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General Laws

Section 143. (a) For the purposes of this section, the term “small municipal renewable energy generating facility” shall mean a generating unit that is designed for, or capable of, operating at a gross capacity of less than 10 megawatts and that qualifies as a Class I renewable energy generating source under section 11F of chapter 25A.

(b) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a municipality may design, install, own and operate small municipal renewable energy generating facilities, sell any electricity generated from such facilities and sell any other marketable products resulting from its generation of renewable energy at such facilities, including electronic certificates created to represent the generation attributes, as defined in 225 CMR 14.02, of each megawatt hour of energy generated by the renewable energy facilities; provided, however, that no later than 15 days after the initiation of a procurement of services, equipment or materials related to a small municipal renewable energy generating facility and again no later than 15 days after the date that such small municipal renewable energy generating facility first produces electrical energy, said municipality shall submit a report to the department of public utilities and the department of energy resources detailing the costs of the small municipal renewable energy generating facility and a plan and forecast for the disposition of the facility’s products. The department of energy resources shall annually issue a report containing information on small municipal renewable energy generating facilities, including the number, capacity, production and performance of such facilities and recommendations, if any, for additional legislative action to increase the benefits available to municipalities through ownership of renewable energy generating facilities. The department of energy resources shall submit such report, including drafts of legislation to implement recommendations within such report, to the joint committee on telecommunications, utilities and energy and the senate and house committees on ways and means not later than April 30 of each year.

(c) A municipality may issue from time to time bonds or notes in order to finance all or a portion of the costs of small municipal renewable energy generating facility projects authorized under this section. Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 44 to the contrary, the maturities of any such bonds issued by a municipality hereunder either shall be arranged so that for each issue the annual combined payments of principal and interest payable in each year, commencing with the first year in which a principal payment is required, shall be as nearly equal as practicable in the opinion of the municipal treasurer or shall be arranged in accordance with a schedule providing for a more rapid amortization of principal. The first payment of principal of each issue of bonds or of any temporary notes issued in anticipation of the bonds shall be not later than 5 years after the anticipated date of commencement of the regular operation of the small municipal renewable energy generating facilities financed thereby, as determined by the municipal treasurer, and the last payment of principal of the bonds shall be not later than 25 years from the date of the bonds. Indebtedness incurred under this section shall not be included in determining the limit of indebtedness of a municipality under section 10 of said chapter 44 but, except as otherwise provided in this subsection, shall be subject to the provisions of said chapter 44.

(d) A municipality shall procure any services required for the design, installation, improvement, repair and operation of small municipal renewable energy generating facilities authorized under this section, and acquire any equipment necessary in connection therewith, in accordance with the procurement requirements of chapter 30B as applicable. A municipality may procure any such services and equipment together as 1 procurement or as separate procurements thereunder.

(e) A municipality may establish an enterprise fund under section 53F1/2 of chapter 44 for the receipt of all revenues from the operation of small municipal renewable energy generating facilities authorized under this section to operate and all moneys received for the benefit of such small municipal renewable energy generating facilities, other than the proceeds of bonds or notes issued therefor. Such receipts shall be used to pay the costs of operation and maintenance of the small municipal renewable energy generating facilities, to pay the costs of future improvements and repairs thereto and to pay the principals and interest on any bonds or notes issued therefor.

(a) The corporation, and member and non-member cities and towns having municipal electric departments established under chapter 164 of the General Laws or by a special act and other utilities, public or private, may enter into energy contracts including, but not limited to, contracts providing for the sale or purchase of energy or energy facilities, borrowing by members under a pooled loan program, planning, engineering, design, acquiring sites or options for sites and expenses preliminary or incidental to such facilities. Any such contract may: (i) be for the life of a facility or other term or for an indefinite period; (ii) provide for the payment of unconditional obligations imposed without regard to whether a facility is undertaken, completed, operable or operating and notwithstanding the suspension, interruption, interference, reduction or curtailment of the output of a facility; and (iii) contain provisions for prepayment, non-unanimous amendment, arbitration, delegation and other matters considered necessary or desirable to carry out its purposes. Any such contract may also provide, in the event of default by any party to the contract in the performance of its obligations under the contract, for other parties to assume the obligations and succeed to the rights and interests of the defaulting party, pro rata or otherwise as may be agreed upon in the contract.

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