South Carolina House Passes Bill That Would Require Competitive Supply Program
February 20, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
The following story is brought free of charge to readers byEC Infosystems, the exclusive EDI provider of EnergyChoiceMatters.com
The South Carolina House of Representatives has essentially passed a bill (House Bill 3659) that would allow large customers to direct their utility to purchase renewable energy from a competitive provider on the customer's behalf.
The House today voted for unanimous consent for a third reading on the next legislative day, providing for final passage by the House
The bill requires the utilities to propose a "voluntary renewable energy program" that allows an eligible customer to select the renewable energy facility and negotiate with the renewable energy supplier on price
Under the bill, "voluntary renewable energy program" means, "a tariff filed with the commission by an electrical utility that enables a participating customer to receive and pay for electric service, that reflects the program cost. Commercial or industrial energy and environmental attributes specified in the participating customer agreement and renewable energy contract, including a generation credit for such renewable energy, from the electrical utility pursuant to the terms of the tariff. [sic]"
The bill defines 'eligible customer' as a retail customer with a new or existing contract demand greater than or equal to one megawatt at a single metered location or aggregated across multiple metered locations. 'Participating customer' means an eligible customer that elects to have a portion or all of its electricity needs supplied by a voluntary renewable energy program.
The bill provides that each electrical utility shall file a proposed voluntary renewable energy program for review and approval by the PSC that meets the following conditions:
(1) the participating customer shall have the right to select the renewable energy facility and negotiate with the renewable energy supplier on the price to be paid by the participating customer for the energy, capacity, and environmental attributes of the renewable energy facility and the term of such agreement so long as such terms are consistent with the voluntary renewable program service agreement as approved by the commission;
(2) the renewable energy contract, power purchase agreement, and the participating customer agreement must be of equal duration;
(3) in addition to paying a retail bill calculated pursuant to the rates and tariffs that otherwise would apply to the participating customer, reduced by the amount of the generation credit, a participating customer shall reimburse the electrical utility on a monthly basis for the amount paid by the electrical utility to the renewable energy supplier pursuant to the participating customer agreement and power purchase agreement, plus an administrative fee approved by the commission; and
(4) eligible customers must be allowed to bundle their demand under a single participating customer agreement and renewable energy contract and must be eligible annually to procure an amount of capacity as approved by the commission.
The bill further directs that:
The commission may approve a program that provides for options that include, but are not limited [sic] both variable and fixed generation credit options.
• The commission may limit the total portion of each electrical utility's voluntary renewable energy program that is eligible for the program at a level consistent with the public interest and shall provide standard terms and conditions for the participating customer agreement, the power purchase agreement, and the renewable energy contract, subject to commission review and approval.
• A participating customer shall bear the burden of any reasonable costs associated with participating in a voluntary renewable energy program. An electrical utility may not charge any nonparticipating customers for any costs incurred pursuant to the provisions of this section.
• A renewable energy facility may be located anywhere in the electrical utility's service territory within the utility's balancing authority.
The bill also addresses net metering, utility-offered community solar, and other utility tariff options for energy efficiency, demand response, or onsite distributed energy resources