OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 337

AN ACT REQUIRING THE PUBLIC UTILITIES REGULATORY AUTHORITY TO INITIATE A DOCKET TO STUDY RENEWABLE NATURAL GAS AND CONCERNING CONTRACTS FOR ELECTRICITY GENERATED FROM A BIOMASS FACILITY.

SUMMARY

This bill requires an electric distribution company (EDC, i.e., Eversource or United Illuminating) to file for the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority's (PURA) approval a 10-year contract to purchase 7.5 megawatts of electric capacity from a Class I renewable energy biomass facility that began operating after December 1, 2013, if such a facility is within the EDC's service territory (see BACKGROUND). It requires the EDC to file the contract with PURA by July 1, 2018 (however, the requirement to file the contract does not become effective until October 1, 2018).

The bill also requires PURA to open a proceeding to study renewable natural gas. Under the bill, PURA must review and make recommendations on a renewable natural gas (1) definition, (2) renewable portfolio standard (i.e., requirement to buy a certain percentage of the gas), (3) procurement process, (4) and quality standard. The authority must submit a report of its review and recommendations to the Energy and Technology Committee by November 1, 2018.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018, except the provision regarding renewable natural gas is effective upon passage.

BACKGROUND

Class I Biomass Facility

By law, a Class I renewable energy biomass facility must (1) use a sustainable biomass fuel (e.g., waste wood) and have an average emission rate of no more than 0.075 pounds of nitrogen oxides per million BTU of heat input per quarter or (2) be a biomass facility with a capacity under 500 kilowatts that began construction before July 1, 2003 (CGS 16-1(a)(20)). The Plainfield Renewable Energy biomass facility is currently the state's only Class I biomass facility that began operating after December 1, 2013. It is within Eversource's service territory.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Energy and Technology Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

25

Nay

0

(03/20/2018)