in the state during the prior calendar year. This number shall be divided into $4,000,000 to establish a rate of contribution. Each provider shall pay to the commission by May 15 of each year for deposit into the fund a dollar amount that equals the number of kilowatt-hours it provided to its customers during the prior calendar year times the rate of contribution. If the provider of electricity is a public utility as defined in RSA 362:2, its payment shall be recoverable through its default rates.

362-F:5 Transmission Projects. New Hampshire electric ratepayers shall not subsidize in-state electric transmission projects that benefit individual generation facilities, including those that use renewable or sustainable sources. Electric generation facilities shall bear the full expense of any transmission expansion or upgrade needed to deliver its power to the grid.

362-F:6 Annual Reporting. The commission shall establish a reporting form that each provider of electricity shall submit to it by April 1 of each year that details its progress toward meeting the renewable targets set forth in RSA 362-F:3. The commission shall in turn submit to the general court by May 15 of each year a summary report on the submissions made by the providers.

3 Compliance. The repeal and reenactment of RSA 362-F under section 2 of this act shall not affect the obligation of each provider of electricity to satisfy the chapter’s requirements for the calendar year ending December 31, 2012, including those contained in adopted rules. All means of enforcement shall remain in place for these requirements.

4 Energy Facility Evaluation; Site Evaluation Committee; Application Requirements. Amend RSA 162-H:7, V(c) to read as follows:

(c)(1) Describe in reasonable detail the impact of each major part of the proposed facility on the environment for each site proposed.

(2) Describe in reasonable detail the impact of each major part of the proposed facility on the landscape for each site proposal, specifically whether the benefits of the project would outweigh the economic, sociological, and psychological costs of an impaired landscape, including but not limited to its affect on tourism and related industries, and the stress people experience when valued environments are negatively transformed.

5 Findings and Certificate Issuance. Amend RSA 162-H:16, IV(c) to read as follows:

(c) Will not have [an unreasonable] more than a minimal adverse effect on the views, the landscape, aesthetics, historic sites, air and water quality, the natural environment, and public health and safety.

6 Application of Receipts. Amend RSA 6:12, I(b)(253) to read as follows:

(253) Moneys deposited in the renewable energy fund established under RSA [362-F:10] 362-F:4.

7 Restructuring Policies and Principles. Amend RSA 374-F:3,V(f)(8) to read as follows:

(8) If RES default service is not available for purchase at a reasonable cost on behalf of consumers choosing an RES default service option, a utility may, as approved by the commission, make payments to the renewable energy fund created pursuant to RSA [362-F:10] 362-F:4 on behalf of customers to comply with subparagraph (f).

8 Effective Dates.

I. RSA 362-F:5 as inserted by section 2 of the bill shall take effect upon its passage.

II. The remainder of the bill shall take effect on January 1, 2013.