H. B. 2401
(By Delegates Fleischauer, Hatfield
[Introduced January 11
, 2012; referred to the
Committee on Energy, Industry and Labor, Economic Development and Small Business then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §22-29-1, §22-29-2, §22-29-3 and §22-29-4, all relating to the phasing in of requirements for electric providers to add renewable energy systems to help protect and sustain the environment; providing definitions; requiring the establishment of portfolio standards for each provider and promulgation of enforcement rules by the Public Service Commission; and providing a severability clause.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §22-29-1, §22-29-2, §22-29-3 and §22-29-4, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 29. RENEWABLE PORTFOLIO STANDARDS SUSTAINABLE ENERGY ACT.
As used in this article:
(1) “Biomass” means organic matter that is available on a renewable basis. Biomass includes:
(a) Organic material from a plant that is planted exclusively for the purpose of electricity production. If the plant is produced on land that was in crop production on December 31, 2011; such plant is produced on land that is protected by the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP); and that crop production on Conservation Reserve Program lands does not prevent achievement of the water quality protection, soil erosion prevention, or wildlife habitat enhancement purposes for which the land was primarily set aside;
(b) Any solid, nonhazardous cellulosic waste material that is segregated from other waste materials, and which is derived from waste pallets, crates and dunnage or landscape or right-of-way tree trimmings, but not including municipal solid waste or post-consumer wastepaper;
(c) Any solid, nonhazardous cellulosic waste materials that is segregated from other waste materials, and which is derived from agriculture sources, including orchard tree crops, vineyards, grains, legumes, sugar and other crop byproducts or residues;
(d) Landfill methane; and
(e) Animal wastes.
Biomass does not include: Forestry resources; agricultural resource waste material necessary for maintaining soil fertility or for preventing erosion; unsegregated solid waste; or paper that is commonly recycled.
(2) “Commission” means the Public Service Commission.
(3) “Provider of electric service” and “provider” means any person or entity that is in the business of selling electricity to retail customers in this state, regardless of whether the person or entity is otherwise subject to regulation by the commission. “Provider” does not include the state or a subdivision of the state, rural electric cooperative, or a cooperative association, nonprofit corporation or association, or a provider of electric service which is declared to be a public utility and which provides service only to its members.
(4) “Renewable energy” means biomass, geothermal energy, solar energy, wind and low impact, small hydroelectric and micro hydro projects that produce less than 20 megawatts of electricity.
Renewable energy does not include coal, natural gas, oil, propane or any other fossil fuel or nuclear energy.
(5) “Renewable energy system” means a solar energy system that reduces the consumption of electricity in a facility or energy system or a system that uses renewable energy to generate electricity and transmits or distributes the electricity that it generates from renewable energy via:
(a) A power line dedicated to the transmission or distribution of electricity generated from renewable energy and which is connected to a facility or system owned, operated or controlled by a provider of electric service; or
(b) A power line shared with not more than one facility or energy system generating electricity from nonrenewable energy and which is connected to a facility or system owned, operated or controlled by a provider of electric service.
(6) “Retail customer” means a customer that purchases electricity at retail. “Retail customer” includes the state and its subdivisions.
§22-29-2. Establishment of portfolio standards.
(a) For each provider of electric services, the commission shall establish a portfolio standard for renewable energy that shall require each provider to generate or acquire electricity from renewable energy systems in an amount that is:
(1) Not less than five percent of the total amount of electricity sold by the provider to its retail customers in this state during the years of 2013 and 2014;
(2) Not less than seven percent of the total amount of electricity sold by the provider to its retail customers in this state during the years of 2015 and 2016;
(3) Not less than nine percent of the total amount of electricity sold by the provider to its retail customers in this state during the years of 2017 and 2018;
(4) Not less than eleven percent of the total amount of electricity sold by the provider to its retail customers in this state during the years of 2019 and 2020;
(5) Not less than thirteen percent of the total amount of electricity sold by the provider to its retail customers in this state during the years of 2021 and 2022;
(6) Not less than fifteen percent of the total amount of electricity sold by the provider to its retail customers in this state during the years of 2023 and every year thereafter.
(b) If, for the benefit of one or more of its retail customers in this state, the provider has subsidized, in whole or in part, the acquisition or installation of a solar energy system which qualifies as a renewable energy system and which reduces the consumption of electricity, the total reduction in the consumption of electricity during each year that results from the solar thermal energy system is deemed to be electricity that the provider generated or acquired from a renewable energy system for the purposes of complying with its portfolio standard.
(c) The commission may adopt regulations that establish a system of renewable energy credits, that is a trading mechanism that may be used by a provider to comply with its portfolio standard.
(d) The commission shall establish a renewable energy fund for the purpose of promoting renewable energy systems in the state. Any provider may comply with the requirements of this article by paying two cents into the fund for every kilowatt-hour it sells to retail customers in this state.
(e) Each provider of electric service shall submit to the commission an annual report that provides information that relates to the actions taken by the provider to comply with its portfolio standard.
(a) The commission shall promulgate rules to carry out and enforce the provisions of this article. The rules may include any enforcement mechanisms which are necessary and reasonable to ensure that each provider of electric service complies with its portfolio standard. The enforcement mechanisms may include, without limitation, the imposition of administrative fines.
(b) In the aggregate, the administrative fines imposed against a provider for all violations of its portfolio standard for a year must not exceed the amount which is necessary and reasonable to ensure that the provider complies with its portfolio standard, as determined by the commission.
The provisions of this article are severable, and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision is declared to be invalid or is preempted by federal law or regulation, the validity of the remainder of this article is not affected.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to phase in requirements for electric providers to add renewable energy systems to help protect and sustain the environment.
This article is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.