Text: H.R.6401 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/26/2008)


110th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6401


To spur rapid and sustainable growth in renewable electricity generation in the United States through priority interconnection, renewable energy payments, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 26, 2008

Mr. Inslee (for himself, Mr. Delahunt, Mr. Honda, Mr. McDermott, and Mr. Grijalva) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Science and Technology and Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To spur rapid and sustainable growth in renewable electricity generation in the United States through priority interconnection, renewable energy payments, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Renewable Energy Jobs and Security Act”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

The Congress finds that:

(1) Electricity produced from renewable resources helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and limits emissions of other pollutants regulated pursuant to the Clean Air Act, enhances national energy security, and provides substantial economic benefits.

(2) The need exists for the rapid expansion of low and zero carbon-emitting electric generation at a far greater pace than current levels.

(3) Distributed electric generation is energy efficient, promotes grid stability and reduces transmission system congestion during periods of peak demand.

(4) A transition toward renewable energy sources brings economic benefit to consumers by reducing their exposure to increasingly volatile fossil fuel markets.

(5) Renewable energy payments, also known as “feed-in tariffs”, are a proven mechanism for accelerating the development of renewable energy in grid-connected areas.

(6) By guaranteeing access to the grid and setting a favorable price per unit of power, feed-in tariffs ensure that renewable energy is a sound long-term investment for companies, for industry, and for individuals and thereby creates a strong economic incentive for investing in renewable energy technologies.

(7) The International Energy Agency, the European Commission and the United Kingdom’s Stern Review have determined that feed-in tariff policies in Germany, Spain, France and other European Union countries have achieved larger renewable energy deployment at lower costs, compared with policies in other European Union countries.

SEC. 3. Purpose.

The purpose of this Act is to—

(1) enable the rapid and sustainable development of distributed renewable electricity generation in the United States;

(2) stimulate the development of new jobs and industry in the United States;

(3) create a stable and secure market for capital investments in renewable energy technologies;

(4) reduce air and water pollution, related health problems and health-care expenditures;

(5) help prevent greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere from reaching levels that would cause dangerous global temperature increases of more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels;

(6) protect natural resources in the United States;

(7) allow all citizens to participate in renewable electricity generation;

(8) reduce the price volatility and long term costs of electricity;

(9) place the United States at the forefront of the global renewable energy revolution; and

(10) reduce the dependence of the United States on foreign sources of energy.

SEC. 4. Definitions.

Section 3 of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 794) is amended by adding the following new paragraphs at the end:

“(30) The term ‘renewable energy’ means energy generated from—

“(A) solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, wind, geothermal or marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy;

“(B) biomass (as defined in section 9001 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8101));

“(C) landfill gas;

“(D) biogas derived from farm waste; or

“(E) qualified hydropower.

“(31) The term ‘geothermal energy’ means energy derived from a geothermal deposit (within the meaning of section 613(e)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986).

“(32) The term ‘marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy’ means energy derived from—

“(A) waves, tides, and currents in oceans, estuaries, and tidal areas;

“(B) free flowing water in rivers, lakes, and streams;

“(C) free flowing water in an irrigation system, canal, or other man-made channel, including projects that utilize nonmechanical structures to accelerate the flow of water for electric power production purposes; or

“(D) differentials in ocean temperature (ocean thermal energy conversion).

“(33) The term ‘renewable energy facility’ means an electric energy generation unit owned and operated by any person (including a utility) that—

“(A) is placed in service after December 31, 2008;

“(B) provides electricity directly to the electric power grid;

“(C) uses renewable energy as its sole energy source; and

“(D) has a nameplate capacity of not more than 20 megawatts.

“(34) The term ‘network upgrades’ means additions or modifications to any system for the transmission or distribution of electric energy at or beyond the point at which a generator interconnects to the system to accommodate renewable energy generated by a renewable energy facility and delivered to the system.

“(35)(A) The term ‘qualified hydropower’ means—

“(i) incremental hydropower generation that is achieved from increased efficiency or additions of capacity made on or after January 1, 2009, at a hydroelectric facility that was placed in service before that date; or

“(ii) additions of capacity made on or after January 1, 2009, at an existing nonhydroelectric dam, if—

“(I) the hydroelectric project installed on the nonhydroelectric dam is licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and meets all other applicable environmental, licensing, and regulatory requirements, including applicable fish passage requirements;

“(II) the nonhydroelectric dam was placed in service before the date of the enactment of this paragraph and operated for flood control, navigation, or water supply purposes and did not produce hydroelectric power on the date of the enactment of this paragraph; and

“(III) the hydroelectric project is operated so that the water surface elevation at any given location and time that would have occurred in the absence of the hydroelectric project is maintained, subject to any license requirements imposed under applicable law that change the water surface elevation for the purpose of improving the environmental quality of the affected waterway.

“(B) The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission shall certify if a hydroelectric project licensed at a nonhydroelectric dam meets the criteria described in subparagraph (A)(ii)(III).

“(C) Nothing in this paragraph shall affect the standards under which the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues licenses for and regulates hydropower projects under part I of the Federal Power Act.”.

TITLE IInterconnection

SEC. 101. Federal interconnection standards for renewable energy facilities.

Part II of the Federal Power Act is amended by adding the following new section after section 210:

“SEC. 210A. Expedited Federal interconnection standards for renewable energy facilities.

“(a) Federal standards.—In order to encourage the use of renewable energy facilities and to ensure the safety and reliability of renewable energy facilities and transmission systems interconnected with those facilities, within one year after the enactment of this section, the Commission shall propose rules establishing standards for the physical connection between—

“(1) renewable energy facilities; and

“(2) transmission facilities of transmitting utilities subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission under this part.

“(b) Expedited procedures.—The standards under this section shall include separate expedited procedures for interconnecting renewable energy facilities up to 10 kilowatts and a separate standard that expedites interconnection for renewable energy facilities up to 2000 kilowatts. In designing such expedited procedures, the Commission shall consider model rules published by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.

“(c) Final rule.—Within 2 years after the enactment of this section, and after notice and opportunity for comment, the Commission shall promulgate, and from time-to-time thereafter revise, final standards under this section. Such revisions shall take into account changes in the underlying standards and technologies. Such revisions shall be made available to State regulatory authorities for their consideration prior to final promulgation.

“(d) Safety, reliability, performance, and cost.—The standards under this section shall establish those measures for the safety and reliability of the affected equipment and transmission systems as may be appropriate. Such standards shall be consistent with the reliability standards under section 215 and all applicable safety and performance standards established by the national electrical code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Underwriters Laboratories, or the American National Standards Institute, and the North American Electric Reliability Council, yet constitute the minimum cost and technical burdens to the interconnecting renewable energy facility as the Commission shall, by rule, prescribe.

“(e) Additional charges.—The standards under this section shall prohibit the imposition of additional charges by the owners or operators of transmission systems for equipment or services for interconnection that are additional to those necessary to achieve the objectives of subsection (d).

“(f) Reliability.—The rules under this section shall include provisions respecting minimum reliability of renewable energy facilities (including reliability of such facilities during emergencies) and rules respecting reliability of electric energy service to be available to such facilities from transmitting utilities and public utilities during emergencies. Consistent with standards approved by the Commission under section 215, rules for the purchase of electric energy from a renewable energy facility shall also ensure that such purchases do not affect the reliability of any person purchasing electric energy from the renewable energy facility.

“(g) Grid interconnection-related network upgrades.—The standards under this subsection shall provide the following:

“(1) The obligation to provide priority interconnection for renewable energy facilities (as required under subsection (h)) shall apply to:

“(A) Any transmitting utility providing transmission service subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission to electric utilities in a retail service territory that includes the renewable energy facility if—

“(i) such transmitting utility is in possession of transmission facilities technically suitable to receive electricity from the renewable energy facility; and

“(ii) there is no other transmission or distribution facility with a technically and economically more suitable connection point.

“(B) Transmission facilities shall be deemed to be technically suitable under subparagraph (A) even if feeding in the electricity requires the transmitting utility to upgrade its transmission facilities at a reasonable economic expense, as determined by the Commission. In this case, the transmitting utility shall upgrade its transmission facilities without undue delay, if so requested by an interconnecting renewable energy facility.

“(C) The obligation to upgrade the transmission facilities shall apply to all technical facilities required for operating the transmission system and to all connecting installations which are owned by or passed into the ownership of the transmitting utility.

“(2) EXCEPTIONS.—The standards under this section shall not require any transmitting utility to interconnect with renewable energy facilities or to provide priority access to available transfer capability on the transmission system if the transmitting utility is already committed through long-term contracts to full capacity of its load and such utility has no ability to transmit any new generation from renewable energy facilities to any other electric utility.

“(3) COSTS OF NETWORK UPGRADES.—The standards under this section shall provide that all prudently incurred costs associated with network upgrades to accommodate new renewable energy facilities for the purchase and transmission of electricity produced from renewable energy facilities shall be initially borne by the electric utility or transmitting utility. The electric utility or transmitting utility shall be reimbursed for such costs through the regional cost sharing mechanism under section 225.

“(h) Priority of orders.—Any renewable energy facility may apply to the Commission for an order requiring the interconnection of such facility with the transmission system of any transmitting utility in accordance with the standards under this section, and the Commission shall issue such an order after notice and opportunity for hearing in accordance with section 210(b). The Commission shall give priority to the consideration of applications from renewable energy facilities under this section over applications for orders under section 210 and shall ensure that applications by renewable energy facilities are given priority interconnection and priority access to available transfer capability on the transmission system over applications from facilities that are not renewable energy facilities.

“(i) Interconnection clustering.—To facilitate the objectives of subsection (h) relating to interconnection and to reduce backlogs in the interconnection queue, the Commission may consider a clustering approach to the interconnection of electric generation facilities with a nameplate capacity greater than 2 megawatts. Under such interconnection clustering procedures, requests for interconnection that are placed within succeeding 6-month periods may be eligible to be interconnected concurrently.

“(j) Relationship to existing law regarding interconnection.—Except as otherwise provided in this section, nothing in this section affects the application of section 210 of this Act or section 111(d)(16) (relating to interconnection) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as an expansion of the jurisdiction of the Commission with respect to the facilities subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission.

“(k) Effective date.—This section shall take effect with respect to applications submitted to the Commission under subsection (h) after the effective date of regulations promulgated under this section.”.

SEC. 102. Adoption of certain standards.

(a) Interconnection not subject to Federal Power Act jurisdiction.—Section 113(b) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2623) is amended by adding the following at the end thereof:

“(6) INTERCONNECTION STANDARDS.—Each electric utility shall adopt such standards for the interconnection with renewable energy facilities as are necessary as to ensure that renewable energy facilities are given priority interconnection and priority access to available capacity on the transmission and distribution system of such utility over electricity from facilities that do not generate electricity from renewable energy facilities and permit any renewable energy facility to apply to the State regulatory authority for an order requiring the interconnection of such facility with the system of the electric utility. Such standards shall be based on the standards promulgated by the Commission under section 210A of the Federal Power Act. Such standards shall not affect the application of section 111(d)(15).”.

(b) Conforming amendments.—Section 113(a) of such Act is amended by adding the following at the end of subsection (a): “For purposes of applying this section in the case of the standard under paragraph (6) of subsection (b), in lieu of the two-year period referred to in this section there shall be substituted a period of one year after the date on which a rule is prescribed or revised by the Commission under section 210A. ” .

TITLE IIRENEWABLE ENERGY PAYMENTS

SEC. 201. Renewable energy payment study and report.

(a) Definitions.—

(1) The term “renewable energy facility” has the meaning provided by section 3 of the Federal Power Act.

(2) The term “Commission” refers to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

(b) In general.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, and every 2 years thereafter, the Secretary of Energy, acting through the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, shall jointly transmit to Congress and to the Commission a report that spatially maps national renewable energy resources and conducts cost assessments for renewable energy facility development with respect to all available technologies. Such reports may draw from reviews and assessments conducted pursuant to section 201 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Such reports shall each include each of the following:

(1) Maps of renewable energy resource availability based on the best available data and at the highest spatial resolution necessary to help identify the best sites for the development of renewable energy facilities.

(2) Recommendations for minimum tariff rates that should be paid during each of the following 2 years to renewable energy facility operators to provide for reasonable profits for renewable energy facility owners (with consideration to development costs, including costs of manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance) pursuant to the standard under section 215 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (as amended by section 202 of this Act), adjusted by an appropriate annual tariff degression, with consideration to the following:

(A) The maps described in paragraph (1).

(B) The goal is to provide for the profitable development of renewable energy facilities that use available commercialized technologies and operate within regions that, on average, experience the top 30th percentile of renewable energy resource potential in the United States.

(C) The best available scientific and electricity market data, including data made available through reports from amendments made by section 202 of this Act.

(D) The renewable energy technology market, including advancements in research, development, deployment and innovation.

(E) The percentage of renewable power generation for each technology that can be reliably accommodated on the electric grid.

(3) Recommendations to the Commission regarding new renewable energy technologies that may be considered eligible for future power purchase agreements under the standard under section 210B of the Federal Power Act, as added by section 202 of this Act.

(4) Other recommendations to the Commission and to State regulatory authorities regarding electricity reliability, technical, economic, legal or safety considerations that could be acted upon in order to better achieve the purposes of this Act.

(5) Renewable energy facility operators shall upon request, provide the Commission, the State regulatory authorities, the Secretary of Energy (acting through the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory) any information that may be relevant to performing their duties under this Act.

(c) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Energy such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.

SEC. 202. Guaranteed power purchase agreements.

(a) Public utilities regulated under the Federal Power Act.—Part II of the Federal Power Act is amended by adding the following new section after section 210A (as added by this Act):

“SEC. 210B. Renewable energy payments.

“(a) Renewable energy payment rules.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the Renewable Energy Jobs and Security Act, the Commission shall prescribe, and from time-to-time thereafter revise, such rules as it determines necessary to encourage the purchase of electric energy by public utilities from renewable energy facilities. The rules shall require public utilities to offer to purchase electric energy from renewable energy facilities in accordance with this section at uniform national rates established pursuant to this section. Each such public utility shall purchase electricity from renewable energy facilities on a priority basis, and each transmitting utility (as defined in the Federal Power Act) shall transmit such energy on a priority basis. Such rules shall be prescribed, after consideration of recommendations made in reports under section 201 of the Renewable Energy Jobs and Security Act, after consultation with representatives of State regulatory agencies having ratemaking authority for electric utilities, and after public notice and a reasonable opportunity for interested persons (and State agencies) to submit data, views, and arguments. Such rules may not authorize a renewable energy facility to make any sale for purposes other than resale.

“(b) Effective date.—The rules under this section shall apply only to contracts for the purchase and sale of electric energy from renewable energy facilities entered into after the effective date of such rules and before the date 20 years after such effective date.

“(c) Renewable energy payment rates for purchase of power.—

“(1) PURPOSES.—The purposes of this subsection are to—

“(A) provide for the profitable development of renewable energy facilities that use available commercialized technologies and operate within regions that, on average, experience the top 30th percentile of renewable energy resource potential in the United States;

“(B) prevent excessive profits for renewable energy facility operators;

“(C) minimize upward pressure on renewable energy market prices; and

“(D) prevent unnecessary costs to ratepayers.

“(2) UNIFORM NATIONAL RATES.—Except as otherwise specified in this section, the rates paid for the purchase of electric energy from renewable energy facilities under contracts entered into under this section shall be established on a uniform national basis by the Commission by rule. Such rates shall be—

“(A) fixed throughout the duration of a contract extending for a period of at least 20 years;

“(B) no less than the amount needed for development plus a reasonable profit, with consideration to—

“(i) the technology used;

“(ii) the year the installation is placed into service; and

“(iii) the size of the renewable energy facility.

“(3) RATES OF RETURN.—Such rates shall be set to provide a nominal, post-tax project internal rate of return of not less than 10 percent after recovery of all operating and maintenance costs for projects sited in locations with favorable renewable energy resource potential, consistent with the purposes of this subsection.

“(4) BONUS TARIFFS.—Bonus rates may be paid to provide additional incentives for each of the following purposes:

“(A) Biogas-powered renewable energy facilities to promote electric generation from biogas derived from farm waste.

“(B) Renewable energy facility development in areas where distributed generation reduces grid congestion and improves overall grid efficiency.

“(C) For power delivered from renewable energy facilities on peak.

“(D) To renewable energy facilities with onsite energy storage capability that significantly increases the capacity factor or availability.

“(5) PERIODIC ADJUSTMENT.—The Commission shall review the rates under this subsection every 2 years and adjust those rates applicable to prospective contracts in accordance with paragraph (2) and in a manner that is consistent with the purposes of this subsection.

“(6) DEGRESSION RATES.—For new facilities commencing construction in each year after the first year for which tariffs under this section applied to any facility, the tariffs rates paid under this standard under this section may be reduced relative to the previous year in accordance with annual tariff degression rates. Such degression rate shall be specific to each technology.

“(7) PRIORITY.—The rules under the standard under this subsection shall require each public utility to purchase and each transmitting utility to transmit renewable energy from renewable energy facilities on a priority basis. Such requirement shall not apply if the public utility or transmitting utility is already committed through long-term contracts to full capacity of its load and such utility has no ability to transmit any new generation from renewable energy facilities to a neighboring utility.

“(d) Reliability.—The rules under this section shall include provisions respecting minimum reliability of renewable energy facilities (including reliability of such facilities during emergencies) and rules respecting reliability of electric energy service to be available to such facilities from public utilities during emergencies. The rules shall also insure that such purchases do not affect the reliability of the purchasing public utility.

“(e) Standard contracts.—The Commission shall approve a standard contract to be used in all power purchase agreements under this section that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission under this part. The contract shall include the prices paid for each kilowatt hour generated, the duration of the contract. The Commission shall provide public utilities subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission with standard contracts within 18 months of the date of enactment of this subsection.

“(f) Relationship to other Federal and State standards, requirements, taxes, and benefits.—Except for accelerated tax depreciation, no person who elects to sell power under a contract under this section shall be entitled to any tax credits or deductions associated with renewable energy production under Federal tax laws or to any other incentives or benefits under any Federal law associated with renewable energy. Any State or utility may provide additional incentives to promote the deployment of renewable energy facilities and, except as provided in subsection (g) with respect to net metering, any renewable energy facility may utilize such benefits. No public utility making purchases of electric energy under a contract under this section shall be exempt from any State law requiring minimum purchase percentages of renewable energy. No renewable energy facility making sales of renewable energy to a public utility under this section shall be entitled to any credit or allowance for renewable energy generation under any such State or Federal law. Any credit or allowance for renewable energy generation needed to meet any State or Federal law requiring minimum purchases of renewable energy shall belong to the public utility that purchases electric energy under a contract under this section unless otherwise specified in State or Federal law.

“(g) Net metering.—If energy generated by any renewable energy facility is eligible for net metering treatment under State law, all energy generated by such facility shall be subject to such State law in lieu of this section unless the owner or operator of the facility makes an election for such electric generation to be subject to this section. For renewable energy facilities interconnecting to public utilities within the jurisdiction of the Commission, the election shall be submitted to the Commission in such form and at such time as the Commission shall prescribe by rule. The election shall include notice to the appropriate State agency administering the State net metering program.

“(h) Public reporting requirements.—By September 30 of each calendar year after 2009, each public utility shall publicly report to the Energy Information Administration without undue delay the following information recorded during the previous calendar year:

“(1) The network upgrade costs associated with compliance with the standards under section 210A of this Act.

“(2) The total quantity of electricity and the total amounts paid to renewable energy facility operators in accordance with compliance with the rules under this section.

“(3) The total quantity of electricity delivered to by the public utility.

“(4) The total number of renewable energy facilities of each technology and application in the area in which the public utility supplies electric energy.

“(5) For each technology and application, the amount of growth in capacity installed relative to the number of new interconnections in the area in which the public utility supplies electric energy.

“(6) The total amount of electricity (in kWh) generated by renewable energy facilities and from other renewable energy sources in the area in which the public utility supplies electric energy.

“(7) The proportion of wind development that is owned and operated by and for communities in the area in which the public utility supplies electric energy.

“(8) The proportion of solar development that is owned and operated by customers in the area in which the public utility supplies electric energy.

“(9) The location of new renewable energy facility development relative to population density in the area in which the public utility supplies electric energy.

“(i) Reports by the Energy Information Administration.—In each of the first 2 years and every 2 years thereafter after the enactment of this section, the Secretary of Energy, acting through the Energy Information Administration, shall make public and submit to Congress a report that shall include the number of new renewable energy facilities in each State and the environmental benefits and effects of the addition of those generators. There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Energy such sums as may be necessary to carry out this subsection.

“(j) Safety and performance standards.—(1) All renewable energy facilities entering into contract under this section shall meet all applicable safety and performance and reliability standards established under section 215 or by the national electrical code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Underwriters Laboratories, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation or the American National Standards Institute.

“(2) The Commission shall, after consultation with State regulatory authorities and nonregulated utilities and after notice and opportunity for comment, limit by regulation the imposition of additional charges by electric suppliers and local distribution system operators for equipment or services for safety or performance that are additional to those necessary to meet the standards and requirements referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection and subsection (g)(3) of section 210A of the Federal Power Act (relating to network upgrades).

“(k) Exemptions.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Sales of electric energy by renewable energy facilities under this section are exempt from regulation under other provisions of this part and from State laws and regulations respecting the rates, or respecting the financial or organizational regulation, of electric utilities, or from any combination of the foregoing.

“(2) EXCEPTIONS.—No renewable energy facility shall be exempt under this subsection from—

“(A) the provisions of section 210, 211, or 212 of this Act or the necessary authorities for enforcement of any such provision under this Act; or

“(B) any license or permit requirement under part I of this Act, any provision under this Act related to such a license or permit requirement, or the necessary authorities for enforcement of any such requirement.

“(l) Federal contracts.—No contract between a Federal agency and any electric utility for the sale of electric energy by such Federal agency for resale which is entered into after the date of the enactment of this Act may contain any provision which will have the effect of preventing the implementation of any rule under this section with respect to such utility. Any provision in any such contract which has such effect shall be null and void.”.

(b) Electric utilities not regulated by FERC.—Section 113 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 is amended as follows:

(1) By adding the following new paragraph at the end of subsection (b):

“(7) STANDARD CONTRACTS FOR POWER PURCHASES FROM RENEWABLE ENERGY FACILITIES.—Each electric utility shall purchase electric energy from renewable energy facilities (as defined in the Federal Power Act) under standard contracts for a 20-year period with rates that are the same as in the case of purchases of electric energy under contracts under section 210B of the Federal Power Act by public utilities subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission under that Act.”.

(2) By adding the following at the end of subsection (a): “For purposes of applying this section in the case of the standard under paragraph (7) of subsection (b), in lieu of the two-year period referred to in this section there shall be substituted a period of one year after the date on which a rule is prescribed or revised by the Commission under section 210B of the Federal Power Act. ” .

SEC. 203. Regional cost sharing mechanism.

Part II of the Federal Power Act is amended by adding the following new section at the end thereof:

“SEC. 225. Regional cost sharing mechanism.

“(a) Purpose.—The purpose of this section is to finance the power purchase agreements under the regulations under section 210B (and under the corresponding standard required by section 113(b)(7) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978) and interconnection and network upgrades referred to in section 210A (and under the corresponding standard under section 113(b)(6) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978) by creating a cost sharing mechanism that equally distributes additional costs of compliance with the Renewable Energy Jobs and Security Act to electricity customers on a regional basis.

“(b) Cost sharing.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall, in consultation with State regulatory authorities and nonregulated utilities, design a regional cost redistribution mechanism that shall consist of a nonbypassable system benefits charge payable by every end-use consumer of an electric utility to the electric utility. Revenue from such charge shall be transferred to a national renewable energy corporation to be referred to as the ‘RenewCorps’ to be established by such utilities and approved by the Commission for purposes of this section. The Commission shall design a system benefits charge, determine the amount of such charge, and establish a cost distribution mechanism so as to achieve each of the following:

“(1) Full reimbursement to electric utilities and transmitting utilities for the costs associated with network upgrades and interconnection (including the carrying costs of capital while awaiting reimbursement) carried out in accordance with the standards under section 210A and section 113(b)(6) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 and for the additional costs of the power purchase requirements of section 210B and section 113(b)(7) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978.

“(2) Ensure that systems benefits charges are based on energy usage.

“(3) Ensure that monthly charges shall apply to customers according to projected program costs.

“(c) Compliance with accounting rules.—RenewCorps shall comply with such accounting rules and other rules as may be established by the Commission.

“(d) Regional disbursement of funds.—

“(1) REIMBURSEMENT.—Funds received by RenewCorps from the systems benefits charge under this section shall be disbursed to electric utilities and transmitting utilities to provide reimbursement for—

“(A) the costs associated with network upgrades interconnection carried out in accordance with the standards under section 210A and section 113(b)(6) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978;

“(B) the additional costs of the power purchase requirements of section 210 B and section 113(b)(7) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 to reimburse such utilities for the full additional cost of such power purchase agreements (as adjusted under paragraph (3)).

“(2) QUARTERLY DISBURSEMENT.—Funds received by RenewCorps from the systems benefits charge under this section shall be disbursed on a quarterly basis. The Renew Corps shall distribute such revenue to electric utilities within each region of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) in the United States in proportion to the revenue raised within each such region.

“(3) AVOID DOUBLE COST RECOVERY.—Reimbursements from RenewCorps to electric utilities and transmitting utilities for costs associated with compliance with the Renewable Energy Jobs and Security Act may not also be eligible for recovery by any other means.”.

SEC. 204. Consistency with environmental laws.

Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to waive any existing Federal or State environmental protection provision, including the requirements of any of the following:

(1) The National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 472a et seq.).

(2) The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

(3) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4231 et seq.).

(4) The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1969 (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.).

(5) The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.).


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