Renewable Energy Growth Program Development Process for Potential 2024-2026 Program Year Filing

Renewable Energy Growth Program Development Process for Potential 2024-2026 Program Year Filing

On June 26, 2023, Chapter 300 – An Act Relating to Public Utilities and Carriers – Net Metering) was enacted into law. The legislation, as enacted, contain several major provisions that affect the Renewable Energy Growth Act (R.I.G.L. § 39-26.6), for both the 2024 program year and ten (10) program years thereafter. Most relevant for the program development process to take place during the remainder of 2023 and early 2024, the law as enacted:

  • Permits OER and the DG Board to propose schedules of REG ceiling prices and capacity allocations for no more than three (3) program years in the future
  • Disqualifies projects sited on a “core forest” parcel from REG program participation
  • Creates several new renewable energy classes, including for solar projects that are:
    • At least 5 MW but less than 10 MW;
    • At least 10 MW but less than 15 MW;
    • At least 15 MW but less than 39 MW, but only if eligible projects are sited on “preferred sites”;
  • Permits and/or incentivizes development of projects “including, but not limited to, landfills, gravel pits and quarries, highway and major road median strips, brownfields, superfund sites, parking lots or sites that are designated appropriate for carports, and all rooftops including, but not limited to, residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal buildings”; and
  • Directs either of OER, the DG Board, or Rhode Island Energy (RIE) to propose incentive-rate adders for projects on preferred sites “requir(ing) remediation.”

On this page, you will find information related to the potential development of ceiling prices and capacity allocations over up to a three-year period during the 2024-2026 Program Years (which would, if proposed, last from April 1, 2024 to March 31, 2027).

Capacity Allocation for Potential 2024-2026 Program Year Period

The Office of Energy Resources is requesting any stakeholder or agency comments on the drafted allocation plan through 5pm on Tuesday, October 3rd . 

Please submit your written PDF comments to the following individuals: 

Stakeholder Meeting #1: 1st Draft of Potential 2024-2026 Ceiling Prices for Projects <=5 MW (August 24, 2023)

On August 24, 2023, SEA hosted their first stakeholder meeting, at which SEA presented the 1st Draft of Potential Ceiling Prices for Projects <=5 MW. Following the stakeholder meeting, OER and SEA requested public comments on the initial draft of the potential prices by September 15, 2023.

Links to presentation slides and related public comments can will be found below.

Stakeholder Meeting #2: 1st Draft of Potential 2024-2026 Ceiling Prices for Projects >5 MW and Incentive-Rate Adders (September 22, 2023)

On Friday, September 22, 2023 from 9:00-11:00 am ET, SEA plans to present and discuss with stakeholders its proposed first draft of Ceiling Prices for the Renewable Energy Classes for Solar projects greater than 5 MW and potential incentive-rate adders (including those enabled by the recently-enacted Chapter 300 – An Act Relating to Public Utilities and Carriers – Net Metering)

Links to presentation slides and related public comments can will be found below.

Sustainable Energy Advantage (SEA), on behalf of the Office of Energy Resources (OER), requests comments on the following matters relating to SEA’s first draft ceiling prices and incentive rate adders for the Renewable Energy Growth program. Comments were due by 11:59 AM ET on September 29, 2023.

Stakeholder Meeting #3: 2nd Draft of All Proposed Prices and All Incentive-Rate Adders (October 24, 2023)

On Friday, October 24, 2023 from 9:00-11:00 am ET, SEA plans to present and discuss with stakeholders its proposed second draft of all potential REG Ceiling Prices and incentive-rate adders (including those enabled by the recently-enacted Chapter 300 – An Act Relating to Public Utilities and Carriers – Net Metering).

presentation slides and related public comments can be found below.

Stakeholder Meeting #4: Discussion of Adder Eligibility and Core Forest Guidance (November 6, 2023)

Adder Eligibility Updates

Following the issuance of 2nd draft prices, SEA engaged with the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) which provided important information regarding DEM’s interpretation of statutory terms governing the eligibility of incentive rate adders for projects on parcels “requiring remediation” (per Chapters 300 and 301 – An Act Relating to Public Utilities and Carriers – Net Metering). At a high level, it is SEA’s understanding that DEM:

· Considers brownfields, superfund sites, and landfills requiring capping to all potentially require remediation;

· Considers already capped landfills to be ineligible under DEM’s preliminary interpretation; and

· Expects that eligible brownfield parcels would be verified using DEM’s existing list of contaminated sites.

To discuss these determinations further, and provide stakeholders with an opportunity to provide feedback on implications for the calculated incentive-rate adders, SEA is scheduling a fourth stakeholder meeting for November 6, 9:00-11:00am. At the meeting, SEA and a representative from DEM will present on these issues and discuss implications for incentive-rate adders. In addition, DEM will present its guidance document regarding “core forest” eligibility (as defined by Chapter 300 and 301, linked above).

AC vs DC Capacity for Resource Class Eligibility

Lastly, SEA and OER are considering revisions to the REG program that would designate resource class eligibility based on a facility’s AC capacity (as opposed to DC capacity). SEA will present on the benefits and risks associated with the revision, proposed modeling implications if the revision is adopted, and receive participant feedback on the issue at the meeting.

Links to registration and presentation slides can be found below:

Meeting 4 Registration Link

Pursuant to authorization provided to it by the recently-enacted Chapter 300 and 301 – An Act Relative to Public Utilities and Carriers – Net Metering [webserver.rilin.state.ri.us], on November 14, 2023, OER recommended, and the DG Board voted unanimously to adopt OER’s recommendation to provide the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (PUC) with the following elements of a three-year program plan. If approved by the PUC, the plan would elapse from April 1, 2024 to March 31, 2027.

The main elements of this recommended program plan are described in in the PDF file below.