The Market-Power Renewables Act

The Market-Power Renewables Act

Section 1. Intent

The legislature finds that the current system of mandated purchase of renewable energy has created negative economic and environmental consequences. The high cost of renewable energy is paid by all state citizens, including those who already struggle to pay the cost of electricity. Renewable portfolio standards actually limit the amount of renewable energy sold by removing the incentive for electric utilities or electricity ratepayers to purchase anything above the mandated amounts.

The legislature further finds that the public wishes to have the freedom to purchase renewable energy. Removing regulatory burdens that prevent electricity ratepayers from purchasing renewable energy allows electricity ratepayers to choose which electricity generation source they most desire while eliminating the burden of costs from electricity ratepayers who cannot afford to pay for higher cost energy. A voluntary market allows those with the income and desire to invest in renewable energy to do so without requiring others to bear the burden of costs they cannot afford.

The legislature finds that voluntary markets can and have led to higher renewable energy levels than those forced by renewable portfolio standards.

The legislature finds that a voluntary renewable energy credit market can provide more environmental benefit for each dollar, maximizing the environmental benefit compared to mandatory systems.

Therefore, the legislature finds the creation of a voluntary market for renewable energy is superior to a mandated system that forces increased costs on those who cannot afford them and actually limits the amount of renewable energy purchased by discouraging sales above the mandated level.

Section 2. Definitions

“Nonpower attributes” means all environmentally related characteristics, exclusive of energy, capacity reliability, and other electrical power service attributes, that are associated with the generation of electricity from a renewable resource, including but not limited to the facility’s fuel type, geographic location, vintage, qualification as an eligible renewable resource, and avoided emissions of pollutants to the air, soil, or water, and avoided emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

“Renewable energy credit” means a tradable certificate of proof of at least one megawatt-hour of a renewable resource, the certificate includes all of the nonpower attributes associated with that one megawatt-hour of electricity. Any credit certified by the North American Renewables Registry or one of the regional registries, including ERCOT, MIRECS, M-RETS, NC-RETS, NEPOOL, PJM-EIS or WREGIS, is eligible to be included in the registry.

Section 3. The Renewable Power Market

  1. The Renewable Power Market is created.

  1. The {state} public utility commission/public service commission will create a single state registry for all organizations selling certified renewable energy credits. Any organization selling certified renewable energy credits are eligible to participate, including utilities and independent power producers.

  2. The {state} public utility commission/ public service commission will create an online gateway listing all certified REC sellers including information about the credits. The gateway must include updated information provided by the seller, including:

  1. Name and contact information of the selling entity

ii. Price

iii. Nonpower attributes

  1. Entities wishing to participate in the state’s Renewable Power Market must apply to the {state} public utility commission/public service commission and pay a fee of no greater than $500.

  1. By January 31, certified REC sellers will report the total number of kilowatt hours of Renewable Energy Credits sold during the previous year.

  1. By February 28, the public utility commission/public service commission will certify the percentage of statewide energy covered by RECs sold in the renewable power market. If this percentage is greater than the previous year, the public utility commission/public service commission will designate that percentage as the state’s non-declining “REC share.”

  1. The existing renewable portfolio standard will be recalculated annually, reducing the existing renewable energy requirement by the state’s REC share.

  1. The remaining renewable portfolio standard will be eliminated in 2025.

  1. This Act recognizes certain renewable contracts and investments already approved, or planned in order to comply with the standard and the Public Utility Commission shall allow for recovery of those costs by the utility.

Section 4. Revenue Exempted from Utility Regulation

Any electric utility revenue from the sales of Renewable Energy Credits shall be considered separate from revenue earned as part of a utility’s regulated operations and are not subject to oversight or consideration by the {state} public utility commission.

Approved by the ALEC Board of Legislators on September 17, 2013.

Keyword Tags: 2013 Annual Meeting, Electricity, Energy Environment and Agriculture Task Force, Renewable Energy Mandates, Renewable Portfolio Standards, RPS, Utilities