THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1050

TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2015

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

Relating to energy.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that all Hawaii residents should be able to participate in and enjoy the economic, environmental, and societal benefits of renewable energy.  Spurred by the Hawaii clean energy initiative and increasingly affordable clean energy options, such as solar photovoltaic, localized renewable energy generation technology has become increasingly attainable.

     While residential solar energy use statewide has grown dramatically in recent years, many residents and businesses are currently unable to directly generate and use renewable energy because of their location, building type, access to the electric utility grid, and other impediments.

     The community-based renewable energy program seeks to rectify this inequity by dramatically expanding the market for eligible renewable energy resources to include residential and business renters, occupants of residential and commercial buildings with shaded or improperly oriented roofs, and other groups who are unable to access the benefits of onsite clean energy generation.  The legislature finds that it is in the public interest to promote broader participation in self-generation by Hawaii residents and businesses through the development of community renewable energy facilities in which participants are entitled to generate electricity and receive credit for that electricity on their utility bills.

     Community-based renewable energy creates new construction jobs, stimulates the economy, reduces emissions of greenhouse gases, promotes energy independence, and assists in meeting the State's clean energy goals.  Further, community-based renewable energy enables residents and businesses to save money on their electricity bills, thereby providing additional funds for other purchasing, investment, or other economic activity.

     While the concept of "wheeling" electricity over utility infrastructure has been the subject of discussion for years, the community-based renewable energy program contemplated in this Act should not be construed as "wheeling" because the tariff or tariffs established by the public utilities commission will address the utility costs related to transmission and distribution infrastructure and grid operations.

     The purpose of this Act is to establish the Hawaii community-based renewable energy program to make the benefits of renewable energy more accessible to a greater number of Hawaii residents.

     SECTION 2.  Chapter 269, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

     "§269-    Community-based renewable energy tariffs.  (a)  Upon application by an electric utility or another party, or upon its own motion, the commission shall establish a community-based renewable energy tariff or tariffs.  A community based renewable tariff shall take effect no later than January 1, 2016.

     (b)  Any person or entity may propose, own, or operate a community-based renewable energy project or projects; provided that a project equal to or less than one megawatt in size shall be subject to the interconnection processes approved by the commission, and a project greater than one megawatt in size shall be subject to the commission's review and approval.

     (c)  An electric utility may develop and implement its own community-based renewable energy project or projects; provided that the projects shall be subject to the commission's review and approval.

     (d)  The community-based renewable energy tariff and related interconnection processes shall, to the extent possible, be standardized.

     (e)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit wheeling.

     (f)  For purposes of this section:

     "Community-based renewable energy tariff" means a tariff approved by the commission that:

     (1)  Allows all electric utility customers, irrespective of rate class, to obtain an interest in a portion or portions of an eligible renewable energy project that is providing electricity to the electric utility; and

     (2)  Allows the electric utility to implement a billing arrangement to compensate those customers for the electricity provided to the electric utility."

     SECTION 3.  Section 269-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new definition to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:

     ""Wheeling" means the transmission of electricity over transmission or distribution lines by an entity that does not directly own or use the electricity being transmitted, without any compensation to the electric utility for the cost of transmission and distribution."

     SECTION 4.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Community-based Renewable Energy Program; Community-based Renewable Energy Tariff; Public Utilities Commission

 

Description:

Establishes the community-based renewable energy program, which allows the public utilities commission to establish a tariff that allows all electric utility customers to obtain an interest in a portion of an eligible renewable energy project that is providing electricity to the electric utility and receive compensation for the energy provided to the electric utility.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.