Introduced by Representatives Edwards of Brattleboro, Milkey of Brattleboro and Pillsbury of Brattleboro
Subject: Public service; planning and zoning; planned unit development (PUD) distributed power systems
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to authorize the creation of planned unit development (PUD) distributed power systems. These are energy distribution systems that would be created within planned unit developments established under 24 V.S.A. chapter 117, would be subject to statutory size limitations, and would be authorized only to serve customers located within the planned unit development. The systems would also be served by the utility company in whose service area the projects are created. The public service board is given authority to establish and monitor the program.
AN ACT RELATING TO THE CREATION OF PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT DISTRIBUTED POWER SYSTEMS
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 30 V.S.A. § 219b is added to read:
§ 219b. PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT DISTRIBUTED POWER
(a) The board shall establish by rule or order standards and procedures governing application for and issuance or revocation of a certificate of public good for planned unit development (PUD) distributed power systems under the provisions of section 248 of this title. A PUD distributed power system:
(1) shall be located in a PUD, created under the provisions of 24 V.S.A. chapter 117, that is more than 100 acres in size;
(2) shall be authorized to sell power only to customers who are located within the PUD;
(3) shall be of no more than 1,999 kw (AC) capacity;
(4) shall operate in parallel with facilities of the electric distribution system;
(5) shall integrate a renewable energy source such as a photovoltaic array, wind turbine, fuel cell, or biomass gasification generation technology or other sustainable energy technology.
(b) A PUD distributed power system shall be deemed to promote the public good of the state if it is in compliance with the criteria of this section and board rules or orders. In developing these rules or orders, the board:
(1) may waive the requirements of section 248 of this title that are not applicable to PUD distributed power systems, including, but not limited to, criteria that are generally applicable to public service companies as defined in this title;
(2) may modify notice and hearing requirements of this title as it deems appropriate;
(3) shall seek to simplify the application and review process as appropriate; and
(4) shall find that these rules are consistent with state power plans.
(c) An applicant for a certificate of public good for a PUD distributed power system shall be exempt from the requirements of subsection 202(f) of this title. Any certificate issued under this section shall be automatically transferred to any subsequent owner of the property served by the PUD distributed power system, provided, in accordance with rules adopted by the board, the board and the electric company are notified of the transfer, and the subsequent owner agrees to comply with the terms and conditions of the certificate.
(d) After the board has authorized the establishment of a PUD distributed power system under this section, any expansion of the customers to be served by the system shall be allowable only if the applicant can demonstrate the ability to provide in excess of 75 kwh on a 90 percent or greater service level for the immediately preceding six months.
(e) A customer shall pay the same rates, fees or other payments and be subject to the same conditions and requirements as all other purchasers in the same rate-class from the electric company, except as provided for in this section, and except for appropriate and necessary conditions approved by the board for the safety and reliability of the electric distribution system.
(f)(1) In addition to any other requirements of section 248 of this title and of this section and board rules adopted under the authority of either, before a PUD distributed power system served by more than one meter may be formed and served by an electric company, the proposed PUD distributed power system shall file with the board, with copies to the department and the serving electric company, the following information:
(A) the meters to be included in the PUD distributed power system, which shall be located in the PUD, identified by account number and location;
(B) a method for adding and removing meters included in the PUD distributed power system;
(C) a designated person responsible for all communications from the PUD distributed power system to the serving electric company, for receiving and paying bills for any service provided by the serving electric company for the PUD distributed power system, and for receiving any other communications regarding the PUD distributed power system; and
(D) a binding process for the resolution of any disputes within the PUD distributed power system relating to the PUD distributed power system that does not rely on the serving electric company, the board, or the department.
(2) The PUD distributed power system shall, at all times, maintain a written designation to the serving electric company of a person who shall be the sole person authorized to receive and pay bills for any service provided by the serving electric company and for receiving any other communications regarding the PUD distributed power system.
(3) The serving utility shall implement appropriate changes to the PUD distributed power system within 30 days after receiving written notification from the designated person. However, written notification of a change in the person designated under subdivision (2) of this subsection shall be effective upon receipt by the serving utility. The serving utility shall not be liable for action based on such notification, but shall make any necessary corrections and bill adjustments to implement revised notifications.
(4) Pursuant to subsection 231(a) of this title, after such notice and opportunity for hearing as the board may require, the board may revoke a certificate of public good issued to a PUD distributed power system.
(g) An electric company:
(1) Shall make services available to any customer using a PUD distributed power system;
(2) Shall charge the customer a minimum monthly fee that is the same as for other customers of the electric distribution company in the same rate class, but shall not charge the customer any additional standby, capacity, interconnection, or other fee or charge;
(3) May charge reasonable fees for interconnection, establishment, special meter reading, accounting, account correcting, and account maintenance of PUD distributed power system arrangements;
(4) May require that all meters included within a PUD distributed power system be read on the same billing cycle;
(5) May book and defer, with carrying costs, additional incremental costs, not otherwise recovered, directly related to a PUD distributed power system.
(h)(1) A PUD distributed power system using photovoltaic generation shall conform to applicable electrical safety, power quality, and interconnection requirements established by the National Electrical Code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and Underwriters Laboratories. The customer shall be responsible for installation, testing, accuracy, and maintenance of PUD distributed power system equipment.
(2) The board may adopt for customers, by rule or order, additional safety, power quality, and interconnection requirements that the board determines are necessary to protect public safety and system reliability.
(3) An electric company may, at its own expense, and upon reasonable written notice to the customer, perform such testing and inspection of a PUD distributed power system in order to confirm that the system conforms to applicable electrical safety, power quality, and interconnection requirements.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street