Public Hearing, Today at 1:00 PM for about 4 hours LD 1224, SP0415 An Act To Allow for Greater Energy Competition in Maine by Amending the Law Governing Electric Generation or Generation-related Assets by Affiliates - Sen. Mark Dion of Cumberland Subjects: ELECTRIC UTILITIES, DELIVERY, AFFILIATES
Work Session, Today at 2:00 PM for about 3 hours LD 1061, HP0744 An Act To Increase Investment and Regulatory Stability in the Electric Industry - Rep. Jeffrey Pierce of Dresden Subjects: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION DEPT, RULES, WIND POWER
SUMMARY LD 1224
This bill directs the Public Utilities Commission to develop clear standards and protections to be imposed on investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities to prevent them from providing preferential treatment to their generation affiliates in Maine.
This bill requires the commission to adopt major substantive rules to protect ratepayers and establish standards of conduct that govern the relationship between an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility and a generation affiliate. It requires that standards of conduct adopted by commission rule ensure at a minimum that a generation affiliate is not given preference over nonaffiliated competitive generators; costs of the generation affiliate are not recovered from ratepayers; employees of an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility are physically separate from and not shared with those of a generation affiliate; and the accounts and records of an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility and a generation affiliate are separate.
This bill defines "generation affiliate" as an affiliated interest that owns, has a financial interest in or controls generation or generation-related assets.
This bill defines "financial interest" as any voting or nonvoting equity interest, partnership interest, whether limited or general, trust interest or joint venture in an entity and specifies that a financial interest is not created between an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility and a generation affiliate solely by virtue of their relationship with a common parent company.
This bill establishes penalties for violations of rules adopted pursuant to this bill, and provides that the commission may require an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility to divest from its generation affiliate as a result of any violations of the rules.
This bill does the following.
1. It gives the Public Utilities Commission authority to direct investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities to enter into long-term contracts for regional procurement of capacity resources, energy or renewable energy credits.
2. It requires the Public Utilities Commission to issue an annual report on the procurement of capacity resources, energy and renewable energy credits in the preceding 12 months with a plan for the succeeding 12 months that is consistent with the State’s goals for greenhouse gas reduction.
3. It requires certain rules adopted under the expedited permitting of grid-scale wind energy development provisions to be major substantive rules.
4. It allows a property owner to request that the owner's property be included as an expedited permitting area for grid-scale wind energy development.
5. It requires rules in determining the effects of grid-scale wind energy development on scenic character and related existing uses to be major substantive rules.
6. It directs the Department of Environmental Protection to convene a stakeholder group regarding the effect of expedited wind energy on scenic character and existing uses, which may issue a report of its findings, including recommended legislation, to the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology.