and Rhode Island
On November 30, 2005, the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission announced the adoption of “Rules and Regulations Governing the Implementation of a Renewable Energy Standard.” These rules were filed with the Rhode Island Secretary of State on December 8, 2005, and became effective on January 1, 2006. The Delaware legislation and the Rhode Island rules are described in the October, 2005 Stateline article.
Retail electricity sales totaled about 50 million megawatt-hours (“MWh”) in 2004. Under Massachusetts’ RPS, one and one half percent of the total retail sales for 2004, about 750,954 MWh, had to come from new renewable generating sources. Because of a shortfall in the availability of new renewable generation in 2004, over one third or about 245,127MWh of the compliance obligation was met through Alternative Compliance Payments (“ACPs”) at the rate of $51.41 per MWh which added up to a cost of almost $14 million. In addition, a large portion of the compliance obligation was met through the RPS vintage waiver provision allowing retrofitted generators to sell their electricity output under the RPS program.
The projected retail sales for 2005 are close to 51 million MWh. The 2005 RPS obligation is two percent, or about 1,014,522 MWh, and DOER expects a comparable shortfall for 2005 RPS compliance. However, DOER expects supply to improve for 2006 and beyond due to new capacity becoming operational. According to DOER, the sources of new renewable generation for 2005 continue to be largely landfill gas and biomass. New York began participating in the Massachusetts RPS market during 2004 with five additional plants qualifying for participation in 2005. The output from biomass plants in Maine, which qualify under the vintage waiver provision, are expected to increase substantially. Rhode Island’s output will also increase substantially due to the ability to tap the increasing supply of methane gas available at that state’s large and growing Johnston Landfill. In addition, Vermont is expected to have entered the Massachusetts RPS market in 2005 with one landfill plant and a small anaerobic digester project. DOER believes that New Hampshire and Connecticut may also show small increases in their output.