See other bills
under the
same topic
PRINTER'S NO. 938
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
705
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY SCAVELLO, BROWNE, BAKER, KILLION, YUDICHAK,
A. WILLIAMS, ARGALL, DINNIMAN, FARNESE, KEARNEY, LEACH,
BLAKE, SANTARSIERO, HAYWOOD, MUTH, TARTAGLIONE, BREWSTER,
LAUGHLIN AND AUMENT, JUNE 11, 2019
REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION AND PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE,
JUNE 11, 2019
AN ACT
Amending the act of November 30, 2004 (P.L.1672, No.213),
entitled, "An act providing for the sale of electric energy
generated from renewable and environmentally beneficial
sources, for the acquisition of electric energy generated
from renewable and environmentally beneficial sources by
electric distribution and supply companies and for the powers
and duties of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission,"
further providing for definitions and for interconnection
standards for customer-generator facilities; providing for
unsubscribed energy, for community solar facilities, electric
distribution companies and subscriber administrators, for
customer participation in community solar programs, for
location of multiple community solar facilities and for
ecology and stewardship; and making editorial changes.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The General Assembly finds and declares as
follows:
(1) Growth in solar generation will provide jobs for
Pennsylvania.
(2) Local solar energy generation can contribute to a
more resilient grid and defer the need for costly new
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
transmission and distribution system expansion.
(3) Community solar generation can foster economic
growth as well as opportunities for competition and
innovative business models.
(4) Programs for community solar generation provide
customers with additional energy choices and access to local,
affordable and clean energy options.
(5) Community solar programs provide customers,
including homeowners, renters and businesses, access to the
benefits of local solar energy generation, unconstrained by
the physical attributes of their home or business, such as
roof space, shading or ownership status.
(6) The intent of this act is to:
(i) Allow electric customers of this Commonwealth to
purchase, lease or subscribe to a portion of a community
solar facility and benefit from the resulting generation
as if they had installed a solar facility on their own
property and connected it to their own electric meter.
(ii) Encourage the development of community solar
programs that will facilitate participation and create
tangible benefits for low-income and moderate-income
customers and the communities in which they live.
(iii) Reasonably allow for the creation, financing,
accessibility and operation of community solar generating
facilities in a way that ensures robust customer
participation.
(iv) In developing regulations, ensure that the
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission identifies and
eliminates barriers to participation by renters, low-
income and moderate-income customers and small
20190SB0705PN0938 - 2 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
businesses.
Section 2. The definition of "customer-generator" in section
2 of the act of November 30, 2004 (P.L.1672, No.213), known as
the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act, is amended and
the section is amended by adding definitions to read:
Section 2. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
* * *
"Bill credit." The commission-approved monetary value of
each kilowatt hour of electricity generated by a community solar
facility and allocated to a subscriber's monthly bill to offset
the subscriber's retail electric bill .
* * *
"Community solar facility." A facility that:
(1) Generates electricity by means of a solar
photovoltaic device whereby subscribers receive a bill credit
for the electricity generated based on the size of the
subscriptions.
(2) Is located within this Commonwealth.
(3) Is connected to and delivers electricity to a
distribution system operated by an electric distribution
company operating in this Commonwealth and in compliance with
requirements under this act.
(4) Has a nameplate capacity that does not exceed the
capacity authorized for a customer-generator that is a
community solar facility under this act.
(5) Has at least two subscribers.
(6) For a community solar facility with a capacity of
20190SB0705PN0938 - 3 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
more than 1,000 kilowatts, has no single subscriber who
subscribes to more than 50% of the facility capacity in
kilowatts or output in kilowatt hours, except for master-
metered multifamily residential and commercial buildings.
(7) Credits some or all of the community solar facility
generated electricity to the bills of subscribers.
(8) May be located remotely from a subscriber's premises
and shall not be required to provide energy to an on-site
load.
"Community solar organization." An entity that owns or
operates one or more community solar facilities.
* * *
"Customer-generator." A subscriber to a community solar
facility or nonutility owner or operator of a net metered
distributed generation system with a nameplate capacity of not
greater than 50 kilowatts if installed at a residential service,
not greater than 5,000 kilowatts for a community solar facility,
or not larger than 3,000 kilowatts at other customer service
locations, except for customers whose systems are above three
megawatts and up to five megawatts who make their systems
available to operate in parallel with the electric utility
during grid emergencies as defined by the regional transmission
organization or where a microgrid is in place for the primary or
secondary purpose of maintaining critical infrastructure, such
as homeland security assignments, emergency services facilities,
hospitals, traffic signals, wastewater treatment plants or
telecommunications facilities, provided that technical rules for
operating generators interconnected with facilities of an
electric distribution company, electric cooperative or municipal
electric system have been promulgated by the Institute of
20190SB0705PN0938 - 4 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the Pennsylvania Public
Utility Commission.
* * *
"Low-income customer." A retail residential end user of an
electric distribution company whose household income does not
exceed 200% of the Federal poverty level, adjusted for family
size.
"Moderate-income customer." A retail end user of an electric
distribution company whose income does not exceed 100% of the
applicable area median income, adjusted for family size.
* * *
"Subscriber." A retail customer of an electric distribution
company who owns one or more subscriptions of a community solar
facility interconnected with the customer's electric
distribution company. The term includes a retail customer who
owns a portion of a community solar facility.
"Subscriber administrator." An entity that recruits and
enrolls subscribers, administers subscriber participation in
community solar facilities and manages the subscription
relationship between subscribers and an electric distribution
company.
"Subscription." A contract between a subscriber and
subscriber administrator of a community solar facility that
entitles the subscriber to a bill credit against the
subscriber's retail electric bill.
* * *
"Unsubscribed energy." The output of a community solar
facility, measured in kilowatt hours, that is not allocated to
subscribers.
Section 3. Section 5 of the act is amended to read:
20190SB0705PN0938 - 5 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Section 5. Interconnection standards for customer-generator
facilities.
Excess generation from net-metered customer-generators shall
receive full retail value for all energy produced on an annual
basis. The commission shall develop technical and net metering
interconnection rules for customer-generators intending to
operate community solar facilities or renewable onsite
generators in parallel with the electric utility grid,
consistent with rules defined in other states within the service
region of the regional transmission organization that manages
the transmission system in any part of this Commonwealth. The
commission shall convene a stakeholder process to develop
Statewide technical and net metering rules for customer-
generators. The commission shall develop these rules within nine
months of the effective date of this act.
Section 4. The act is amended by adding sections to read:
Section 9 . Unsubscribed energy.
An electric distribution company shall purchase unsubscribed
energy from a community solar facility at the electric
distribution company's avoided cost as approved by the
commission. No later than nine months after the effective date
of this section, the commission shall establish regulations
necessary to effectuate this section regarding the purchase of
unsubscribed energy.
Section 10. Community solar facilities, electric distribution
companies and subscriber administrators.
(a) Authorization.--
(1) A community solar facility may be built, owned or
operated by a third party entity under contract with a
community solar organization or a subscriber administrator.
20190SB0705PN0938 - 6 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
(2) A community solar organization may serve as a
subscriber administrator or may contract with a third party
to serve as a subscriber administrator on behalf of the
community solar organization.
(3) Except as provided under paragraph (4), the price
paid for a subscription in a community solar facility shall
not be subject to regulation by the commission.
(4) The commission shall ensure that the value of a bill
credit allows for the creation, financing, accessibility and
operation of community solar facilities to maximize customer
participation. Subscribed energy from a community solar
facility shall receive the full retail value for all energy
produced on an annual basis calculated for each customer
class. Not later than nine months after the effective date of
this section, the commission shall establish the value of the
bill credit for each electric distribution company.
(b) Transferability and portability.-- An electric
distribution company shall allow for the transferability and
portability of subscriptions, including allowing a subscriber to
retain a subscription to a community solar facility if the
subscriber relocates within the same electric distribution
company territory.
(c) Subscriber updates.--On a monthly basis, a subscriber
administrator shall update the subscriber administrator's list
of subscribers and provide all of the following information
about each subscriber to the electric distribution company in a
standardized electronic format approved by the commission for
the purpose of bill credit to subscribers:
(1) The name, address, account number and meter number .
(2) The kilowatt hours of electricity generation
20190SB0705PN0938 - 7 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
attributable to each subscriber.
(3) If a community solar organization is using the
electric distribution company's billing methods to collect
subscription fees, the subscription fee for the month owed by
each subscriber to the community solar organization.
(d) Customer protection.--
(1) Community solar organizations and subscriber
administrators shall be subject to the customer protection
provisions under 66 Pa.C.S. Ch. 15 (relating to service and
facilities). The commission shall establish regulations that
provide for the protection of customers who utilize
community solar organizations, community solar facilities and
subscriber administrators.
(2) The commission shall develop a standardized customer
disclosure form that identifies the minimum information that
must be provided by subscriber administrators to potential
subscribers to ensure the disclosure of the future costs and
benefits of subscriptions and subscribers' rights and
obligations pertaining to subscriptions.
(3) A subscriber administrator may remove a customer
from the subscriber roll if the customer is more than 60 days
in arrears in the payment of subscriber fees.
(e) Customer removal prohibition.-- An electric distribution
company may not remove a customer from the electric distribution
company's customer class in order to participate in a community
solar facility.
(f) Construction.--A community solar organization, a
subscriber or third party owning or operating a community solar
facility shall not be considered an electric distribution
company as defined in 66 Pa.C.S. ยง 2803 (relating to
20190SB0705PN0938 - 8 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
definitions) or an electric generation provider solely as a
result of involvement with a community solar facility.
(g) Duties of electric distribution companies.--
(1) On a monthly basis, an electric distribution company
shall provide to a community solar organization and
subscriber administrator a report in a standardized
electronic format indicating the total value of the bill
credit generated by the community solar facility in the prior
month and the amount of the bill credit applied to each
subscriber.
(2) An electric distribution company shall provide a
bill credit to a subscriber's next monthly electric bill for
the proportional output of a community solar facility
attributable to the subscriber in the same manner as if the
solar facility were located on the customer's property.
(3) If requested by a community solar organization, an
electric distribution company shall include a subscriber's
subscription fee on the monthly bill and forward the
collected subscription fees to the community solar
organization on a monthly basis. The commission's rules about
the nonpayment of nonenergy expenses shall apply to the
nonpayment of subscription fees.
(4) Not later than one year after the effective date of
this section, an electric distribution company shall make
available and update, in a commercially reasonable manner, a
system map showing the loading of the distribution system and
indicating where in the service territory the distribution
system could accommodate new solar generation.
(h) Compensation.--
(1) A community solar organization shall compensate an
20190SB0705PN0938 - 9 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
electric distribution company for the electric distribution
company's reasonable costs of interconnection of a community
solar facility.
(2) An electric distribution company shall be entitled
to recover reasonable costs, subject to approval by the
commission, to administer a community solar program within
the community solar organization's service territory .
Section 11. Customer participation in community solar programs.
(a) Regulations.--Not later than one year after the
effective date of this section, the commission shall establish
regulations to enable participation in community solar programs
by each customer class and economic group. Community solar
organizations, community solar facilities, electric distribution
companies and subscription administrators shall not be required
to comply with the regulations until 180 days after the
regulations are established. The regulations shall:
(1) Be based on consideration of formal and informal
input from all stakeholders, including Commonwealth agencies.
(2) Establish requirements that ensure access to
programs and equitable opportunities for participation for
residential and small commercial customer classes.
(3) Establish targets for participation by low-income
customers and moderate-income customers, allowing a
customer's low-income or moderate-income customer status to
be valid without subsequent income verification for the term
of the customer's subscription.
(4) Authorize electric distribution companies to use
money allocated for customer assistance programs to support
low-income customer participation in community solar
facilities if the price per kilowatt hour of electricity from
20190SB0705PN0938 - 10 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
the community solar facility is at or below the default
price.
(5) Allow for the use of other funding to support
participation by low-income and moderate-income customers.
(b) Report.--Not later than three years after the effective
date of this section, the commission shall submit a report to
the General Assembly detailing the participation in community
solar programs by each customer class and economic group,
including the participation by low-income customers and
moderate-income customers.
Section 12. Location of multiple community solar facilities.
The commission shall, by regulation, establish limitations on
the location of multiple community solar facilities in close
proximity. The regulations shall:
(1) Prohibit an entity, affiliated entity or entities
under common control from developing, owning or operating
more than one community solar facility on the same parcel or
contiguous parcels of land.
(2) Prohibit an entity, affiliated entity or entities
under common control from developing, owning or operating
more than one community solar facility on contiguous parcels
of land that have been divided from a single parcel within
the previous five years.
(3) Authorize community solar facilities that are not
owned, developed or operated by the same entity, affiliated
entity or entities under common control to be located on
contiguous parcels.
Section 13. Ecology and stewardship.
(a) Disclosure.--The owner or operator of a ground-mounted
community solar facility shall publicly disclose information on
20190SB0705PN0938 - 11 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
how the land under and around the community solar facility will
be managed on the community solar facility's publicly accessible
Internet website. The information may include, but not be
limited to, a description of any stewardship or land use
practices that can be beneficial to the health and quality of
local soils and waters, native pollinators and wildlife and
managed honey bees and agriculture.
(b) Compliance.--The disclosure requirement under subsection
(a) shall be satisfied if the owner or operator of a community
solar facility provides a copy of a pollinator-friendly solar
scorecard published by The Pennsylvania State University's
Department of Entomology on the community solar facility's
publicly accessible Internet website.
Section 5. Section 9 of the act is renumbered to read:
Section [9] 14. Effective date.
This act shall take effect in 90 days.
Section 6. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
20190SB0705PN0938 - 12 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17