South Carolina Bill Would Require Competitive Supply Program
A bill has been introduced in the South Carolina Senate (SB 332) that would allow large customers to direct their utility to purchase renewable energy from a competitive provider on the customer's behalf.
The bill defines 'eligible customer' as a retail customer with a new or existing contract demand greater than or equal to one megawatt at a single metered location or aggregated across multiple metered locations.
The bill provides that each electrical utility shall file a voluntary renewable energy program for review and approval by the PSC that meets the following conditions:
(1) the participating customer shall have the right to select the renewable energy facility from which the electrical utility shall procure energy, capacity, and environmental attributes on behalf of the participating customer and to negotiate the power purchase agreement purchase price and contract length with the renewable energy supplier;
(2) the electrical utility shall enter into a power purchase agreement with the renewable energy supplier to purchase energy, capacity, and environmental attributes for the benefit of the participating customer at the purchase price and for the contract length agreed upon by the renewable energy supplier and the participating customer;
(3) the renewable energy contract, power purchase agreement, and participating customer agreement shall be of equal duration, ranging between ten years and twenty years, as agreed to by the participating customer and the renewable energy supplier;
(4) the value of the generation credit shall be fixed for the duration of the participating customer agreement and shall equal the value of the energy and capacity provided by the renewable energy facility over the contract length, as determined by the electrical utility's avoided cost rate in effect as of the utility's filing of its voluntary renewable energy program tariff with the commission, and updated no more frequently than once per year;
(5) in addition to paying a retail bill calculated pursuant to the rates and tariffs that would otherwise be applicable to the participating customer, reduced by the amount of the generation credit, a participating customer shall reimburse the electrical utility on a monthly basis for the amount paid by the electrical utility to the renewable energy supplier under the power purchase agreement, plus an administrative fee not to exceed five hundred dollars per month;
(6) the electrical utility must retire on behalf of the participating customer any environmental attributes procured pursuant to the power purchase agreement; and
(7) eligible customers shall be allowed to bundle their demand under a single participating customer agreement and renewable energy contract.
The bill would require that each electrical utility shall comply with the above requirements until the aggregated amount of installed nameplate generation capacity procured pursuant to the program equals ten percent of the previous five-year average of the electrical utility's South Carolina retail peak demand.
Under the bill, a participating customer shall be eligible to annually procure an amount of energy equal to one hundred twenty-five percent of its most recent annual energy usage.