AN ACT requiring a portion of the renewable energy fund to benefit low to moderate income residential customers and relative to electric renewable energy classes and relative to the class rate for biomass.


SPONSORS: Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. Feltes, Dist 15; Sen. Innis, Dist 24; Sen. Avard, Dist 12; Sen. French, Dist 7; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Giuda, Dist 2; Sen. Reagan, Dist 17; Sen. Ward, Dist 8; Rep. Richardson, Coos 4; Rep. Chandler, Carr. 1; Rep. McConkey, Carr. 3; Rep. Shepardson, Ches. 10; Rep. Backus, Hills. 19


COMMITTEE: Energy and Natural Resources






This  bill:


I.  Requires a portion of the funds in the renewable energy fund to benefit low-moderate income residential customers.


II.  Makes changes to renewable energy classes.


III.  Raises the class rate for biomass.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen


AN ACT requiring a portion of the renewable energy fund to benefit low to moderate income residential customers and relative to electric renewable energy classes and relative to the class rate for biomass.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  Purpose.  The general court finds it is in the public interest to promote customer choice and energy independence by eliminating market barriers to solar energy that low-to-moderate income residential customers face, by sustaining and promoting local renewable energy resources and New Hampshire jobs in the solar and wood products industries, by promoting the stabilization and lowering of future energy costs with more clean energy supply and greater energy diversification, and by further reducing energy costs by reducing New Hampshire's peak demand, including our share of regional electric transmission costs, which recently went up due to our increased share of the regional peak demand.

2  Title.  The title of this act is the New Hampshire Clean Energy Jobs and Opportunity Act of 2017.

3  Electric Renewable Portfolio Standard; Renewable Energy Fund.  Amend RSA 362-F:10, X to read as follows:

X.  Consistent with RSA 362-F:10, VI, the commission shall, over each 2-year period commencing July 1, 2010, reasonably balance overall amounts expended, allocated, or obligated from the fund, net of administrative expenditures, between residential and nonresidential sectors.  Funds from the renewable energy fund awarded to renewable projects in the residential sector shall be in approximate proportion to the amount of electricity sold at retail to that sector in New Hampshire, and the remaining funds from the renewable energy fund shall be awarded to projects in the nonresidential sector which include commercial and industrial sited renewable energy projects, existing generators, and developers of new commercial-scale renewable generation in New Hampshire, provided no less than 15 percent of the funds shall annually benefit low-moderate income residential customers, including, but not limited to, the financing or leveraging of financing for low-moderate income community solar projects in  manufactured housing communities or in multi-family rental housing.

4  New Paragraph; Electric Renewable Portfolio Standard; Definitions; Low-Moderate Income Community Solar Project.  Amend RSA 362-F:2 by inserting after paragraph X the following new paragraph:

X-a.  "Low-moderate income community solar project" means ground-mounted or rooftop solar arrays that directly benefit a group of at least 5 residential end-user customers, where at least a majority of the residential end-user customers are at or below 300% of the federal poverty guidelines.

5  Electric Renewable Portfolio Standard;Electric Renewable Energy Classes.  Amend RSA 362-F:4, III to read as follows:

III.  Class III (Existing Biomass/Methane) shall include the production of electricity from any of the following, provided the source began operation prior to January 1, 2006 and except as provided in subparagraph (b):

(a)  Eligible biomass technologies having a gross nameplate capacity of 25 MWs or less.

(b)  Methane gas.  Effective for electricity production commencing January 1, 2017, methane gas shall not qualify for class III if the production is from a source or sources which began operation prior to January 1, 2006 and which source exceeds, or sources exceed, a total gross nameplate capacity of 10 MWs in the aggregate located at any single landfill site.  All phases, stages, cells, lifts, expansions, and other landfill areas shall be combined in determining the single landfill site gross nameplate capacity.  Only class III and potential class Ill eligible sources at any single landfill site shall be included in determining whether the 10 MW aggregate limitation has been exceeded.

6  Electric Renewable Portfolio Standard; Minimum Electric Renewable Portfolio Standards.  Amend RSA 362-F:3 to read as follows:

362-F:3  Minimum Electric Renewable Portfolio Standards.  For each year specified in the table below, each provider of electricity shall obtain and retire certificates sufficient in number and class type to meet or exceed the following percentages of total megawatt-hours of electricity supplied by the provider to its end-use customers that year, except to the extent that the provider makes payments to the renewable energy fund under RSA 362-F:10, II:

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2025 and thereafter

Class I 0.0% 0.5% 1% 2% 3% 3.8% 5% 6% 15% (*)

Class II 0.0% 0.0% 0.04% 0.08% 0.15% 0.2% 0.3% 0.3% [0.3%] 1.0%

Class III 3.5% 4.5% 5.5% 6.5% 1.4% 1.5% 3.0% 8.0% 8.0%

Class IV 0.5% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1.3% 1.4% 1.5% 1.5%

*Class I increases an additional 0.9 percent per year from 2015 through 2025.  A set percentage of the class I totals shall be satisfied annually by the acquisition of renewable energy certificates from qualifying renewable energy technologies producing useful thermal energy as defined in RSA 362-F:2, XV-a.  The set percentage shall be 0.4 percent in 2014, 0.6 percent in 2015, [1.3] 0.8 percent in 2016, and increased annually by [0.1] 0.2 percent per year from 2017 through 2023, after which it shall remain unchanged.  Class II shall increase to 0.6 percent beginning in 2018, 0.8 percent beginning in 2019, and 1.0 percent beginning in 2020, otherwise classes II-IV shall remain at the same percentages from 2015 through 2025 except as provided in RSA 362-F:4, V-VI.

7  Limited Electrical Energy Producers Act; Net Energy Metering.  Amend RSA 362-A:9, XIV(c) to read as follows:

(c)  Notwithstanding paragraph V, a group host shall be paid for its surplus generation at the end of each billing cycle at rates consistent with the credit the group host receives relative to its own net metering under either subparagraph IV(a) or (b) or alternative tariffs that may be applicable pursuant to paragraph XVI.  Each group member of a group host for a low-moderate income community solar project, as defined in RSA 362-F:2, X-a, may receive credits on the customer electric bill for each member and the host.  On an annual basis, the electric distribution utility shall calculate a payment adjustment if the host's surplus generation for which it was paid is greater than the group's total electricity usage during the same time period.  The adjustment shall be such that the resulting compensation to the host for the amount that exceeded the group's total usage shall be at the utility's avoided cost or its default service rate in accordance with subparagraph V(b) or paragraph VI or alternative tariffs that may be applicable pursuant to paragraph XVI.  The utility shall pay or bill the host accordingly.

8  New Paragraph; Limited Electrical Producers Act; Net Metering.  Amend RSA 362-A:9 by inserting after paragraph XVIII the following new paragraph:

XIX.  No person, owner, developer, or installer of an eligible customer-generator facility, business organization, or any subsidiary thereof, shall use a credit score as an eligibility requirement in any way for residential projects involving net metering; provided, however, a credit score may be used for the group host or third-party guarantor of a low-moderate income community solar project and a residential end-user's utility payment history may be used, as determined by the commission.

9  Renewable Energy Fund; Rates.  Amend RSA 362-F:10, III to read as follows:

III.(a)  Beginning in 2013, the commission shall adjust these rates by January 31 of each year using the Consumer Price Index as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor for classes III and IV and 1/2 of such Index for classes I and II.

(b)  In lieu of the adjustments under subparagraph (a) for class III in 2015[,] and 2016 [and 2017], the class rate in each of those years shall be $45.  In lieu of the adjustments under subparagraph (a) for class III in 2017, 2018, and 2019, the class rate in each of those years shall be $55.

(c)  By January 31, [2018] 2020 the commission shall compute the [2018] 2020 class III rate to equal the rate that would have resulted in [2018] 2020 by the application of subparagraph (a) to the 2013 rate and each subsequent year's rate to [2018] 2020.

(d)  In [2019] 2021 and thereafter, the class III rate shall be determined by application of subparagraph (a) to the prior year's rate.

10  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.