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Introduced by   Representatives Keenan of St. Albans City, Young of Orwell, Condon of Colchester, Houston of Ferrisburgh, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Marcotte of Coventry, Morley of Orleans, Reese of Pomfret, Shand of Weathersfield and Trombley of Grand Isle

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Public service; regulation of corporations; merchant electric plants

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to provide guidelines for the public service board to issue certificates of public good to merchant electric plants.


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

Sec. 1.  30 V.S.A. § 248(a)(2) is amended to read:

§ 248.  New gas and electric purchases, investments, and

            facilities; certificate of public good

* * *

(2)  Except as provided under section 248a of this title, and except for the replacement of existing facilities with equivalent facilities in the usual course of business, and except for electric generation facilities that are operated solely for on-site electricity consumption by the owner of those facilities:

* * *

Sec. 2.  30 V.S.A. § 248a is added to read:



(a)  A person may begin site preparation for or construction of a merchant electric plant within the state if, after giving notice and an opportunity for hearing, the public service board issues a certificate of public good under this section.

(b)  As used in this section, "merchant plant" means an electric generation facility and its associated transmission facilities:

(1)  that will sell or convey all of its capacity and energy in competitive markets; and

(2)  no part of which is financed directly or indirectly through investments backed by Vermont electric ratepayers.

(c)  In proceedings under this section:

(1)  The petitioner shall send copies of its application to the attorney general, the department of public service, the department of health, the agency of natural resources, the division of historic preservation, the scenery preservation council, the state planning office, the agency of transportation, the department of agriculture, food and markets, and to the chair or director of the municipal and regional planning commissions and the municipal legislative body for each town and city in which the proposed merchant plant will be located.

(2)  The agency of natural resources shall appear as a party and shall provide evidence and recommendations.

(3)  At least one nontechnical public hearing shall be held in a county in which the merchant plant is proposed to be located, and notice of the public hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or counties in which the proposed merchant plant will be located.

(4)  Technical hearings shall be held at locations selected by the board.

(d)  Before the public service board issues a certificate of public good as required under subsection (a) of this section, it shall find that the merchant plant:

(1)  will not unduly interfere with the orderly development of the region, with due consideration having been given to the recommendations of the municipal and regional planning commissions, the recommendations of the municipal legislative bodies, and the land conservation measures contained in the plan of any affected municipality;

(2)  will not adversely affect system stability and reliability;

(3)  will not have an undue adverse effect on aesthetics, historic sites, air and water purity, the natural environment, and the public health and safety, with due consideration having been given to the criteria specified in 10 V.S.A. §§ 1424a(d) and 6086(a)(1)-(8) and (9)(K);

(4)  is in compliance with the electric energy plan approved by the department of public service under section 202 of this title, or there exists good cause to grant a certificate to the proposed merchant plant, notwithstanding noncompliance;

(5)  does not involve a facility affecting or located on any segment of the waters of the state that have been designated as outstanding resource waters by the water resources board, except that, with respect to a natural gas or electric transmission facility, the merchant plant does not have an undue adverse effect on those outstanding resource waters;

(6)  with respect to a waste-to-energy facility, is included in a solid waste management plan that was adopted pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2202a and that is consistent with the state solid waste management plan;

(7)  can be served economically by existing or planned transmission facilities without undue adverse effect on Vermont utilities or customers;

(8)  will result in an economic benefit to the state and its residents;

(9)  will create public benefits in this state and other states that will outweigh the public costs in this state and other states; and

(10)  will promote the general good of the state.

(e)  A certificate of public good issued under this section does not entitle any person to exercise the right of eminent domain.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont