Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 6428

Public Act No. 03-221

AN ACT CONCERNING TECHNICAL REVISIONS TO THE UTILITY STATUTES AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWERS ON AGRICULTURAL LAND.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subdivision (26) of subsection (a) of section 16-1 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 03-135, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(26) "Class I renewable energy source" means (A) energy derived from solar power, wind power, a fuel cell, methane gas from landfills, ocean thermal power, wave or tidal power, low emission advanced renewable energy conversion technologies, a run-of-the-river hydropower facility provided such facility has a generating capacity of not more than five megawatts, does not cause an appreciable change in the river flow, and began operation after the effective date of this section, or a biomass facility, including, but not limited to, a biomass gasification plant that utilizes land clearing debris, tree stumps or other biomass that regenerates or the use of which will not result in a depletion of resources, provided [such facility begins operating on or after July 1, 1998, and] such biomass is cultivated and harvested in a sustainable manner [, except that energy derived from a biomass facility that began operation before July 1, 1998, may be considered a Class I renewable energy source, provided] and the average emission rate for such facility is equal to or less than . 075 pounds of nitrogen oxides per million BTU of heat input for the previous calendar quarter, [and] except that energy derived from a biomass facility with a capacity of less than five hundred kilowatts that began construction before July 1, 2003, may be considered a Class I renewable energy source, provided such biomass is cultivated and harvested in a sustainable manner, or (B) any electrical generation, including distributed generation, generated from a Class I renewable energy source.

Sec. 2. Subdivision (41) of subsection (a) of section 16-1 of the general statutes, as amended by section 2 of public act 03-135, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(41) "Federally mandated congestion costs" means any cost [imposed] approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as part of New England Standard Market Design including, but not limited to, locational marginal pricing and reliability must run contracts.

Sec. 3. Subsection (h) of section 16-244c of the general statutes, as amended by section 4 of public act 03-135, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(h) The electric distribution company shall be entitled to recover reasonable costs incurred as a result of providing standard offer electric generation services pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, transitional standard offer service pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, standard service pursuant to subsection [(d)] (c) of this section or back-up electric generation service pursuant to subsection (f) of this section. The provisions of this section and section 16-244a shall satisfy the requirements of section 16-19a until January 1, 2007.

Sec. 4. Subdivision (1) of subsection (j) of section 16-244c of the general statutes, as amended by section 4 of public act 03-135, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (d) of this section regarding an alternative transitional standard offer option or an alternative standard service option, an electric distribution company providing transitional standard offer service, standard service, supplier of last resort service or back-up electric generation service in accordance with this section shall contract with its wholesale suppliers to comply with the renewable portfolio standards. [by contracting with an electric supplier to meet such standards. ] The Department of Public Utility Control shall annually conduct a contested case, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, in order to determine whether the electric distribution [company] company's wholesale suppliers met the renewable portfolio standards during the preceding year. [The department shall require a payment by any such] An electric distribution company [that] shall include a provision in its contract with each wholesale supplier that requires the wholesale supplier to pay the electric distribution company an amount of five and one-half cents per kilowatt hour if the wholesale supplier fails to comply with the renewable portfolio standards during the subject annual period. [in the amount of five and one-half cents per kilowatt hour. The department shall allocate such payment] The electric distribution company shall promptly transfer any payment received from the wholesale supplier for the failure to meet the renewable portfolio standards to the Renewable Energy Investment Fund for the development of Class I renewable energy sources. [A payment incurred pursuant to this subdivision shall not be deemed a recoverable operating expense in a rate proceeding held pursuant to section 16-19. ] Any payment made pursuant to this section shall not be considered revenue or income to the electric distribution company.

Sec. 5. Subsection (k) of section 16-245 of the general statutes, as amended by section 6 of public act 03-135, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(k) Any licensee who fails to comply with a license condition or who violates any provision of this section, except for the renewable portfolio standards contained in subsection (g) of this section, shall be subject to civil penalties by the Department of Public Utility Control in accordance with section 16-41, or the suspension or revocation of such license or a prohibition on accepting new customers following a hearing that is conducted as a contested case in accordance with chapter 54. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (d) of [this] section 16-244c, as amended by public act 03-135, regarding an alternative transitional standard offer option or an alternative standard service option, the department shall require a payment by a licensee that fails to comply with the renewable portfolio standards in accordance with subdivision (4) of subsection (g) of this section in the amount of five and one-half cents per kilowatt hour. The department shall allocate such payment to the Renewable Energy Investment Fund for the development of Class I renewable energy sources.

Sec. 6. Subsection (a) of section 16-50p of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) In a certification proceeding, the council shall render a decision upon the record either granting or denying the application as filed, or granting it upon such terms, conditions, limitations or modifications of the construction or operation of the facility as the council may deem appropriate. The council's decision shall be rendered within twelve months of the filing of an application concerning a facility described in subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i or subdivision (4) of said subsection (a) if the application was incorporated in an application concerning a facility described in subdivision (1) of said subsection (a), and within one hundred eighty days of the filing of any other application concerning a facility described in subdivision (4) of said subsection (a), and an application concerning a facility described in subdivision (3), (5) or (6) of said subsection (a), provided such time periods may be extended by the council by not more than one hundred eighty days with the consent of the applicant. The council shall file, with its order, an opinion stating in full its reasons for the decision. Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the council shall not grant a certificate, either as proposed or as modified by the council, unless it shall find and determine: (1) A public need for the facility and the basis of the need; (2) the nature of the probable environmental impact, including a specification of every significant adverse effect, whether alone or cumulatively with other effects, on, and conflict with the policies of the state concerning, the natural environment, ecological balance, public health and safety, scenic, historic and recreational values, forests and parks, air and water purity and fish, aquaculture and wildlife; (3) why the adverse effects or conflicts referred to in subdivision (2) of this subsection are not sufficient reason to deny the application; (4) in the case of an electric transmission line, (A) what part, if any, of the facility shall be located overhead, (B) that the facility conforms to a long-range plan for expansion of the electric power grid of the electric systems serving the state and interconnected utility systems and will serve the interests of electric system economy and reliability, and (C) that the overhead portions of the facility, if any, are cost effective and the most appropriate alternative based on a life-cycle cost analysis of the facility and underground alternatives to such facility, and are consistent with the purposes of this chapter, with such regulations as the council may adopt pursuant to subsection (a) of section 16-50t, and with the Federal Power Commission "Guidelines for the Protection of Natural Historic Scenic and Recreational Values in the Design and Location of Rights-of-Way and Transmission Facilities" or any successor guidelines and any other applicable federal guidelines; (5) in the case of an electric or fuel transmission line, that the location of the line will not pose an undue hazard to persons or property along the area traversed by the line; and (6) in the case of a facility described in subdivision (6) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i that is proposed to be installed on land under agricultural restriction, that the facility will not result in a material decrease of acreage and productivity of the arable land. The terms of any agreement entered into by the applicant and any party to the certification proceeding, or any third party, in connection with the construction or operation of the facility, shall be part of the record of the proceedings and available for public inspection. The full text of any such agreement, and a statement of any consideration therefor, if not contained in the agreement, shall be filed with the council prior to the council's decision. This provision shall not require the public disclosure of proprietary information or trade secrets.

Approved July 9, 2003