Analysis

Synopsis:

 Senate Bill 84 (SB84) enacts the Community Solar Act; prescribes requirements for community solar facilities, subscriber organizations and subscriptions; prescribes requirements for administration of a community solar program; directs the Public Regulation Commission to adopt rules to implement a community solar program.

Analysis:

 Senate Bill 84 (SB84) enacts the Community Solar Act; prescribes requirements for community solar facilities, subscriber organizations and subscriptions; prescribes requirements for administration of a community solar program; directs the Public Regulation Commission to adopt rules to implement a community solar program.

SECTION 1. Specifies this act may be cited as the Community Solar Act (Act). 

SECTION 2. Definitions as used in the Act.

SECTION 3. Specifies community solar requirements as follows:

 A. A community solar facility shall: 
(1) have a nameplate rating of five megawatts alternating current or less;
(2) be located in the service territory of the qualifying utility and be interconnected to the electric distribution system of that qualifying utility; 
(3) have at least ten subscribers; 
(4) have the option to be co-located with other energy resources; 
(5) not allow a single subscriber to be allocated more than 40 percent of the generating capacity of the facility; and 
(6) make at least 40 percent of the total generating capacity of a community solar facility available in subscriptions of 25 kilowatts or less. 
B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to a native community solar project; provided that a native community solar project shall be located in the service territory of a qualifying utility and be interconnected to the electric distribution system of that qualifying utility. 

SECTION 4. Specifies the ownership of community solar facilities as follows:
A. A community solar facility shall be owned or operated by a subscriber organization.
B. Third-party entities or subscriber organizations developing projects on the land of an Indian nation, tribe, or pueblo are subject to tribal jurisdiction. 

SECTION 5. Specifies subscription requirements as follows:
A. A subscription shall be: (1) sized to supply no more than 120 percent of the subscriber's average annual electricity consumption; and (2) transferable and portable within the qualifying utility service territory.
B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to a native community solar project; provided that subscriptions to a native community solar project shall be transferable and portable within the qualifying utility service territory. 

SECTION 6. Directs administration of a community solar program by a qualifying utility (Subsection A) or a subscriber organization (Subsection B).
Subsection C provides that if a community solar facility is not fully subscribed in a given month, the unsubscribed energy may be rolled forward on the community solar facility account for up to one year from its month of generation and allocated by the subscriber organization to subscribers at any time during that period. At the end of that period, any undistributed bill credit shall be removed, and the unsubscribed energy shall be purchased by the qualifying utility at its applicable avoided cost of energy rate as approved by the commission. 
Subsection D allows the environmental attributes associated with a community solar facility may be sold or transferred by the owner of the community solar facility to the qualifying utility. 
Subsection E provides that nothing in the Act shall preclude an Indian nation, tribe or pueblo from using financial mechanisms other than subscription models.

SECTION 7. Directs the Public Regulation Commission to:
adopt rules to establish a community solar program no later than November 1, 2021 and provides guidelines as to what the rules shall cover. 
Directs the commission shall solicit input from a variety of sources as suggested.
By no later than November 1, 2024, the commission shall provide to the appropriate interim legislative committee a report on the status of the community solar program according to this section and any recommended changes.

SECTION 8. Inserts provisions for that a rural electric distribution cooperative may opt-in to the community solar program and provide interconnection and retail electric services to community solar developments on a per-project or system-wide basis within its service territory. 

SECTION 9. Inserts provisions that subscriber organization shall not be considered public utilities and exempt them from regulation by the commission under the Public Utility Act.

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