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A00721
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1161
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY MIZGORSKI, BROOKS, ECKER, GROVE, JOZWIAK, KAIL,
MENTZER, STAMBAUGH, THOMAS, ROZZI, STRUZZI, CIRESI, BIZZARRO,
FLYNN, HILL-EVANS, A. DAVIS, KINKEAD, LONGIETTI AND McNEILL,
APRIL 12, 2021
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER AFFAIRS, APRIL 12, 2021
AN ACT
Providing for local solar program, for renewable energy credits
and for powers and duties of the Pennsylvania Public Utility
Commission.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Pennsylvania
Local Solar Program Act.
Section 2. Findings and declarations.
The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:
(1) Solar energy can provide jobs in communities in this
Commonwealth.
(2) Local solar energy generation in this Commonwealth
can contribute to environmental goals, including reduction in
air pollution, and can foster economic growth in communities
in this Commonwealth.
(3) This Commonwealth is a deregulated energy State with
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competitive retail markets, making top-down renewable energy
programs more difficult to implement than in vertically
integrated states.
(4) Many residents of this Commonwealth are unable to
participate in solar energy generation because they are
constrained by the physical attributes of their home or
business, such as roof space, shading or ownership status.
(5) Low-income customers are generally unable to choose
to purchase renewable electricity through the retail market
due to utility program rules that prohibit shopping for
customer assistance program participants or put limits on
costs, which disqualifies renewable energy with its cost
premium.
(6) The intent of this act is to:
(i) Allow electric customers of this Commonwealth to
use electricity produced by local solar generation within
this Commonwealth.
(ii) Support the growth of solar energy projects
constructed in communities within this Commonwealth.
(iii) Allow low-income customers an opportunity to
participate in the green economy by electing renewable
energy from local solar generation within this
Commonwealth while maintaining participation in customer
assistance programs.
Section 3. 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:
"Commission." The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
"Developer." A third-party entity under contract with the
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electric distribution company to build, own, operate and
maintain a local solar facility.
"Electric distribution company." As defined in 66 Pa.C.S. ยง
2803 (relating to definitions).
"Local solar facility." A facility that meets all of the
following:
(1) Generates electricity through the use of a
photovoltaic solar device.
(2) Is connected to the electric distribution grid
serving this Commonwealth.
(3) Is located in the service territory of an electric
distribution company under the jurisdiction of the
commission.
(4) Delivers electricity to the distribution system
operated by an electric distribution company operating in
this Commonwealth.
(5) Has an electric nameplate capacity that does not
exceed 20 megawatts.
"Local solar program." A local solar program established
under section 4(a) offered by an electric distribution company.
"Low-income customer." An in-State retail end user of an
electric distribution company that is participating in the
electric distribution company's customer assistance program.
"Solar energy rate." The cent-per-kilowatt-hour rate to be
charged to subscribers, which includes generation, capacity and
transmission costs and developer administrative fees, electric
distribution company administration and system fees and taxes.
"Subscriber." A retail customer of an electric distribution
company that elects to purchase electricity produced by a local
solar facility through a local solar program.
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Section 4. Local solar programs.
(a) Establishment.--An electric distribution company under
the jurisdiction of the commission may establish a local solar
program. If an electric distribution company elects to establish
a local solar program under this section, the following shall
apply:
(1) A local solar facility shall be constructed, owned,
operated and maintained by a developer under contract with
the electric distribution company. The developer may not be
owned or operated by the electric distribution company.
(2) A developer shall be selected by a request for
proposals open to any interested entity. The request for
proposal shall clearly define the division of
responsibilities and compensation concerning program
marketing, customer service, metering, operation, market
settlement, excess generation, low-income segmentation and
customer pricing.
(3) Subject to approval by the commission, an electric
distribution company shall enter into a long-term power
purchase agreement with the developer to purchase all power
produced by a project, with a minimum term of 15 years and a
maximum term of 25 years.
(4) A developer shall be responsible for all PJM
Interconnection and electric distribution interconnection
costs, the settlement of subscriber load through the PJM
interconnection market, costs and credits associated with
subscriber settlement through PJM interconnection and any
other costs related to the operation of the facility.
(5) No unsubscribed generation may be subject to the
rules and compensation set forth between the developer and
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the electric distribution company.
(6) An individual who is expected to construct a local
solar project shall have completed an apprenticeship program
under the act of July 14, 1961 (P.L.604, No.304), known as
The Apprenticeship and Training Act.
(b) (Reserved).
(c) Subscribers.--The following shall apply:
(1) Each customer served by an electric distribution
company that elects to offer a local solar program shall be
provided an opportunity to subscribe to the local solar
program of the customer's electric distribution company,
subject to the following customer eligibility criteria:
(i) except as provided under subparagraph (iii), all
residential and small commercial and industrial
customers, as defined by the electric distribution
company's tariff and rules, shall be eligible to
participate.
(ii) a customer who participates in the electric
distribution company's customer assistance program shall
be eligible to participate in accordance with the limits
under subsection (f); and
(iii) a customer that receives net metering service
may not participate.
(2) A subscription under paragraph (1) shall allow a
customer to purchase renewable electricity produced by a
local solar facility interconnected to the electric
distribution company's system.
(3) The solar energy rate shall be reflected in the per-
kilowatt-hour charge for energy on the bill of the customer.
Subscription to a local solar program may not impact other
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charges on a customer bill, including transmission and
distribution charges and customer fees.
(4) An electric distribution company may not charge a
sign-up fee or other additional charge to a subscriber.
(5) A customer shall subscribe for the customer's entire
electricity use per account, or a percentage of a customer's
account, as permitted by an electric distribution company's
local solar program.
(6) A subscriber may cancel a subscription at any time
at no cost to the subscriber. An electric distribution
company may not apply cancellation fees.
(7) A subscription may be transferred to another service
address within the electric distribution company's service
territory until the subscriber cancels the subscription.
(8) A subscription shall be available on a first-come,
first-served basis. If a local solar program is fully
subscribed, the electric distribution company shall maintain
a wait list and allow additional customers to subscribe if
additional subscriptions become available, in the order of
the wait list.
(d) Cost recovery.--The following shall apply:
(1) All costs of development and operation of a local
solar program shall be incorporated into the solar energy
rate charged to a subscriber for energy usage.
(2) An electric distribution company shall be allowed to
recover all costs of the program, including implementation
and reasonable administrative costs from each subscriber,
subject to commission approval.
(e) Solar renewable energy credits.--Each solar renewable
energy credit generated by a local solar program shall count
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toward the electric distribution company's compliance with the
act of November 30, 2004 (P.L.1672, No.213), known as the
Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act.
(f) Low-income customers.--A portion of a local solar
facility's output in kilowatt hours shall be reserved for
subscription by low-income customers. The amount of output
reserved for low-income participation shall be from a minimum of
5% to a maximum of 15%. The electric distribution company shall
set the low-income customer reservation prior to issuing the
request for proposal to a developer. A low-income customer
subscribing to a local solar program shall remain eligible for
an electric distribution company's customer assistance program.
A low-income customer subscribing to the local solar program
shall pay a rate not to exceed the electric distribution
company's price-to-compare.
(g) Implementation and evaluation.--Within 120 days of the
effective date of this section, the commission shall establish
procedures for reviewing and approving a local solar program.
The commission shall establish regulations for approving the
request for proposal process and results, including the cost for
energy, which shall be fixed over the life of the contract. The
commission shall establish a process for evaluating local solar
programs within the first year following activation of the local
solar program, and not less than every three years thereafter,
to ensure that local solar programs are achieving the objectives
of this act.
Section 5. Effective date.
This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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