NEW JERSEY – After somewhat of a lull, it seems the New Jersey BPU has resumed public discussion of a Community Renewables program. The BPU has submitted a request for comments on its proposal for the creation of a Community Renewable Pilot Program. The full proposal can be found in the above request for comments but highlights include:
- Two year pilot program, launched by year end 2009;
- Eligible systems would include those that generate electricity using solar, wind, or sustainable biomass resources (Class I resources);
- Projects may encompass a single generator serving contiguous sites/users or non-contiguous sites/users. However, all generator sites and all users but must be within a single utility service territory;
- Multiple platforms would be considered, including : Third Party supplier with Power Purchase Agreement; Community Choice Aggregation; Net Metering; Clean Power Choice, and Utility RGGI Program;
- Program would be open to all Class I renewable energy technologies and customer groups;
- Utilities would be compensated at a reasonable rate for distribution and transmission costs and ancillary services;
- Community cooperatives, third party suppliers and/or EDCs should be eligible to serve as project owners /developers and project partners.
Specifically BPU staff is seeking input on the following questions:
1. Should the Board select one program platform over the other to advance the Community Renewable Pilot Program, or allow for multiple platforms?
2. Which program platform is the best suited for demonstrating the potential advantages and challenges of Community Renewables?
3. Should the Board solicit pilot projects for each program platform in each service territory, so as to gather data on a variety of situations?
4. Should the Board solicit pilot projects for one program platform per service territory, so as to narrow the focus of the program pending additional experience and information?
5. Are the proposed criteria for a Community Renewable Pilot Program adequate and relevant?
Comments are due by July 14, 2009.