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NO. 74.  AN ACT AUTHORIZING VERMONT YANKEE TO GO BEFORE THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD TO SEEK PERMISSION FOR DRY CASK STORAGE.

(H.545)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  10 V.S.A. chapter 157, subchapter 2 is redesignated to read:

Subchapter 2.  Advisory Commission on Low-Level Radioactive Waste

Dry Cask Storage Authorization of 2005

Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. § 6521, 6522, and 6523 are added to read:

§ 6521.  FINDINGS

The general assembly finds:

(1)  The Vermont Yankee nuclear power station (Vermont Yankee) in Vernon provides a very large fraction of the state’s power supply, and is by far the largest power plant operating in the state.

(2)  Whether the plant runs to the end of its current license, is relicensed

by the federal government, or is required to shut down on short notice, that

large fraction of the state’s supply will need to be replaced.

(3)  The state’s future power supply should be diverse, reliable,

economically sound, and environmentally sustainable.

(4)  In order to make a smooth transition to the future, the state needs to

accelerate Vermont’s investment in electricity resources that are

economically and environmentally sound and that can be acquired in modest

increments.

(5)  In making this transition, there is a great value in investing in

renewable energy sources, efficient, combined heat and power facilities, and energy efficiency.  

(6)  In support of these objectives, the general assembly and public service board have:

(A)  Created the statewide energy efficiency fund, and authorized significant ratepayer charges to support cost-effective investments in end-use energy efficiency resources.

(B)  Provided significant support for renewable resources through the creation of a statewide purchasing pool with long-term contracts for qualifying facilities, and a renewable portfolio standard, and are creating a related program to accelerate investments in new renewable and combined-heat and power projects.

(C)  Assured that these resources are supported financially by Vermont’s utilities and ratepayers, including the former owners of Vermont Yankee.

(7)  In addition to these existing mechanisms, there is a need for a clean energy development fund to support investment in clean energy resources in order to permit adequate power supply diversity.


§ 6522.  PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD REVIEW OF PROPOSALS FOR NEW

              STORAGE FACILITIES FOR SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL

(a)  Neither the owners of Vermont Yankee nor their successors and assigns shall commence construction or establishment of any new storage facility for spent nuclear fuel before receiving a certificate of public good from the public service board pursuant to 30 V.S.A. § 248.  Standards generally applicable to substantial modification of facilities with certificates of public good under

30 V.S.A. § 248 shall apply to any future alterations of any permitted facility.

(b)  In addition to all other applicable criteria of 30 V.S.A. § 248, before granting a certificate of public good for a new or altered spent nuclear fuel facility, the public service board shall find that:

(1)  Adequate financial assurance exists for the management of spent fuel at Vermont Yankee for a time period reasonably expected to be necessary, including through decommissioning, and for as long as it is located in the state.

(2)  The applicant has made commitments to remove all spent fuel from Vermont to a federally certified long-term storage facility in a timely manner, consistent with applicable federal standards.

(3)  The applicant has developed and will implement a spent fuel management plan that will facilitate the eventual removal of those wastes in an efficient manner. 

(4)  The applicant is in substantial compliance with any memoranda of understanding entered between the state and the applicant.

(c)  In addition, the following limiting conditions shall apply:

(1)  Any certificate of public good issued by the board shall permit storage only of spent fuel that is derived from the operation of Vermont Yankee, and not from any other source.

(2)  Any certificate of public good issued by the board shall limit the cumulative total amount of spent fuel stored at Vermont Yankee to the amount derived from the operation of the facility up to, but not beyond, March 21, 2012, the end of the current operating license.  Authorized capacity may include on-site storage capacity to accommodate full core offload or any order or requirement of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission with respect to the fuel derived from these operations.

(3)  The requirement to obtain a certificate of public good from the board for this purpose applies to Vermont Yankee, regardless of who owns the facility, and the conditions of the certificate of public good and the requirements of this subchapter will apply to any future owner.

(4)  Compliance with the provisions of this subchapter shall constitute compliance with the provisions of this chapter that require that approval be obtained from the general assembly before construction or establishment of a facility for the deposit or storage of spent nuclear fuel, but only to the extent specified in this subchapter or authorized under this subchapter.  The public service board is authorized to hear and issue a certificate of public good for such a facility under 30 V.S.A. § 248, to the extent specified or authorized in this subchapter.  Other agencies of the state also may receive and act on applications related to the construction or establishment of such a facility, provided that any approval for such a facility applies only to the extent specified or authorized in this subchapter.  Storage of spent fuel derived from the operation of Vermont Yankee after March 21, 2012 shall require the approval of the general assembly under this chapter.

(5)  Compliance with the provisions of this subchapter shall not confer any expectation or entitlement to continued operation of Vermont Yankee following the expiration of its current operating license on March 21, 2012.  Before the owners of the generation facility may operate the generation facility beyond that date, they must first obtain a certificate of public good from the public service board under Title 30.

§ 6523.  VERMONT CLEAN ENERGY DEVELOPMENT FUND

(a)  Creation of fund.

(1)  There is established the Vermont clean energy development fund to consist of:

(A)  the proceeds due the state under the terms of the memorandum of understanding between the department of public service and Entergy Nuclear VY and Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. that was entered under public service board docket 6812; together with the proceeds due the state under the terms of any subsequent memoranda of understanding entered before July 1, 2005 between the department of public service and Entergy Nuclear VY and Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; and

(B)  any other monies that may be appropriated to or deposited into the fund.

(2)  Balances in the fund shall be held for the benefit of ratepayers, shall be expended solely for the purposes set forth in this subchapter, and shall not be used for the general obligations of government.  All balances in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward and remain part of the fund.  Interest earned by the fund shall be deposited in the fund.  This fund is established in the state treasury pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32.

(b)  Definitions.  For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1)  “Clean energy resources” means electric power supply and

demand-side resources that are either “combined heat and power facilities,” “cost-effective energy efficiency resources,” or “renewable energy” resources.

(2)  “Combined heat and power (CHP) facility” means a generator that sequentially produces both electric power and thermal energy from a single source or fuel.  In order for a fossil fuel-based CHP system to participate in the clean energy program set out in this section, at least 20 percent of its fuel's total recovered energy must be thermal and at least 13 percent must be electric, the design system efficiency (the sum of full load design thermal output and electric output divided by the heat input) must be at least 65 percent, and it must meet air quality standards established by the agency of natural resources.

(3)  “Cost‑effective energy efficiency” means those energy efficiency and conservation measures that would qualify as part of a utility’s least‑cost integrated plan under 30 V.S.A. § 218c or that would be an eligible expenditure under 30 V.S.A. § 209(d).

(4)  “Renewable energy” has the meaning established under 30 V.S.A. § 8002(2), and shall include the following:  solar photovoltaic and solar thermal energy; wind energy; geothermal heat pumps; farm, landfill, and sewer methane recovery; low emission, advanced biomass power, and combined heat and power technologies using biomass fuels such as wood, agricultural or food wastes, energy crops, and organic refuse-derived waste, but not municipal solid waste; advanced biomass heating technologies and technologies using biomass-derived fluid fuels such as biodiesel, bio-oil, and bio-gas.

(c)  Purposes of fund.  The purposes of the fund shall be to promote the development and deployment of cost-effective and environmentally sustainable electric power resources, for the long-term benefit of Vermont electric customers, primarily with respect to renewable energy resources, and the use of combined heat and power technologies.  The general assembly expects and intends that the public service board, public service department, and the state’s power and efficiency utilities will actively implement the authority granted in Title 30 to acquire all reasonably available cost-effective energy efficiency resources for the benefit of Vermont rate payers and the power system.  The fund shall be managed, primarily, to promote:

(1)  the increased use of renewably produced electrical and thermal energy and combined heat and power technologies in the state;

(2)  the growth of the renewable energy-provider and combined heat and power industries in the state;

(3)  the creation of additional employment opportunities and other economic development benefits in the state through the increased use of renewable energy and combined heat and power technologies; and

(4)  the stimulation of increased public and private sector investment in renewable energy and combined heat and power and related enterprises, institutions, and projects in the state.

(d)  Expenditures authorized.

(1)  This fund shall be administered by the department of public service to facilitate the development and implementation of clean energy resources.   The fund shall not be used to meet costs of administration.

(2)  The department shall assure an open public process in the administration of the fund for the purposes established in this subchapter.

(3)   By January 15 of each year, commencing in 2007, the department of public service shall provide to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy, the senate committee on finance, and the house committee on commerce a report detailing the revenues collected and the expenditures made under this subchapter, together with recommended principles to be followed in the allocation of funds and a proposed five-year plan for future expenditures from the fund.

(4)  Projects for funding may include the following:

(A)  projects that will sell power in commercial quantities;

(B)  among those projects that will sell power in commercial quantities, funding priority will be given to those projects that commit to sell power to Vermont utilities on favorable terms;

(C)  projects to benefit publicly owned or leased buildings;

(D)  renewable energy projects on farms;

(E)  small scale renewable energy in Vermont residences and businesses; and

(F)  effective projects that are not likely to be established in the absence of funding under the program.

(5)  If during a particular year, the department determines that there is a lack of high value projects eligible for funding, as identified in the five-year plan, or as otherwise identified, the department may consult with the board, and shall consider transferring funds to the energy efficiency fund established under the provisions of 30 V.S.A. § 209(d).  Such a transfer may take place only in response to an opportunity for a particularly cost effective investment in energy efficiency, and only as a temporary supplement to funds collected under that subsection, not as replacement funding.

Sec. 3.  REPORT ON USE OF CLEAN ENERGY DEVELOPMENT FUND

By no later than January 15, 2006, the department of public service shall present to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy, the senate committee on finance, and the house committee on commerce a report containing recommendations with respect to how best to implement the clean energy development fund.  The report shall include:

(1)  draft legislation, if necessary, with respect to implementation of the clean energy development fund;

(2)  a proposed plan for allocations from the fund;

(3)  proposed rules to manage expenditures from the fund, the application process, equity among the various regions of the state, equity among competing technologies, equity among applicants who may be competitors with each other, and other matters that the commissioner deems appropriate to address by means of rule.

Approved:  June 21, 2005



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us