Bill Text: NH SB218 | 2012 | Regular Session | Introduced

Bill Title: Relative to electric renewable portfolio standards.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 9-0)

Status: (Passed) 2012-06-19 - Senate Signed by the Governor on 06/19/2012; Chapter 0272; Effective 06/19/2012 [SB218 Detail]

Download: New_Hampshire-2012-SB218-Introduced.html






AN ACT relative to electric renewable portfolio standards.

SPONSORS: Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. Barnes, Jr., Dist 17; Sen. Lambert, Dist 13; Sen. Odell, Dist 8; Sen. Gallus, Dist 1; Sen. Forrester, Dist 2; Sen. Luther, Dist 12; Rep. Introne, Rock 3; Rep. Cataldo, Straf 3

COMMITTEE: Energy and Natural Resources


This bill modifies the electric renewable portfolio standards.

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.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

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

1 Electric Renewable Portfolio Standard; Definitions; Eligible Biomass Technologies. Amend RSA 362-F:2, VIII(a) to read as follows:

(a) Has a quarterly average nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission rate of less than or equal to 0.075 pounds/million British thermal units (lbs/Mmbtu), and an average particulate emission rate of less than or equal to 0.02 lbs/Mmbtu as measured and verified under RSA 362-F:12, or in lieu of the particulate emission rate, has an alternative emission rate as approved by the department under RSA 362-F:11, IV; and

2 Definitions; Renewable Energy Source; Useful Thermal Energy. Amend RSA 362-F:2, XV to read as follows:

XV. “Renewable energy source,” “renewable source,” or “source” means a class I, II, III, or IV source of electricity or useful thermal energy [or electricity displacement by a class I source under RSA 362-F:4, I(g)]. An electrical generating facility, while selling its electrical output at long-term rates established before January 1, 2007 by orders of the commission under RSA 362-A:4, shall not be considered a renewable source.

XV-a. “Useful thermal energy” means energy in the form of direct heat, steam, hot water, or other thermal form that is used for heating, cooling, humidity control, process use, or other valid thermal end use energy requirements and for which fuel or electricity would otherwise be consumed.

3 Minimum Electric Renewable Portfolio Standards. Amend RSA 362-F:3 to read as follows:

362-F:3 Minimum Electric Renewable Portfolio Standards. For each year specified in the table below, each provider of electricity shall obtain and retire certificates sufficient in number and class type to meet or exceed the following percentages of total megawatt-hours of electricity supplied by the provider to its end-use customers that year, except to the extent that the provider makes payments to the renewable energy fund under RSA 362-F:10, II:

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2025

Class I 0.0% 0.5% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 16% (*)

[Class II 0.0% 0.0% 0.04% 0.08% 0.15% 0.2% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3%]

Class II 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

[Class III 3.5% 4.5% 5.5% 6.5% 6.5% 6.5% 6.5% 6.5% 6.5%]

Class III 3.5% 4.5% 5.5% 6.5% 9.0% 9.0% 9.0% 9.0% 9.0%

[Class IV 0.5% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1%]

Class IV 0.5% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1.5% 1.5% 1.5% 1.5%

Class I increases an additional one percent per year from 2015 through 2025. Classes [II-] III and IV remain at the same percentages from 2015 through 2025 except as provided in RSA 362-F:4, V-VI.

4 Electric Renewable Energy Classes. Amend RSA 362-F:4, I(g) through (j) and II to read as follows:

(g) [The equivalent displacement of electricity, as determined by the commission, by end-use customers, from solar hot water heating systems used instead of electric hot water heating] Solar thermal energy.

(h) Class II sources [to the extent that they are not otherwise used to satisfy the minimum portfolio standards of other classes].

(i) The incremental new production of electricity in any year from an eligible biomass or methane source or any hydroelectric generating facility licensed or exempted by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), regardless of gross nameplate capacity, over its historical generation baseline, provided the commission certifies demonstrable completion of capital investments attributable to the efficiency improvements, additions of capacity, or increased renewable energy output that are sufficient to, were intended to, and can be demonstrated to increase annual renewable electricity output. The determination of incremental production shall not be based on any operational changes at such facility but rather on capital investments in efficiency improvements or additions of capacity.

(j) The production of electricity from a class III or IV source that has begun operation as a new facility by demonstrating that 80 percent of its resulting tax basis of the source’s plant and equipment, but not its property and intangible assets, is derived from capital investment directly related to restoring generation or increasing capacity including department permitting requirements for new plants. Such production shall not qualify for class III or IV certificates. Commencing July 1, 2013 a class III source eligible as a class I source under this subparagraph or subparagraph (i) may submit a notice to the commission electing to be a class III source instead of a class I source. Once such notice is given, the production from such a source shall qualify for class III certificates, provided the source meets the other requirements of a class III eligible biomass technology.

(k) Class I facilities using eligible sources may be co-fired with fossil fuels, provided that only the renewable energy fraction of production from class I multi-fuel facilities shall be considered eligible.

II. Class II (New Solar) shall include the production of electricity from solar technologies, provided the source began operation after January 1, 2006. Class II technologies may be used to satisfy the minimum portfolio standards of class I.

5 Electric Renewable Energy Classes. Amend RSA 362-F:4, IV(a) to read as follows:

IV.(a) Class IV (Existing Small Hydroelectric) shall include the production of electricity from hydroelectric energy, provided the facility began operation prior to January 1, 2006, has a total nameplate capacity of 5 MWs or less as measured by the sum of the nameplate capacities of all the generators at the facility, has actually installed both upstream and downstream diadromous fish passages and such installations have been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or has a total nameplate capacity of 1 MW or less as measured by the sum of the nameplate capacities of all the generators at the facility and is interconnected with an electric distribution system located in New Hampshire and when required, has documented applicable state water quality certification pursuant to section 401 of the Clean Water Act for hydroelectric projects.

6 Electric Renewable Energy Classes. Amend RSA 362-F:4, V to read as follows:

V. For good cause, and after notice and hearing, the commission may accelerate or delay by up to one year, any given year’s incremental increase in class I [or II] renewable portfolio standards requirement under RSA 362-F:3.

7 Commission Review and Report. Amend RSA 362-F:5, IV to read as follows:

IV. Increasing the class requirements relative to [classes] class I [and II] beyond 2025;

8 Commission Review and Report. Amend RSA 362-F, VI to read as follows:

VI. The timeframe and manner in which new renewable class I [and II] sources might transition to and be treated as existing renewable sources and if appropriate, how corresponding portfolio standards of new and existing sources might be adjusted;

9 Renewable Energy Certificates. Amend RSA 362-F:6, II to read as follows:

II. The commission shall establish procedures by which electricity and useful thermal energy production not tracked by ISO-New England from customer-sited sources, including behind the meter production, may be included within the class I certificate program, provided such sources are located in New Hampshire. The procedures may include the aggregation of sources and shall be compatible with procedures of the certificate program administrator. The production shall be monitored and verified by an independent entity designated by the commission, which may include electric distribution companies.

10 New Paragraph; Renewable Energy Certificates. Amend RSA 362-F:6 by inserting after paragraph IV the following new paragraph:

V. A qualified producer of useful thermal energy shall provide for the metering of useful thermal energy produced in order to calculate the quantity of megawatt-hours for which renewable energy certificates are qualified, and to report to the public utilities commission under rules adopted pursuant to RSA 362-F:13. Monitoring, reporting, and calculating the useful thermal energy produced in each quarter shall be expressed in megawatt-hours, where each 3,412,000 BTUs of useful thermal energy is equivalent to one megawatt-hour.

11 Renewable Energy Fund. Amend RSA 362-F:10, I and II to read as follows:

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. All payments to be made under this section shall be deposited in the fund. The moneys paid into the fund under paragraph II of this section[, excluding class II moneys,] shall be used by the commission to support thermal and electrical renewable energy initiatives. [Class II moneys shall only be used to support solar energy technologies in New Hampshire.] All initiatives supported out of these funds shall be subject to audit by the commission as deemed necessary. All fund moneys [including those from class II] may be used to administer this chapter, but all new employee positions shall be approved by the fiscal committee of the general court.

II. In lieu of meeting the portfolio requirements of RSA 362-F:3 for a given year if, and to the extent sufficient certificates are not otherwise available at a price below the amounts specified in this paragraph, an electricity provider may, at the time of report submission for that year under RSA 362-F:8, make payment to the commission at the following rates for each megawatt-hour not met for a given class obligation through the acquisition of certificates:

(a) Class I and II--$57.12.

(b) [Class II--$150.

(c)] Class III--$28.

[(d)] (c) Class IV--$28.

12 New Paragraph; Application. Amend RSA 362-F:11 by inserting after paragraph III the following new paragraph:

IV. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, as an alternative to compliance with the particulate matter emission standard in RSA 362-F: 2, VIII (a), a biomass facility otherwise meeting the eligibility requirements of class III, but which as of January 1, 2012 was not a class III eligible biomass technology, may consult with the department and submit a plan, including testing or other reduction protocol verification, to the department for reduction in carbon monoxide or other emissions in lieu of the particulate matter emissions reduction. The department shall expeditiously review the plan and, if approved, provide verification of approval and the testing protocol and such other information it deems relevant to the commission. The application submitted under this section shall inform the commission of the alternative emission standard and the commission shall act under this section to certify the source using the process in RSA 362-F:11, III and in accordance with the plan approved by the department.

13 New Paragraph; Rulemaking. Amend RSA 362-F:13 by inserting after paragraph VI the following new paragraph:

VI-a. Adopt procedures for the metering, verification, and reporting of useful thermal energy output.

14 New Section; Economic Benefits Retention. Amend RSA 362-F by inserting after section 13 the following new section:

362-F:14 Economic Benefits Retention. The commission shall, in all decisions affecting class III biomass technologies or class III standards, consider job loss and job retention, forestry economic impacts in the region and the state, and certificate production from class III eligible and potentially eligible biomass technologies. The proposed action shall aid job retention, forestry economic benefits, and certificate demand, given the certificate supply potential from these technologies.

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





AN ACT relative to electric renewable portfolio standards.


The Public Utilities Commission and Department of Environmental Services state this bill will have an indeterminable fiscal impact on state restricted revenue, state restricted expenditures, county expenditures, and local expenditures, and may decrease county and local revenue by an indeterminable amount in FY 2013 and each year thereafter.


The Public Utilities Commission and Department of Environmental Services state this bill modifies the electric renewable portfolio standards. The Commission and Department assume that provisions of this bill will not be implemented until FY 2013. For calendar year 2010, the State incurred $163,615 in direct costs on state electricity bills attributable to renewable energy certificate purchasing costs and alternative compliance payments made by the state electricity providers, and $226,042 in direct administrative costs associated with managing the program. It is assumed there will be similar expenditures in FY 2012. For FY 2013 through FY 2016, the Commission and Department state revenues and expenditures will be indeterminable. The Commission and Department state many of the changes in the bill will result in the renewable energy certificate supply increasing which may in turn lower the renewable energy certificate price, decreasing the renewable portfolio standards costs. Other changes in the bill increases the renewable energy certificate requirement that electric providers must meet through either renewable energy certificate purchases or alternative compliance payments (the funding source for the renewable energy fund), which absent an increase in renewable energy certificate supply may increase renewable energy certificate prices increasing the cost of electricity purchases made by the State. Also, as alternative compliance payments increase, the cost attributable to these payments increases State expenditures and revenue, and if payments decrease State expenditures and revenue decrease. Examples of the fiscal impact include:

• elimination of class II requirements decreases expenditures for the State as it relates to electricity purchases (approximately $3,635 in calendar year 2010) while at the same time decreasing revenue to the renewable energy fund (approximately $58,884 from class II alternative compliance payments in calendar year 2010).

• increasing class I, III, and IV supplies resulting from thermal resources and hydroelectric systems in NH under I MW and not needing fish passages has the effect of lowering alternative compliance payments, decreasing revenue.

• increasing class III and IV supplies may require an increase in the resources required resulting in increased alternative compliance payments, increasing revenue.

The Commission states the requirement to incorporate thermally-sourced renewable energy certificates into the renewable portfolio standards program would necessitate the need to hire an engineer (labor grade 29, step 1) for at least the first year’s startup period, possibly longer. The cost, including salary and benefits, to hire an engineer for one year would be $79,493.

The Commission and Department state this bill will also have an indeterminable fiscal impact on county and local expenditures, and may decrease county and local revenue. As electricity costs shift up or down, the county and local expenditures will shift in the same direction. Revenue may decrease to the extent access to rebates or grant funds flowing from the renewable energy fund decreases.