(b) A portfolio standard compliance plan shall include:
(1) Statistics and information concerning the electric utility's sales to retail customers in West Virginia during the preceding ten calendar years;
(2) A calculation of the electric utility's projected yearly sales to retail customers for the years 2011-2025;
(3) A calculation of the expected number of credits required to meet the portfolio standards set forth in this article;
(4) An anticipated time line for the development, purchase or procurement of credits sufficient to meet the portfolio standards set forth in this article;
(5) A nonbinding estimate of the costs to comply with the portfolio standards set forth in this article;
(6) A description of any greenhouse gas emission reduction or offset projects or energy efficiency and demand-side energy initiative projects the electric utility proposes to undertake for credit in accordance with this article;
(7) A list of any requirements and a description of how the electric utility satisfied or will satisfy those requirements if an electric utility is subject to an alternative energy, advanced energy, renewable energy or similar energy portfolio standard in any other state; and
(8) Such further information as required by the commission.
(c) Upon the filing of an application for approval of a portfolio standard compliance plan, and after hearing and proper notice, the commission may, in its discretion, approve or disapprove, or approve in part or disapprove in part, the application: Provided, That the commission, after giving proper notice and receiving no protest within thirty days after the notice is given, may waive formal hearing on the application. Notice shall be published as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and shall be given in a manner and in such form as may be prescribed by the commission.
(d) The commission shall, following proper notice and hearing, if any, render a final decision on any application filed pursuant to this section within two hundred seventy days of the filing of the application.
(e) If, and to the extent, the commission determines that a portfolio standard compliance plan has a reasonable expectation of achieving the portfolio standard requirements at a reasonable cost to electric customers in this state, the commission shall approve the plan. In establishing that the requisite standard for approval of a portfolio standard compliance plan is met, the burden of proof shall be upon the applicant.
(f) In the event the commission disapproves of an application filed pursuant to this section, in whole or in part, the commission shall specify its reason or reasons for disapproval. Any portion of the application not approved by the commission shall be modified and resubmitted by the applicant.
(g) Either upon an application of the electric utility, a petition by a party or the commission's own motion, a compliance plan proceeding may be reopened for the purpose of considering and making, if appropriate, alterations to the plan.
(h) Approval of the compliance plan does not eliminate the need for an electric utility to otherwise obtain required approvals, including, but not limited to, certificates to construct, consent to enter into affiliated contracts and recovery of compliance costs. Furthermore, nothing in this article shall be interpreted to alter or amend the existing power and authority of the commission.
(i) Approval of the compliance plan does not relieve an electric utility from its obligation to pay a compliance assessment pursuant to the provisions of section five of this article if it fails to comply with the portfolio standards set forth therein.
(j) Within a year of the commission's approval of an electric utility's compliance plan, and every year thereafter, the electric utility shall submit to the commission an annual progress report. The progress report shall include the electric utility's sales to retail customers in West Virginia during the previous calendar year; the amount of energy the electric utility has generated, purchased or procured from alternative or renewable energy resources; a comparison of the budgeted and actual costs as compared to the estimated cost of the portfolio standard compliance plan; any information required by the commission to prevent the double-counting of credits; and any further information required by the commission.
(k) The commission shall impose a special assessment on all electric utilities required to file a compliance plan. The assessments shall be prorated among the covered electric utilities on the basis of kilowatt hours of retail sales in West Virginia and shall be due and payable on September 1 of each year. The amount of revenue collected pursuant to this subsection may not exceed $200,000 in the first year following the effective date of this article and may not exceed $100,000 in successive years. The funds generated from the assessments shall be used exclusively to offset all reasonable direct and indirect costs incurred by the commission in administering the provisions of this article.