THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2584

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2022

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO ENERGY INTERCONNECTION.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Hawaii electric utilities currently invest in grid infrastructure based on the assumption that one hundred per cent of the estimated customer load from new home and commercial developments will be served by the electrical grid. Nonetheless, a significant portion of electrical demand from new developments will be addressed through onsite distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar systems, or through energy efficiency and other similar measures. The failure to account for distributed energy resources or energy efficiency in utility planning around new developments may result in ratepayers paying for large capital expenditures to build unnecessary or underutilized grid infrastructure.

The legislature further finds that the failure to encourage planning and deployment of distributed energy resources and similar measures may miss a significant opportunity to advance clean energy goals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the time of construction. This includes the opportunity to design and build more climate resilient homes and communities, and better leverage the ability of customer-sited distributed energy resources to provide grid and other services that reduce ratepayer costs. Encouraging appropriate planning would likely provide socio-economic and environmental benefits to all Hawaii residents and businesses, as well as reduce unnecessary utility spending that could result in higher electricity rates.

The legislature declares that it is the policy of this State that electric utilities must develop electricity load management plans that integrate and leverage the capabilities of distributed energy resources and energy efficiency to reduce the need for utility expenditures on distribution, transmission, and other utility infrastructure prior to interconnecting any new residential, commercial, or industrial development that requires the construction of utility infrastructure in excess of a threshold determined by the public utilities commission.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act to direct the public utilities commission to adopt guidelines that require electric utilities to develop electricity load management plans that integrate and leverage the capabilities of distributed energy resources and energy efficiency to reduce the need for utility expenditures on distribution, transmission, and other utility infrastructure before interconnecting any new residential, commercial, or industrial development that requires the construction of utility infrastructure in excess of a threshold determined by the commission.

SECTION 2. Section 269-142, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]269-142[]] Reliability standards; interconnection requirements; adoption and development; force and effect. (a) The commission may adopt, by rule or order, reliability standards and interconnection requirements. Reliability standards and interconnection requirements adopted by the commission shall apply to any electric utility and any user, owner, or operator of the Hawaii electric system. The commission shall not contract for the performance of the functions under this subsection to any other entity as provided under section 269-147.

(b) The commission may develop reliability standards and interconnection requirements as it determines necessary or upon recommendation from any entity, including an entity contracted by the commission to serve as the Hawaii electricity reliability administrator provided for under this part, for the continuing reliable design and operation of the Hawaii electric system. Any reliability standard or interconnection requirement developed by the commission shall be adopted by the commission in accordance with subsection (a) in order to be effective. The commission shall not contract for the performance of the functions under this subsection to any other entity as provided under section 269-147.

(c) The commission shall have jurisdiction over matters concerning interconnection requirements and interconnections located in the State between electric utilities, any user, owner, or operator of the Hawaii electric system, or any other person, business, or entity connecting to the Hawaii electric system or otherwise applying to connect generation or equipment providing ancillary services to, or operate generation and equipment providing ancillary services in parallel with the Hawaii electric system under processes established in accordance with section 269-145. Nothing in this subsection is intended to give the commission general supervision authority over any user, owner, or operator of the Hawaii electric system or any other person, business, or entity that is not a public utility as defined in section 269-1.

(d) The commission shall adopt, by rule or order, guidelines applicable to interconnection applications for new developments that would trigger distribution, transmission, or other utility infrastructure upgrade costs in excess of a threshold determined by the commission. In adopting these guidelines, the commission shall:

(1) Require that electric utilities implement an approved load management plan before interconnecting any new residential, commercial, or industrial development that an interconnection study or other applicable study indicates the interconnection application would trigger distribution, transmission, or other utility infrastructure upgrade costs in excess of a threshold determined by the commission; and

(2) Establish requirements for the development of load management plans by an electric utility for any interconnection application that would trigger grid infrastructure upgrade costs in excess of a threshold determined by the commission. The requirements shall include at a minimum:

(A) Directives for studying and integrating customer-sited distributed energy resources and energy efficiency into load management plans;

(B) Criteria to be used by the commission when approving or denying a proposed load management plan, including but not limited to the potential for the load management plan to defer or avoid infrastructure upgrade costs;

(C) A process for determining whether multiple interconnection applications should otherwise be deemed a single interconnection application for the purposes of this paragraph; and

(D) A maximum amount of time within which the interconnecting electric utility shall be required to submit a load management plan to the commission and the time within which the commission shall review and issue a determination for the load management plan.

The commission may approve a request for cost recovery through a commission-approved mechanism by an electric utility that elects to develop and implement a load management plan in accordance with the guidance developed by the commission pursuant to this subsection for any costs expended to interconnect an applicant for which the interconnection or other applicable study indicates the interconnection application would trigger distribution, transmission, or other utility infrastructure upgrade costs in excess of a threshold determined by the commission."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.


 


 

Report Title:

Public Utilities Commission; Guidelines; Energy Utilities; Interconnection Applications; Load Management Plans

 

Description:

Directs the Public Utilities Commission to adopt guidelines for interconnection applications that would trigger distribution, transmission, or other utility infrastructure upgrade costs in excess of a threshold determined by the Commission. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1)

 

 

 

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