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Pennsylvania Statutes Title 73 P.S. Trade and Commerce § 1648.2. Definitions

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The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

“Alternative energy credit.”  A tradable instrument that is used to establish, verify and monitor compliance with this act.  A unit of credit shall equal one megawatt hour of electricity from an alternative energy source.  The alternative energy credit shall remain the property of the alternative energy system until the alternative energy credit is voluntarily transferred by the alternative energy system.

“Alternative energy portfolio standards.”  Standards establishing that a certain amount of energy sold from alternative energy sources is included as part of the sources of electric generation by electric utilities within this Commonwealth.

“Alternative energy sources.”  The term shall include the following existing and new sources for the production of electricity:

(1) Solar photovoltaic or other solar electric energy.

(2) Solar thermal energy.

(3) Wind power.

(4) Large-scale hydropower, which shall mean the production of electric power by harnessing the hydroelectric potential of moving water impoundments, including pumped storage that does not meet the requirements of low-impact hydropower under paragraph (5).

(5) Low-impact hydropower consisting of any technology that produces electric power and that harnesses the hydroelectric potential of moving water impoundments, provided such incremental hydroelectric development:

(i) does not adversely change existing impacts to aquatic systems;

(ii) meets the certification standards established by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute and American Rivers, Inc., or their successors;

(iii) provides an adequate water flow for protection of aquatic life and for safe and effective fish passage;

(iv) protects against erosion;  and

(v) protects cultural and historic resources.

(6) Geothermal energy, which shall mean electricity produced by extracting hot water or steam from geothermal reserves in the earth's crust and supplied to steam turbines that drive generators to produce electricity.

(7) Biomass energy, which shall mean the generation of electricity utilizing the following:

(i) organic material from a plant that is grown for the purpose of being used to produce electricity or is protected by the Federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and provided further that crop production on CRP lands does not prevent achievement of the water quality protection, soil erosion prevention or wildlife enhancement purposes for which the land was primarily set aside;  or

(ii) any solid nonhazardous, cellulosic waste material that is segregated from other waste materials, such as waste pallets, crates and landscape or right-of-way tree trimmings or agricultural sources, including orchard tree crops, vineyards, grain, legumes, sugar and other crop by-products or residues.

(8) Biologically derived methane gas, which shall include methane from the anaerobic digestion of organic materials from yard waste, such as grass clippings and leaves, food waste, animal waste and sewage sludge.  The term also includes landfill methane gas.

(9) Fuel cells, which shall mean any electrochemical device that converts chemical energy in a hydrogen-rich fuel directly into electricity, heat and water without combustion.

(10) Waste coal, which shall include the combustion of waste coal in facilities in which the waste coal was disposed or abandoned prior to July 31, 1982, or disposed of thereafter in a permitted coal refuse disposal site regardless of when disposed of, and used to generate electricity, or such other waste coal combustion meeting alternate eligibility requirements established by regulation.  Facilities combusting waste coal shall use at a minimum a combined fluidized bed boiler and be outfitted with a limestone injection system and a fabric filter particulate removal system.  Alternative energy credits shall be calculated based upon the proportion of waste coal utilized to produce electricity at the facility.

(11) Coal mine methane, which shall mean methane gas emitting from abandoned or working coal mines.

(12) Demand-side management consisting of the management of customer consumption of electricity or the demand for electricity through the implementation of:

(i) energy efficiency technologies, management practices or other strategies in residential, commercial, institutional or government customers that reduce electricity consumption by those customers;

(ii) load management or demand response technologies, management practices or other strategies in residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and government customers that shift electric load from periods of higher demand to periods of lower demand;  or

(iii) industrial by-product technologies consisting of the use of a by-product from an industrial process, including the reuse of energy from exhaust gases or other manufacturing by-products that are used in the direct production of electricity at the facility of a customer.

(13) Distributed generation system, which shall mean the small-scale power generation of electricity and useful thermal energy.

“Alternative energy system.”  A facility or energy system that uses a form of alternative energy source to generate electricity and delivers the electricity it generates to the distribution system of an electric distribution company or to the transmission system operated by a regional transmission organization.

“Commission.”  The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

“Cost-recovery period.”  The longer of:

(1) the period during which competitive transition charges under 66 Pa.C.S. § 2808 (relating to competitive transition charge) or intangible transition charges under 66 Pa.C.S. § 2812 (relating to approval of transition bonds) are recovered;  or

(2) the period during which an electric distribution company operates under a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission-approved generation rate plan that has been approved prior to or within one year of the effective date of this act, but in no case shall the cost-recovery period under this act extend beyond December 31, 2010.

“Customer-generator.”  A nonutility owner or operator of a net metered distributed generation system with a nameplate capacity of not greater than 50 kilowatts if installed at a residential service or not larger than 3,000 kilowatts at other customer service locations, except for customers whose systems are above three megawatts and up to five megawatts who make their systems available to operate in parallel with the electric utility during grid emergencies as defined by the regional transmission organization or where a microgrid is in place for the primary or secondary purpose of maintaining critical infrastructure, such as homeland security assignments, emergency services facilities, hospitals, traffic signals, wastewater treatment plants or telecommunications facilities, provided that technical rules for operating generators interconnected with facilities of an electric distribution company, electric cooperative or municipal electric system have been promulgated by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

“Department.”  The Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth.

“Electric distribution company.”  The term shall have the same meaning given to it in 66 Pa.C.S. Ch. 28 (relating to restructuring of electric utility industry).

“Electric generation supplier.”  The term shall have the same meaning given to it in 66 Pa.C.S. Ch. 28 (relating to restructuring of electric utility industry).

“Force majeure.”  Upon its own initiative or upon a request of an electric distribution company or an electric generator supplier, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, within 60 days, shall determine if alternative energy resources are reasonably available in the marketplace in sufficient quantities for the electric distribution companies and electric generation suppliers to meet their obligations for that reporting period under this act.  In making this determination, the commission shall consider whether electric distribution companies or electric generation suppliers have made a good faith effort to acquire sufficient alternative energy to comply with their obligations.  Such good faith efforts shall include, but are not limited to, banking alternative energy credits during their transition periods, seeking alternative energy credits through competitive solicitations and seeking to procure alternative energy credits or alternative energy through long-term contracts.  In further making its determination, the commission shall assess the availability of alternative energy credits in the Generation Attributes Tracking System (GATS) or its successor and the availability of alternative energy credits generally in Pennsylvania and other jurisdictions in the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. regional transmission organization (PJM) or its successor.  The commission may also require solicitations for alternative energy credits as part of default service before requests of force majeure can be made.  If the commission further determines that alternative energy resources are not reasonably available in sufficient quantities in the marketplace for the electric distribution companies and electric generation suppliers to meet their obligations under this act, then the commission shall modify the underlying obligation of the electric distribution company or electric generation supplier or recommend to the General Assembly that the underlying obligation be eliminated.  Commission modification of the electric distribution company or electric generation supplier obligations under this act shall be for that compliance period only.  Commission modification shall not automatically reduce the obligation for subsequent compliance years.  If the commission modifies the electric distribution company or electric generation supplier obligations under this act, the commission may require the electric distribution company or electric generation supplier to acquire additional alternative energy credits in subsequent years equivalent to the obligation reduced due to a force majeure declaration if the commission determines that sufficient alternative energy credits exist in the marketplace.

“Municipal solid waste.”  This will include energy from existing waste to energy facilities which the Department of Environmental Protection has determined are in compliance with current environmental standards, including, but not limited to, all applicable requirements of the Clean Air Act (69 Stat. 322, 42 U.S.C. § 7401 et seq.) and associated permit restrictions and all applicable requirements of the act of July 7, 1980 (P.L. 380, No. 97),   1 known as the Solid Waste Management Act.

“Net metering.”  The means of measuring the difference between the electricity supplied by an electric utility and the electricity generated by a customer-generator when any portion of the electricity generated by the alternative energy generating system is used to offset part or all of the customer-generator's requirements for electricity.  Virtual meter aggregation on properties owned or leased and operated by a customer-generator and located within two miles of the boundaries of the customer-generator's property and within a single electric distribution company's service territory shall be eligible for net metering.

“Regional transmission organization.”  An entity approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that is created to operate and manage the electrical transmission grids of the member electric transmission utilities as required under FERC Order 2000, Docket No. RM99- 2-000, FERC Chapter 31.089 (1999) or any successor organization approved by the FERC.

“Reporting period.”  The 12-month period from June 1 through May 31.  A reporting year shall be numbered according to the calendar year in which it begins and ends.

“Retail electric customer.”  The term shall have the same meaning given to it in 66 Pa.C.S. Ch. 28 (relating to restructuring of electric utility industry).

“Tier I alternative energy source.”  Energy derived from:

(1) Solar photovoltaic and solar thermal energy.

(2) Wind power.

(3) Low-impact hydropower.

(4) Geothermal energy.

(5) Biologically derived methane gas.

(6) Fuel cells.

(7) Biomass energy.

(8) Coal mine methane.

“Tier II alternative energy source.”  Energy derived from:

(1) Waste coal.

(2) Distributed generation systems.

(3) Demand-side management.

(4) Large-scale hydropower.

(5) Municipal solid waste.

(6) Generation of electricity utilizing by-products of the pulping process and wood manufacturing process, including bark, wood chips, sawdust and lignin in spent pulping liquors.

(7) Integrated combined coal gasification technology.

“True-up period.”  The period each year from the end of the reporting year until September 1.

1  35 P.S. § 6018.101 et seq.

Cite this article: - Pennsylvania Statutes Title 73 P.S. Trade and Commerce § 1648.2. Definitions - last updated January 01, 2019 |

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