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PRINTER'S NO. 1303
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
979
Session of
2022
INTRODUCED BY STREET, HUGHES, FONTANA, COSTA AND KANE,
JANUARY 4, 2022
REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION AND PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE,
JANUARY 4, 2022
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 short title, for definitions and for
alternative energy portfolio standards; providing for Zero
Emissions Certificate Program and for decarbonization; and
establishing the ZEC Fund.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 1 of the act of November 30, 2004
(P.L.1672, No.213), known as the Alternative Energy Portfolio
Standards Act, is amended to read:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the [Alternative
Energy Portfolio Standards] Energy Future Act.
Section 2. The definitions of "reporting period" and "Tier
II alternative energy source" in section 2 of the act are
amended and the section is amended by adding definitions to
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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:
"Advanced nuclear." A nuclear fission or fusion reactor,
including a prototype plant as defined in 10 CFR ยงยง 50.2
(relating to definitions) and 52.1 (relating to definitions),
with significant improvements compared to commercial nuclear
reactors under construction as of the effective date of this
definition, including the following improvements:
(1) additional inherent safety features;
(2) significantly lower levelized cost of electricity;
(3) lower waste yields;
(4) greater fuel utilization;
(5) enhanced reliability;
(6) increased proliferation resistance;
(7) increased thermal efficiency; or
(8) ability to integrate into electric and nonelectric
applications.
* * *
"Carbon capture, utilization and storage technology."
Technology that has the principal purpose of capturing, reusing,
storing, sequestering or using carbon dioxide emissions to
prevent carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere whether
constructed integral or adjacent to a coal-fired or natural gas-
fired generation facility.
"Carbon constrained coal facility." As follows:
(1) An electric generating facility located in this
Commonwealth that uses primarily coal as a feedstock and that
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emits no more than 650 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt
hour of generated electricity averaged over one calendar year
by 2026, no more than 214 pounds of carbon dioxide per
megawatt hour of generated electricity averaged over one
calendar year by 2031 and zero pounds of carbon dioxide per
megawatt hour of generated electricity averaged over one
calendar year by 2036.
(2) The power block of the carbon constrained coal
facility shall not exceed allowable emission rates for sulfur
dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, methane, nitrous
oxide, volatile organic compounds, particulates and mercury
for a natural gas-fired combined-cycle facility the same size
as and in the same location as the carbon constrained coal
facility at the time the carbon constrained coal facility
obtains an approved air permit.
(3) All coal used by a carbon constrained coal facility
shall be located in this Commonwealth.
"Carbon constrained energy system." A facility or energy
system that uses carbon capture, utilization and storage
technology that produces carbon emissions at or below the
requirement under this act to generate electricity and delivers
the electricity it generates to the distribution system of an
electric distribution company or to the transmission system
operated by a regional transmission organization.
"Carbon constrained hydrogen facility." As follows:
(1) An electric generating facility located in this
Commonwealth that uses primarily hydrogen as a feedstock and
that emits no more than 650 pounds of carbon dioxide per
megawatt hour of generated electricity averaged over one
calendar year by 2026, no more than 214 pounds of carbon
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dioxide per megawatt hour of generated electricity averaged
over one calendar year by 2031 and zero pounds of carbon
dioxide per megawatt hour of generated electricity averaged
over one calendar year by 2036, including the carbon dioxide
emissions from the generation of the utilized hydrogen.
(2) The power block of the carbon constrained hydrogen
facility and generator of the utilized hydrogen shall not
exceed allowable emission rates for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen
oxides, carbon monoxide, methane, nitrous oxide, volatile
organic compounds, particulates and mercury for a natural
gas-fired combined-cycle facility the same size as and in the
same location as the carbon constrained hydrogen facility at
the time the carbon constrained hydrogen facility obtains an
approved air permit.
(3) All hydrogen and associated feedstock used by a
carbon constrained hydrogen facility shall be located in this
Commonwealth.
"Carbon constrained natural gas facility." As follows:
(1) An electric generating facility located in this
Commonwealth that uses primarily natural gas as a feedstock
and that emits no more than 650 pounds of carbon dioxide per
megawatt hour of generated electricity averaged over one
calendar year by 2026, no more than 214 pounds of carbon
dioxide per megawatt hour of generated electricity averaged
over one calendar year by 2031 and zero pounds of carbon
dioxide per megawatt hour of generated electricity averaged
over one calendar year by 2036.
(2) The power block of the carbon constrained natural
gas facility shall not exceed allowable emission rates for
sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, methane,
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nitrous oxide, volatile organic compounds, particulates and
mercury for a natural gas-fired combined-cycle facility the
same size as and in the same location as the carbon
constrained natural gas facility at the time the carbon
constrained natural gas facility obtains an approved air
permit.
(3) All natural gas used by a carbon constrained natural
gas facility shall be located in this Commonwealth.
* * *
"Eligibility period." The period of time, measured in energy
years, during which a selected nuclear power plant may receive
zero emission certificates under section 3.1.
"Eligible nuclear power plant." A nuclear power plant
eligible to participate in the ZEC program under section 3.1.
"Energy year." The 12-month period from June 1 through May
31, numbered according to the calendar year in which it ends.
* * *
"Nuclear power plant." An individual electric-generating
unit utilizing nuclear fuel to produce electric power.
* * *
"Renewable energy." The following:
(1) Energy derived from sunlight, wind, falling water,
biomass, sustainable or otherwise, waste, landfill gas,
municipal solid waste, wave motion, tides and geothermal
power. The term includes the proportion of the thermal or
electric energy from a facility that results from the
cofiring of biomass.
(2) The term does not include energy derived from coal,
oil, natural gas or nuclear power.
(3) The term does not include energy waste heat from
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fossil-fired facilities or electricity generated from pumped
storage but includes run-of-river generation from a combined
pumped-storage and run-of-river facility.
"Renewable energy storage system." A commercially available
technology, including, but not limited to, an electrochemical,
thermal and electromechanical technology, that is capable of
absorbing and storing electrical energy for a period of time for
use at a later time with all of the following characteristics:
(1) The system is colocated behind the meter with a Tier
I alternative energy source or behind the point of
interconnection of a Tier I alternative energy source.
(2) The system is owned or operated by any of the
following:
(i) A customer-generator.
(ii) An electric generation supplier.
(iii) An electric distribution company.
(iv) A third party that is jointly owned by two or
more entities specified under subparagraphs (i), (ii) and
(iii).
(3) The system is able to demonstrate that the energy
the system discharges at all hours in a given reporting year
comes from the storage of electrical energy produced by the
colocated Tier I alternative energy source.
"Reporting period[.]" or "reporting year." The 12-month
period from June 1 through May 31. A reporting year shall be
numbered according to the calendar year in which it begins and
ends.
* * *
"Selected nuclear power plant." An eligible nuclear power
plant located in this Commonwealth selected by the commission to
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participate in the ZEC program under section 3.1.
* * *
"Tier II alternative energy source." Energy derived from:
(1) Waste coal.
(2) Distributed generation systems.
(3) Demand-side management.
(4) Large-scale hydropower.
(5) Municipal solid waste.
(6) Generation of electricity utilizing by-products of
the pulping process and wood manufacturing process, including
bark, wood chips, sawdust and lignin in spent pulping
liquors.
[(7) Integrated combined coal gasification technology.]
"Tier III carbon constrained energy source." Energy derived
from a Pennsylvania-sourced carbon constrained coal facility.
"Tier IV carbon constrained energy source." Energy derived
from a Pennsylvania-sourced carbon constrained natural gas
facility.
"Tier V carbon constrained energy source." Energy derived
from Pennsylvania existing nuclear generation.
"Tier VI carbon constrained energy source." Energy derived
from Pennsylvania advanced nuclear generation.
"Tier VII carbon constrained energy source." Energy derived
from a Pennsylvania-sourced carbon constrained hydrogen
facility.
* * *
Section 3. Section 3(b)(2) of the act is amended, subsection
(b) is amended by adding a paragraph and the section is amended
by adding subsections to read:
Section 3. Alternative energy portfolio standards.
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* * *
(b) Tier I and solar photovoltaic shares.--
* * *
(1.1) Beginning in the 16th year after the effective
date of this paragraph, the minimum percentage of electric
energy required to be sold to retail electric customers from
alternative energy sources shall increase by at least 1.4%
each year so that at least 15% of the electric energy sold by
an electric distribution company or electric generation
supplier to retail electric customers in that certificated
territory in the 20th year after the effective date of this
paragraph is sold from Tier I alternative energy resources.
(2) The total percentage of the electric energy sold by
an electric distribution company or electric generation
supplier to retail electric customers in this Commonwealth
that must be sold from solar photovoltaic technologies is:
(i) 0.0013% for June 1, 2006, through May 31, 2007.
(ii) 0.0030% for June 1, 2007, through May 31, 2008.
(iii) 0.0063% for June 1, 2008, through May 31,
2009.
(iv) 0.0120% for June 1, 2009, through May 31, 2010.
(v) 0.0203% for June 1, 2010, through May 31, 2011.
(vi) 0.0325% for June 1, 2011, through May 31, 2012.
(vii) 0.0510% for June 1, 2012, through May 31,
2013.
(viii) 0.0840% for June 1, 2013, through May 31,
2014.
(ix) 0.1440% for June 1, 2014, through May 31, 2015.
(x) 0.2500% for June 1, 2015, through May 31, 2016.
(xi) 0.2933% for June 1, 2016, through May 31, 2017.
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(xii) 0.3400% for June 1, 2017, through May 31,
2018.
(xiii) 0.3900% for June 1, 2018, through May 31,
2019.
(xiv) 0.4433% for June 1, 2019, through May 31,
2020.
(xv) 0.5000% for June 1, 2020, [and thereafter.]
through May 31, 2021.
(xvi) 0.7925% for June 1, 2021, through May 31,
2022.
(xvii) 1.2560% for June 1, 2022, through May 31,
2023.
(xviii) 1.9906% for June 1, 2023, through May 31,
2024.
(xix) 3.1584% for June 1, 2024, through May 31,
2025.
(xx) 5.0000% for June 1, 2025, through May 31, 2026,
and thereafter.
* * *
(c.1) Tier III share.--Of the electrical energy required to
be sold from carbon constrained energy sources identified in
Tier III, the percentage that must be from these technologies is
for:
(1) Energy years 2026 through 2030 - 2.5%.
(2) Energy years 2031 through 2035 - 5.0%.
(3) Energy years 2036 through 2048 - 7.5%.
(c.2) Tier IV share.--Of the electrical energy required to
be sold from carbon constrained energy sources identified in
Tier IV, the percentage that must be from these technologies is
for:
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(1) Energy years 2026 through 2030 - 2.5%.
(2) Energy years 2031 through 2035 - 5.0%.
(3) Energy years 2036 through 2048 - 7.5%.
(c.3) Tier VI share.--Of the electrical energy required to
be sold from advanced nuclear sources identified in Tier VI, the
percentage that must be from these technologies is for:
(1) Energy years 2026 through 2030 - 0.5%.
(2) Energy years 2031 through 2035 - 1.0%.
(3) Energy years 2036 through 2048 - 2.0%.
(c.4) Tier VII share.--Of the electrical energy required to
be sold from carbon constrained hydrogen sources identified in
Tier VII, the percentage that must be from these technologies is
for:
(1) Energy years 2026 through 2030 - 0.5%.
(2) Energy years 2031 through 2035 - 1.0%.
(3) Energy years 2036 through 2048 - 2.0%.
* * *
Section 4. The act is amended by adding sections to read:
Section 3.1. Zero Emissions Certificate Program.
(a) Establishment.--Notwithstanding any other law to the
contrary, the commission shall complete a proceeding no later
than 180 days after the effective date of this section to allow
for the commencement of a program providing for the issuance by
the commission of a zero emission certificate. In this
proceeding, the commission shall adopt, after notice, the
opportunity for comment and public hearing, an order
establishing the Zero Emissions Carbon Program for selected
nuclear power plants which shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) A method and application process for determination
of the eligibility and selection of nuclear power plants.
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(2) Establishment of a mechanism for each electric
distribution company to purchase ZECs from selected nuclear
power plants and a mechanism for the commission to effectuate
the provisions of subsection (i).
(b) ZEC program application.--The following shall apply:
(1) As part of an application submitted to the
commission under subsection (c), a nuclear power plant
seeking to participate in the ZEC program shall provide to
the commission any financial information requested by the
commission pertaining to the nuclear power plant, including,
but not limited to, certified cost projections over the next
three energy years, including operation and maintenance
expenses, fuel expenses, including spent fuel expenses,
nonfuel capital expenses, fully allocated overhead costs, the
cost of operational risks and market risks that would be
avoided by ceasing operations and any other information,
financial or otherwise, to demonstrate that the nuclear power
plant's fuel diversity, air quality and other environmental
attributes are at risk of loss because the nuclear power
plant is projected to not fully cover its costs and risks, or
alternatively is projected to not fully cover its costs and
risks, including its risk-adjusted cost of capital.
(2) An application submitted to the commission under
subsection (c) shall include a certification that the nuclear
power plant will cease operations within three years unless
the nuclear power plant experiences a material financial
change. The certification shall specify the necessary steps
required to be completed to cease the nuclear power plant's
operations.
(3) The financial and other information required under
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this subsection may be submitted on a confidential basis and
shall be treated and maintained as confidential by the
commission and, notwithstanding any other law to the
contrary, shall not be subject to public disclosure. The
commission and the Attorney General shall jointly approve the
disclosure of confidential information to a party that the
commission and the Attorney General deem essential to aid the
commission in making the determinations required under this
subsection, provided that the party is not in a position that
disclosure could harm competition and the party agrees in
writing to maintain the confidentiality of the confidential
information.
(4) As used in this subsection, the following words and
phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
paragraph unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Market risks." The term shall include, but not be
limited to, the risk of a forced outage and the associated
costs arising from contractual obligations and the risk that
output from the nuclear power plant may not be able to be
sold at projected levels.
"Operational risks." The term shall include, but not be
limited to, the risk that operating costs will be higher than
anticipated because of new regulatory mandates or equipment
failures and the risk that per megawatt hour costs will be
higher than anticipated because of a lower than expected
capacity factor.
(c) Submission of application.--No later than 210 days after
the effective date of this section, a nuclear power plant
seeking to participate in the ZEC program shall submit its
application to the commission.
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(d) List.--Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary,
the commission shall complete a proceeding no later than 330
days after the effective date of this section and shall adopt,
after notice, the opportunity for comment and public hearing, an
order establishing a rank-ordered list of the nuclear power
plants eligible to be selected to receive ZECs, and establishing
which eligible nuclear power plants have been selected to
receive ZECs under this section. If the commission determines,
in its discretion, that no nuclear plant that applies under this
section satisfies the objectives of this section, then the
commission shall be under no obligation to certify any nuclear
power plant as an eligible nuclear power plant.
(e) Requirements.--To be certified by the commission as an
eligible nuclear power plant, a nuclear power plant shall:
(1) Be licensed to operate by the United States Nuclear
Regulatory Commission by the effective date of this section
and through calendar year 2030 or later.
(2) Demonstrate to the satisfaction of the commission
that the nuclear power plant makes a significant and material
contribution to the air quality in this Commonwealth by
minimizing emissions that result from electricity consumed in
this Commonwealth, minimizing harmful emissions that
adversely affect the residents of this Commonwealth and if
the nuclear power plant were to be retired, that retirement
would significantly and negatively impact this Commonwealth's
ability to comply with State air emissions reduction
requirements.
(3) Demonstrate to the satisfaction of the commission,
through the financial and other confidential information
submitted to the commission under subsection (b), and any
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other information required by the commission, which
information may be submitted on a confidential basis and
shall be treated and maintained as confidential by the
commission and, notwithstanding any law to the contrary,
shall not be subject to public disclosure that the nuclear
power plant's fuel diversity, air quality and other
environmental attributes are at risk of loss because the
nuclear power plant is projected to not fully cover its costs
and risks, or alternatively is projected to not cover its
costs, including its risk-adjusted cost of capital, and that
the nuclear power plant will cease operations within three
years unless the nuclear power plant experiences a material
financial change.
(4) Certify annually that the nuclear power plant does
not receive any direct or indirect payment or credit under a
Federal law, rule, regulation, order, tariff or other action,
or a law, rule, regulation, order, tariff or other action of
this Commonwealth or any other state, or a regional compact,
despite its reasonable best efforts to obtain any such
payment or credit, for its fuel diversity, resilience, air
quality or other environmental attributes that will eliminate
the need for the nuclear power plant to retire, except for
any payment or credit received under this section.
(5) Submit an application fee to the commission in an
amount to be determined by the commission, but which shall
not exceed $250,000, to be used to defray the costs incurred
by the commission to administer the ZEC program.
(f) Ranking.--In ranking eligible nuclear power plants from
first to last, the commission shall consider how well the
nuclear power plants satisfy the criteria provided under this
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section and shall also consider other relevant factors such as
sustainability or long-term commitment to nuclear energy
production in a manner that supports this Commonwealth's cost-
effective transition to a zero carbon energy supply. Two or more
eligible nuclear power plants may not have the same ranking.
(g) Selection.--The following shall apply:
(1) The commission shall select eligible nuclear power
plants to receive ZECs according to their ranking. Beginning
with the top-ranked eligible nuclear power plant and
continuing in rank order, the commission shall continue to
select nuclear power plants but not beyond the point at which
the combined number of megawatt hours of electricity produced
in the energy year immediately prior to the effective date of
this section by all selected nuclear power plants equals 40%
of the total number of megawatt hours of electricity
distributed by electric public utilities in this Commonwealth
in the energy year immediately prior to the effective date of
this section.
(2) The commission may not select an eligible nuclear
power plant to receive ZECs if the addition of the
electricity produced by that nuclear power plant in the
energy year immediately prior to the effective date of this
section by the selected nuclear power plants ranked ahead of
that plant on the rank-ordered list exceeds 40% of the total
number of megawatt hours of electricity distributed by
electric public utilities in this Commonwealth in the energy
year immediately prior to the effective date of this section.
(3) A selected nuclear power plant shall be eligible to
receive ZECs 330 days after the effective date of this
section. In the first energy year in which an eligible
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nuclear power plant is selected, the selected nuclear power
plant shall receive a number of ZECs equal to the number of
megawatt hours of electricity it produced in that energy year
starting on the date of the eligible nuclear power plant's
selection. In each energy year thereafter, each selected
nuclear power plant shall receive a number of ZECs equal to
the number of megawatt hours of electricity that it produced
in that energy year.
(h) Eligibility periods.--The following shall apply:
(1) Selected nuclear power plants shall initially
receive ZECs for an eligibility period that shall run through
the end of the first energy year in which the nuclear power
plant is selected, plus an additional three energy years.
(2) No later than 13 months prior to the conclusion of
the initial eligibility period established under paragraph
(1), and no later than 13 months prior to the conclusion of
each three energy year eligibility period thereafter, a
nuclear power plant may demonstrate its eligibility to the
commission and the commission may certify the nuclear power
plant's eligibility to receive ZECs for additional
eligibility periods of three energy years, consistent with
the provisions of this section.
(3) A selected nuclear power plant shall annually
certify to the commission that the nuclear power plant will
continue operations at full or near full capacity for the
duration of the period of its eligibility to receive ZECs,
except with respect to nuclear power plant shutdowns for
necessary maintenance and refueling.
(i) Price and purchase of ZECs.--The following shall apply:
(1) The commission shall determine the price of a ZEC
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each energy year by dividing the total number of dollars held
by electric public utilities in the accounts established
under subsection (j)(1) at the end of the prior energy year
by the greater of:
(i) forty percent of the total number of megawatt
hours of electricity distributed by the electric public
utilities in this Commonwealth in the prior energy year;
or
(ii) the number of megawatt hours of electricity
generated in the prior energy year by the selected
nuclear power plants.
(2) Each electric distribution company in this
Commonwealth shall be required to begin to purchase ZECs on a
monthly basis from each selected nuclear power plant with
payment to follow within 90 days after the conclusion of the
first energy year in which selected nuclear power plants
receive ZECs and within 90 days after the conclusion of each
subsequent energy year. The number of ZECs an electric
distribution company shall be required to purchase shall
equal the total number of ZECs received by the selected
nuclear power plants for the prior energy year under
subsection (g)(2) multiplied by the percentage of electricity
distributed in this Commonwealth by the electric distribution
company as compared to other electric public utilities in
this Commonwealth.
(3) To ensure that a selected nuclear power plant does
not receive double-payment for its fuel diversity,
resilience, air quality or other environmental attributes,
the commission shall annually determine the dollar amount
received by the selected nuclear power plant in an energy
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year under a Federal law, rule, regulation, order, tariff or
other action, or a law, rule, regulation, order, tariff or
other action of this Commonwealth or any other state, or a
regional compact referenced in subsection (e)(4).
Notwithstanding paragraph (2), the number of ZECs purchased
by each electric distribution company from a selected nuclear
power plant for an energy year shall be reduced by the number
of ZECs equal in value to the dollar amount determined by the
commission in this paragraph, multiplied by the percentage of
electricity distributed in this Commonwealth by the electric
distribution company as compared to other electric public
utilities in this Commonwealth. To the extent that the
commission determines that a selected nuclear plant receives
revenues for its fuel diversity, resilience, air quality or
other environmental attributes, the commission shall
immediately reduce the number of ZECs on a prospective basis
consistent with the level of the revenues.
(i.1) ZEC Fund.--The ZEC Fund is established as a special
fund in the State Treasury. Money in the ZEC Fund is
appropriated to the commission on a continuing basis for the
purpose of implementing the ZEC program. All money received by
the commission under this section shall be deposited into the
ZEC Fund.
(j) Recovery of costs.--The following shall apply:
(1) The commission shall order the full recovery of all
costs associated with the electric distribution company's
required procurement of ZECs, and with the commission's
implementation of the ZEC program, through a nonbypassable,
irrevocable charge imposed on the electric distribution
company's retail distribution customers. Within 150 days
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after the effective date of this section, each electric
distribution company shall file with the commission a tariff
to recover from the electric distribution company's retail
distribution customers a charge in the amount of $0.004 per
kilowatt hour which reflects the emissions avoidance benefits
associated with the continued operation of selected nuclear
power plants. Within 60 days after the tariff filing under
this paragraph, after notice, the opportunity for comment and
public hearing, the commission shall approve the tariff,
provided that the tariff is consistent with the provisions of
this subsection. No later than the date of the commission's
order establishing the initial selected nuclear power plants
to receive ZECs, each electric distribution company shall
implement the tariff and begin collecting from its retail
distribution customers the approved charge. Revenues
collected by the electric distribution company from the
nonbypassable, irrevocable charge shall be placed in a
separate, interest-bearing account and shall be used solely
to purchase ZECs, and to reimburse the commission for
reasonable, verifiable costs the commission incurs to
implement the ZEC program to the extent the commission's
costs exceed the application fees collected by the commission
under subsection (e)(5).
(2) Notwithstanding any provision of this section, an
electric distribution company shall not be required to
purchase any additional number of ZECs if the cost of the
additional number of ZECs exceeds the revenues deposited in
the electric distribution company's separate, interest-
bearing account, created under paragraph (1), for that energy
year, after subtracting the reasonable, verifiable costs
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incurred by the commission during that energy year to
implement the ZEC program, which costs shall be remitted to
the commission and deposited into the ZEC Fund each energy
year in a manner to be determined by the commission. Excess
money in an electric distribution company's separate,
interest-bearing account shall be refunded to its retail
distribution customers at the end of each energy year.
(3) The following shall apply:
(i) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1),
and to ensure that the ZEC program remains affordable to
retail distribution customers in this Commonwealth, the
commission may, in its discretion, reduce the per-
kilowatt-hour charge imposed by paragraph (1) starting in
the second three-year eligibility period and for each
subsequent three-year eligibility period thereafter,
provided that the commission determines that a reduced
charge will nonetheless be sufficient to achieve the
Commonwealth's air quality and other environmental
objectives by preventing the retirement of the nuclear
power plants that meet the eligibility criteria
established under subsections (d) and (e).
(ii) If the commission reduces the per-kilowatt-hour
charge imposed by paragraph (1), the reduction shall be
applicable to the next eligibility period only and the
commission shall make its determination no later than 13
months prior to the start of that eligibility period.
Within 30 days thereafter, each electric distribution
company shall file, in lieu of the tariff described in
paragraph (1), a tariff consistent with the commission's
determination. Within 60 days after filing of the tariff,
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after notice, the opportunity for comment and public
hearing, the commission shall approve the revised tariff,
provided that it is consistent with the commission's
determination. The revised tariff shall take effect
starting in the next eligibility period.
(iii) If the commission does not certify any nuclear
power plants for a subsequent eligibility period under
this section, the commission may, in its discretion,
reduce the per-kilowatt-hour charge imposed under
paragraph (1) to ensure that the ZEC program remains
affordable to retail distribution customers in this
Commonwealth in the final year of the first eligibility
period, provided that the commission determines that a
reduced charge will nonetheless be sufficient to achieve
the Commonwealth's air quality and other environmental
objectives by preventing the retirement of the nuclear
power plants that meet the eligibility criteria
established under subsections (d) and (e).
(iv) For the second three energy year eligibility
period, and every subsequent eligibility period
thereafter, a selected nuclear power plant shall pay a
renewal fee to the commission in an amount to be
determined by the commission, but which shall not exceed
$250,000, to be used to defray the costs incurred by the
commission to administer the ZEC program.
(k) Performance.--The following shall apply:
(1) A selected nuclear power plant shall be excused from
performance, including, but not limited to, the sale of ZECs,
and a payment from an electric distribution company shall not
be due to the selected nuclear power plant, if:
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(i) the selected nuclear power suspends or ceases
operations, despite the selected nuclear power plant's
reasonable efforts to continue operations, due to an
event beyond its control, including, but not limited to,
acts of God, flood, drought, earthquake, storm, fire,
lightning, epidemic, war, riot, labor dispute, labor or
material shortage, sabotage or explosion. The selected
nuclear power plant shall no longer be excused from
performance, and a payment from an electric distribution
company shall be due, after conclusion of the event;
(ii) the General Assembly enacts a law imposing a
significant new tax, special assessment or fee on the
generation of electricity, the ownership or leasehold of
a generating unit or the privilege or occupation of the
generation, ownership or leasehold of generation units by
a selected nuclear power plant;
(iii) a Federal or State law is enacted that
materially reduces the value of a ZEC or the commission
exercises its discretion to reduce the amount of the per-
kilowatt-hour charge under subsection (j)(3);
(iv) the selected nuclear power plant requires
capital expenditures in excess of $40,000,000 that were
neither known nor reasonably foreseeable at the time it
was selected to receive ZECs, and the capital
expenditures are expenditures that a prudent owner or
operator of a selected nuclear power plant would not
undertake; or
(v) the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission
terminates the selected nuclear power plant's license.
(2) If a selected nuclear power plant ceases operations
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during an eligibility period for any reason other than those
specified under this subsection, the selected nuclear power
plant shall pay a charge to the electric public utilities
that purchased ZECs from the selected nuclear power plant in
an amount equal to the compensation received for the sale of
ZECs since the commission's last determination of the
selected nuclear power plant's eligibility to receive ZECs.
An electric distribution company shall provide a refund to
its retail distribution customers in an amount equal to the
charge paid by a selected nuclear power plant to the electric
distribution company under this paragraph.
(3) The owner of a selected nuclear power plant shall,
within two years after receiving ZECs, submit a plan to the
commission to retain, retrain or compensate personnel whose
employment would be eliminated as a direct result of the
cessation of the selected nuclear power plant's operations,
including an alternative economic development plan for
communities that rely on the selected nuclear power plant for
a substantial portion of the community's tax revenues.
(l) Employee layoffs.--A selected nuclear power plant may
not lay off any personnel unless the lay-off is due to employee
misconduct or underperformance issues or due to the suspension
or cessation of the selected nuclear power plant's operations as
provided under subsection (k).
(m) Study and report by selected nuclear power plant.--The
owner of a selected nuclear power plant shall, within two years
after receiving ZECs, conduct a study and prepare a written
report in cooperation with selected experts, to determine the
optimal use of dry cask storage of spent nuclear fuel at its
site, considering environmental impacts, worker safety and cost
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impacts.
(n) Study and report by commission.--No later than 10 years
after the effective date of this section, the commission shall
conduct a study to evaluate the efficacy of the ZEC program and
submit a written report to the Governor and the General
Assembly. In conducting the study, the commission shall evaluate
the ZEC program's effect on the premature retirement of nuclear
power plants, its effect on the air quality and environment in
this Commonwealth and its contribution to a more reliable energy
supply by assuring fuel diversity. The study shall also evaluate
the ZEC program's benefits and costs to ratepayers. The written
report shall:
(1) Summarize the study and analysis conducted under
subsection (a).
(2) Discuss and quantify the potential benefits and
costs associated with the ZEC program.
(3) Recommend any changes to the ZEC program or whether
the ZEC program should continue.
(4) Recommend whether the ZEC program should be expanded
to include other technologies.
(o) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"ZEC." A zero emissions certificate established by the
commission under subsection (a).
"ZEC program." The Zero Emissions Carbon Program established
by the commission under subsection (a).
Section 8.1. Decarbonization.
(a) General rule.--The minimum reduction of carbon dioxide
emissions as a percentage of 2020 emissions from the generation
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of all of the electric energy sold by an electric distribution
company or electric generation supplier to retail electric
customers in this Commonwealth shall be as follows:
(1) 2.5% for energy year 2022.
(2) 13.1% for energy year 2026.
(3) 14.7% for energy year 2030.
(4) 23.0% for energy year 2034.
(5) 37.9% for energy year 2038.
(6) 47.9% for energy year 2042.
(7) 66.0% for energy year 2046.
(8) 100.0% for energy year 2050 and thereafter.
(b) Relief.--An electric distribution company may petition
the commission for relief from the requirements under subsection
(a) on the basis that the requirement would threaten the
reliability or security of electric service to customers. The
commission shall consider in-State and regional transmission
entity resources and shall evaluate the reliability in ruling
upon a petition for relief.
(c) Carbon constrained energy credit.--The commission shall
complete a proceeding to allow for the issuance of carbon
constrained energy credits to carbon constrained energy systems.
A carbon constrained energy credit shall be a tradable
instrument that is used to establish, verify and monitor
compliance with this section. A unit of credit shall equal one
megawatt hour of electricity from a carbon constrained source.
The carbon constrained energy credit shall remain the property
of the carbon constrained energy system until the carbon
constrained energy credit is voluntarily transferred by the
carbon constrained energy system.
Section 5. This act shall take effect in 90 days.
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