Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 1078

    January Session, 2015

 

*_____SB01078ET____032515____*

AN ACT CONCERNING AFFORDABLE AND RELIABLE ENERGY.

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

Section 1. Subsection (b) of section 16a-3b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(b) [When the Integrated Resources Plan contains an option to procure new sources of generation, the authority] The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection shall develop and issue a request for proposals [,] as needed to meet the goals established in the Integrated Resources Plan, including, but not limited to, meeting electric energy or capacity needs, meeting the renewable portfolio standards, improving energy system reliability, lowering energy costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Proposals selected by the department shall be subject to approval by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. The department shall submit a report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, regarding such proposals to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy and technology. Not later than sixty calendar days after receipt of the department's report, such committee shall hold a public hearing regarding such proposals. Not later than thirty calendar days after the public hearing, such committee shall advise the department of its approval or modifications, if any, of the proposals selected. The department shall publish such request for proposals in one or more newspapers or periodicals, as selected by the [authority] department, and shall post such request for proposals on its Internet web site. In considering any generation proposals submitted pursuant to such request, the [authority] department shall give preference to proposals for generation without any financial assistance, including, but not limited to, long-term contract financing or ratepayer guarantees. Pursuant to a nondisclosure agreement, the [authority] department shall make available to the [Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection] authority, the Office of Consumer Counsel and the Attorney General all confidential bid information it receives pursuant to this subsection, provided the bids and any analysis of such bids shall not be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. Three months after the [authority] department issues a final decision, it shall make available all financial bid information, provided such information regarding the bidders not selected be presented in a manner that conceals the identities of such bidders.

(1) On and after July 1, 2008, an electric distribution company may submit proposals in response to a request for proposals on the same basis as other respondents to the solicitation. A proposal submitted by an electric distribution company shall include its full projected costs such that any project costs recovered from or defrayed by ratepayers are included in the projected costs. An electric distribution company submitting any such bid shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the [authority] department that its bid is not supported in any form of cross subsidization by affiliated entities. If the [authority] department approves such electric distribution company's proposal, the costs and revenues of such proposal shall not be included in calculating such company's [earning] earnings for purposes of, or in determining whether its rates are just and reasonable under, sections 16-19, 16-19a and 16-19e. An electric distribution company shall not recover more than the full costs identified in any approved proposal. Affiliates of the electric distribution company may submit proposals pursuant to section 16-244h, regulations adopted pursuant to section 16-244h and other requirements the [authority] department may impose.

(2) If the [authority] department selects a nonelectric distribution company proposal, an electric distribution company shall, within thirty days of the selection of a proposal by the [authority] department, negotiate in good faith the final terms of a contract with a generating facility and shall apply to the authority for approval of such contract. Upon authority approval, the electric distribution company shall enter into such contract.

(3) The authority shall determine the appropriate manner of cost recovery for proposals selected pursuant to this section.

(4) The [authority] department may retain the services of a third-party entity with expertise in the area of energy procurement to oversee the development of the request for proposals and to assist the [authority] department in its approval of proposals pursuant to this section. [The reasonable and proper expenses for retaining such third-party entity shall be recoverable through the generation services charge.] All reasonable expenses associated with the department retaining such third-party entity shall be recoverable through the assessment in section 16-49.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2015) (a) The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, in consultation with the procurement manager identified in subsection (l) of section 16-2 of the general statutes, the Office of Consumer Counsel and the Attorney General may, in coordination with other states in the region of the regional independent system operator, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes, or on the commissioner's own, solicit proposals for long-term contracts, in one solicitation or multiple solicitations, from providers of (1) natural gas pipeline capacity constructed on or after January 1, 2016, (2) liquefied natural gas, (3) Class I renewable energy sources, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes, (4) active demand response resources, including, but not limited to, load management, (5) distributed generation, including, but not limited to, combined heat and power, or (6) verifiable large-scale hydropower, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes.

(b) The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall evaluate the following factors when reviewing proposals pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, including, but not limited to, (1) economic benefits to the state, (2) fuel diversity, (3) whether benefits of the proposal outweigh the costs of the proposal, (4) the delivered price of such sources, (5) whether the proposal is consistent with the requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with section 22a-200a of the general statutes, (6) whether the proposal is in the best interest of ratepayers, and (7) whether the proposal is aligned with the policy goals outlined in the Comprehensive Energy Strategy, pursuant to section 16a-3d of the general statutes, including, but not limited to, environmental impacts.

(c) If the commissioner finds proposals pursuant to subsection (a) of this section to be in the best interests of ratepayers, the commissioner may select proposals from generating facilities or demand response resources to meet up to the state's proportional share of the regional energy load of natural gas capacity.

(d) Any agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall be subject to review and approval by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection may file an application with the authority for the review and approval of the agreement. The authority shall issue a decision not later than sixty days after such filing. If the authority does not issue a decision within sixty days after receiving said application, or within ninety days if the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection consents, the application shall be deemed approved. The net costs of any such agreement, including the electric distribution companies' costs incurred under the agreement and reasonable costs incurred in connection with such agreement, shall be recovered through a fully reconciling component of electric rates for all customers of electric distribution companies.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2015) In any rate application filed with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority on or after July 1, 2015, by any electric distribution company, the electric distribution company may seek cost recovery for the costs of purchasing new natural gas capacity either through procuring contracts for new pipeline capacity or otherwise, as directed by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection pursuant to section 2 of this act.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2015

16a-3b(b)

Sec. 2

July 1, 2015

New section

Sec. 3

July 1, 2015

New section

Statement of Legislative Commissioners:

Section 1(a) was deleted because it is existing law, and the bill proposes no change to said existing law.

ET

Joint Favorable Subst.