MAINE, DELAWARE AND PENNSYLVANIA
By Robert A. Olson, Esq. and
David J. Shulock, Esq. --
Brown, Olson and Gould, P.C.
During this legislative session, the states of Maine, Delaware, and Pennsylvania have amended their renewable portfolio standards.
On July 1, 2007, the State of Delaware General Assembly passed Senate Bill 19 “An Act to Amend the Delaware Code to Increase the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.” The bill doubles the state’s RPS requirement. Delaware first adopted an RPS requirement in 2005, to become effective in 2007. The RPS adopted in 2005 would have required investor-owned utilities to provide ten percent of their energy from renewables by 2019. Senate Bill 19 now requires investor-owned utilities to provide twenty percent of their energy from renewables by 2019. Percentage requirements for the first three years, 2007-2009 remain as they were under the 2005 law, and then increases to five percent in 2010. Municipal and cooperative utilities do not have to comply with the RPS requirements. The only investor-owned utility in Delaware is Delmarva Power, which provides approximately twenty-eight percent of electricity in the state.
On July 17, 2007, Governor Edward Rendell of Pennsylvania signed into law House Bill 1203, “an Act Amending the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act.” This bill clarifies that alternative energy credits are to “remain the property of the alternative energy system until the alternative energy credit is voluntarily transferred by the alternative energy system” and that “Unless a contractual provision explicitly assigns alternative energy credits in a different manner, the owner of the alternative energy system . . . owns any and all alternative energy credits associated with or created by the production of electricity . . .” House Bill 1203 also modifies the definition of Tier I Alternative Energy Source to include solar thermal energy and provides yearly step increases for the amount of energy sold that must be from solar technologies beginning with 0.0013% in 2007 and ending with 0.5% in 2020 and thereafter. Under previous legislation, the step increases were larger and occurred only once every four years, although the ultimate requirement of 0.5% was the same.