Amendment #4 to H4912

Municipal Solar

Ms. Peake of Provincetown move to amend the bill, as amended, by inserting the following section:

SECTION XX.  Section 1A of chapter 164 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding a new paragraph:

(g) Municipalities and environmental justice communities at high risk from the effects of climate change may endorse one or more projects by an electric or gas distribution company constructing, owning and operating generation facilities on land owned therein by the electric or natural gas distribution company that produce solar energy or solar generation facilities paired, where feasible, with energy storage facilities designed to improve community climate adaptation and resiliency, mitigate the impacts of climate change, reduce carbon emissions, implement energy efficient or conservation measures, improve the energy efficiency of publicly-owned buildings or contribute to the Commonwealth meeting its carbon emissions limits established in section 3 of chapter 21N.  To be eligible under this section, electric and gas distribution companies shall conduct an outreach program to promote and enable the development of these facilities in environmental justice communities, focused on program goals, including but not limited to job creation, peak demand reduction and system resiliency.  For purposes of this section, a municipality or environmental justice community at high risk from the effects of climate shall be a community which expects significant changes to its population, land use or local economy resulting from changes in climate or is undertaking efforts for job creation.  Nothing in this section is intended to, or has the effect of, overriding, modifying, or terminating any applicable requirements for local zoning and permitting by the municipality.

Notwithstanding sections 1B to 1H of chapter 164, inclusive, electric and gas distribution companies shall be eligible to assist a municipality or environmental justice community at high risk from the effects of climate change in furthering its climate adaptation and resiliency goals by constructing, owning and operating solar generation facilities or solar generation facilities paired, where feasible, with energy storage facilities on land owned by the electric or gas distribution company within a municipality or environmental justice community at no cost to the municipality or community provided that such facilities shall receive department approval for cost recovery.  Except that, such company shall not construct, own or operate new facilities of more than 20 percent of the total installed or queued megawatts of such privately developed facilities in the Commonwealth beginning as of the effective date of this section.  Projects undertaken on behalf of a municipality or environmental justice community for construction of utility-owned solar facilities shall be exempt from the prohibition on utility owned generation, following review and approval by the Department of Public Utilities.  The department shall be authorized to review municipal and community petitions for development of utility-owned solar facilities and to allow cost recovery upon a showing that a site-specific development would provide environmental or climate change benefits to the community, municipality or to the Commonwealth, or both in combination, warranting a site-specific exemption.

Affirmation of support by a municipality or environmental justice community shall be presented to the department by an electric or gas distribution company in any petition for pre-approval of cost recovery for a solar energy generating facility and energy storage facility, where deemed feasible, and the department shall determine whether the proposal is consistent with the commonwealth’s energy policy, contributes to the climate change resiliency of the host municipality, or mitigates peak energy demand.  In approving any such proposal, the Department shall provide a statement of reasons establishing (1) the criteria applied in reviewing the proposal; (2) the evidence provided in support of the proposal and relied on by the Department in making its decision; and (3) identifying the specific contributions to the state’s energy policy that will be attributable to the proposed facility so that there is clear and convincing analytical foundation for the Department’s approval of utility owned solar facilities.

The department may adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement this section.

 


Additional co-sponsor(s) added to Amendment #4, as changed to H4912

Municipal Solar

Representative:

Daniel Cahill

Stephan Hay

Tami L. Gouveia

Paul W. Mark

William C. Galvin