SENATE, No. 2848

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 13, 2022

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  BOB SMITH

District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)

Senator  LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Directs BPU to adopt rules and regulations establishing “Public Remote Net Metering Program,” and provides additional program criteria.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning remote net metering and amending P.L.2018, c.17.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  Section 6 of P.L.2018, c.17 (C.48:3-87.12) is amended to read as follows:

     6.  a.  No later than 120 days after the date of enactment of P.L.2018, c.17 (C.48:3-87.8 et al.), the board shall establish an application and approval process to certify public entities to act as a host customer for remote net metering generating capacity.  A public entity certified to act as a host customer may allocate credits to other public entities within the same electric public utility service territory. A copy of the agreement between the public entity certified to act as a host customer and other public entities designated to receive credits shall be provided to the electric public utility before remote net metering credits may be applied to a customer bill.  A public entity certified to act as a host customer may host a solar energy project with a capacity up to the total average usage of the electric public utility accounts for the host public entity customer.

     b.    The board shall establish a remote net metering application process to approve as the primary account holder a certified public entity that is the host customer and the other public entities designated to receive credits. 

     c.     The board shall require the owner of a solar energy project to pay a certified public entity a pro-rated public sponsor fee of $10,000 per megawatt, up to a 10-megawatt allowance for each public entity.  The board shall require each participating customer to pay at least 50 percent of the societal benefits charge established pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-60).

     d.  No later than 90 days after the date of enactment of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and notwithstanding the provisions of the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), to the contrary, the board shall adopt, immediately upon filing the proper notice with the Office of Administrative Law, rules and regulations establishing a “Public Remote Net Metering Program” to allow public entity customers of an electric public utility to participate in a solar energy project that is remotely located on property owned or leased by the public entity or on other eligible property within the service territory of the electric public utility serving the public entity, and to allow for a credit to the public entity's utility bill equal to the electricity generated that is attributed to the public entity's participation in the solar energy project.

     These rules and regulations shall be in effect for a period not to exceed 365 days after the date of the filing.  The rules and regulations shall thereafter be amended, adopted, or readopted in accordance with the requirements of the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).

     e.  (1) A solar energy project eligible to participate in the “Public Remote Net Metering Program” established pursuant to subsection d. of this section shall:

     (a) be located in the same electric public utility’s service territory as the host customer and receiving customer;

     (b) have a minimum number of 10 participating public entity customer utility accounts as receiving customers;

     (c) be situated on land owned or leased by any public entity or on private commercial rooftops;

     (d) have a facility size calculated based upon the total aggregate electricity usage of the receiving customer public entity customer utility accounts to be served by the project based on the total usage of each proposed customer account over the previous twelve months; and

     (e) be less than four megawatts in total size based on the approved alternating current rating of the facility.

     (2) A public entity may agree to host a solar energy project that is not located on property owned or leased by the public entity and receive the annual host fee of $10,000 per megawatt as set forth in subsection c. of this section.

     (a) The host customer shall (i) submit a public entity certification agreement and remote net metering public entity certification agreement to the electric distribution company serving the host customer on the forms established, and in the manner prescribed, by board order adopted on September 17, 2018, or as subsequently provided in the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to subsection d. of this section, and (ii) an application to interconnect a solar electric generation facility with the electric distribution company.

     (b) The electric distribution company shall review the certification agreements submitted pursuant to subparagraph (a) of this paragraph and recommend approval or rejection to board staff based upon the electric distribution company's review of the data submitted and account billing history.  Upon receipt of a recommendation from the electric distribution company, board staff shall present a recommendation to the board on the request for public entity certification at a regularly scheduled meeting of the board.

     f.  A host customer shall be responsible for the cost to install an electricity production meter specified by the electric distribution company for the sole purpose of metering the output of the solar energy project.

     g.  The negotiation and entrance into a power purchase agreement or other contract by a public entity pursuant to this section whether to serve as a host customer or receiving customer, or both, shall be qualified as an exemption as set forth in section 5 of P.L.1971, c.198 (C.40A:11-5) such that the power purchase agreement or other contract may be negotiated and awarded by the governing body without public advertisement for bids and bidding therefor and shall be awarded by resolution of the governing body.

(cf:  P.L.2018, c.17, s.6)

 

     2.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would amend current law concerning remote net metering.  Section 6 of P.L.2018, c.17 (C.48:3-87.12) directed the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to establish an application and approval process to certify public entities to act as a host customer for remote net metering generating capacity.  The BPU established a remote meter metering program by board order dated September 17, 2018.  This bill directs the BPU to adopt rules and regulations establishing the “Public Remote Net Metering Program.”

     Under the bill, a public entity customer of an electric public utility would be eligible to participate in a solar energy project that is remotely located on property owned or leased by the public entity or on other eligible property within the service territory of the electric public utility serving the public entity and be allowed a credit on their utility bill equal to the electricity generated that is attributed to the public entity's participation in the solar energy project.

     A solar energy project eligible to participate in the “Public Remote Net Metering Program” established pursuant to the bill would be required to:

     (1) be located in the same electric public utility’s service territory as the host customer and receiving customer;

     (2) have a minimum number of 10 participating public entity customer utility accounts as receiving customers;

     (3) be situated on land owned or leased by any public entity or on private commercial rooftops;

     (4) have a facility size calculated based upon the total aggregate electricity usage of the receiving customer public entity customer utility accounts to be served by the project based on the total usage of each proposed customer account over the previous twelve months; and

     (5) be less than four megawatts in total size based on the approved alternating current rating of the facility.

     The bill provides that a public entity may agree to host a solar energy project that is not located on property owned or leased by the public entity and receive the annual host fee of $10,000 per megawatt provided in current law.

     The bill requires the electric distribution company to review the public entity certification agreement and the remote net metering certification agreement required to be submitted by the public entity under the bill and recommend approval or rejection to BPU staff based upon the electric distribution company's review of the data submitted and account billing history.  Upon receipt of a recommendation from an electric distribution company, BPU staff would be required to present a recommendation to the BPU on the request for public entity certification at a regularly scheduled meeting of the BPU.