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Siting Decisions Involving Renewable Energy Sources

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Siting Decisions Involving Renewable Energy Sources Paul Roberti, Commissioner Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission May 16, 2013 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Siting Decisions Involving Renewable Energy Sources


1
Siting Decisions Involving Renewable Energy
Sources
Paul Roberti, Commissioner Rhode Island Public
Utilities Commission
May 16, 2013
2
Overview of Presentation
  • State Siting Procedures
  • Jurisdictional thresholds
  • Criteria for review
  • Process for review
  • Local Jurisdiction
  • Interconnection Into Regional Grid

3
Jurisdiction it depends
  • State level most facilities are reviewed at
    state or local level
  • State-wide body (siting council or public utility
    commission)
  • Local jurisdictions (county or municipal)
  • All facilities or only facilities under a certain
    capacity
  • Federal level
  • Most hydroelectric facilities exclusive
    jurisdiction
  • Facilities on federally owned land (concurrent
    with state process)

4
Criteria for Review
  • Varies by jurisdiction
  • General requirements
  • No adverse impact on stability and reliability of
    the grid
  • No undue adverse impact on environmental
    resources
  • Socio-economic impacts
  • Demonstration of the need for the facility
  • For conventional generation a regional
    perspective
  • For renewables, focus is primarily on
    environmental impacts and consistency with state
    public policy (i.e., renewable energy mandates
    and carbon reduction technologies)

5
Process for Review
  • Applicant submits sufficient evidence to
    demonstrate compliance with criteria
  • Ratepayer advocate and environmental agencies
    typically automatic parties to any case
  • Intervention by individuals or groups
  • Public Hearings
  • Evidentiary hearing
  • Process may vary depending on size/type of
    facility

6
Rhode Islands Energy Facility Siting Process
  • The Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB) has
    jurisdiction over alterations to major energy
    facilit(ies) that will result in a significant
    impact on the environment, or the public health,
    safety, and welfare.
  • Serves as the licensing and permitting authority
    for all licenses, permits, assents, or variances
    which, under any statute of the state or
    ordinance of any political subdivision of the
    state, would be required for siting, construction
    or alteration of a major energy facility in the
    state.

7
Statutory Framework for Siting of Generation
Facilities
  • Major energy facility(ies) are defined as
  • facilities for the extraction, production,
    conversion, and processing of coal
  • facilities for the generation of electricity
    designed or capable of operating at a gross
    capacity of forty (40) megawatts or more
  • transmission lines of sixty-nine (69) Kv or over
  • facilities for the conversion, gasification,
    treatment, transfer, or storage of liquefied
    natural and liquefied petroleum gases

8
Statutory Framework for Siting of Generation
Facilities continued . . .
  • Major energy facility(ies)
  • facilities for the processing, enrichment,
    storage, or disposal of nuclear fuels or nuclear
    byproducts
  • facilities for the refining of oil, gas, or other
    petroleum products
  • facilities of ten (10) megawatts or greater
    capacity for the generation of electricity by
    water power
  • facilities associated with the transfer of oil,
    gas, and coal via pipeline and
  • any energy facility project of the Rhode Island
    economic development corporation.

9
EFSB Members and Staffing
  • Rhode Islands Siting Act creates a three-member
    Board
  • Chair of the Public Utilities Commission (EFSB
    Chair)
  • Director of Dept. of Environmental Management
  • Associate Director of Statewide Planning
  • Quorum consists of a majority, however, one Board
    member may conduct any authorized hearings
  • Board members and staff are not paid separately
    for their work

10
Application Guidelines
  • Project Applicants must address
  • Site Plans
  • Project Cost
  • Number of facility employees
  • Financing
  • Required support facilities
  • Research on EMF impacts (transmission)
  • Life-cycle management
  • A study of alternatives, including estimated costs

11
Process and Deadlines
  • Coordinator has 30 days to accept/reject filing
    and assign it a docket numbers
  • Board convenes a Preliminary Hearing within 60
    days to designate agencies that must file an
    advisory opinion
  • Advisory agencies generally have 6 months to
    submit findings
  • Board required to schedule at least one public
    hearing in every community impacted by proposal

12
Designated Agencies
  • Includes political subdivisions which, absent the
    Act, would have the statutory authority to grant
    permits, licenses, variances, etc.
  • Town Councils, Building Inspectors, Planning
    Boards
  • Public Utilities Commission
  • Holds its own separate proceedings to render an
    advisory opinion on the need for the proposed
    facility

13
Designated Agencies
  • Statewide Planning
  • Addresses socio-economic impact and consistency
    with state guide plans
  • Other designated agencies often include
  • State Historical Preservation
  • Dept. of Environmental Management
  • Dept. of Health
  • Dept. of Transportation

14
Process and Deadlines
  • Final hearings commence within 45 days after
    advisory deadline
  • Final Decision and Order due within 120 days
  • Final decisions may be appealed to the State
    Supreme Court within 10 days of ratification

15
Public Participation
  • All hearings Preliminary and Final are open
    to the public. Board Rules specify notice
    requirements
  • One Public Hearing must be held in every
    community impacted by the proposal (i.e.
    transmission line through 3 towns)
  • Board generally gives the public an opportunity
    to comment before or after all hearings, which
    are transcribed
  • All filings and application materials are posted
    on the EFSB website, www.ripuc.org/efsb/index.html

16
Post Licensure Proceedings
  • Board may issue license conditionally upon
    applicants receipt of federal licenses
  • Although the Board retains final permitting
    authority, applicant still has burden to apply
    for, receive, and maintain all applicable permits
  • Board can hire consultants (up to 20k paid by
    applicant) to visit plant during construction
  • May hold suspension hearings and issue Show
    Cause and Cease and Desist orders

17
Licensing Procedures for Facilities Not Subject
to State Energy Facility Siting Board Jurisdiction
  • Facilities Fall Under Local Jurisdiction
  • County or Municipal Zoning Procedures
  • Local Planning Commission Review
  • Consistency with Comprehensive Plan
  • Noise, height, aesthetics, construction impacts,
    etc.
  • Potential Residual State Jurisdiction
  • Highway Crossings
  • Coastal and wetlands Impacts
  • Federal Jurisdiction May Still Be Tiggered
  • Aviation and structure heights
  • Endangered Species
  • Interconnection with regional electric grid

18
  • Interconnecting Generation Sources to the Grid

19
Interconnection of Generation Facilities Into
Regional Electric Grid
  • Governed By Rules and Procedures of Independent
    System Operator of New England (ISO-NE)
  • ISO New England responsible for
  • Ensuring regional reliability
  • Administering wholesale electricity markets
  • Regulated by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
    Pursuant to Federal Power Act

20
Interconnection Queue
  • All significant generation projects must complete
    necessary studies
  • ISO-NE establishes guidelines for studies
  • Studies conducted by independent contractors
  • Entrance into the queue is first-come, first
    served
  • ISO-NE determines who pays for necessary system
    upgrades

21
Interconnection Studies
  • New Generation Proponents are responsible for
    conducting
  • Feasibility Study
  • System Impact Study
  • Facilities Study

22
Feasibility Study
  • High level review of
  • Existing Peak load and generation sources,
    including those with higher position in the queue
  • Steady state analysis (voltage and thermal
    issues)
  • Short circuit analysis
  • Performance under normal operating conditions and
    contingencies
  • Expected protective equipment and system upgrades
    required
  • Approximate cost to interconnect

23
System Impact Study
  • More in-depth study than feasibility study
  • Examines conditions under a range of loads
  • If appropriate, may include additional
    contingencies
  • May include transient stability analysis in
    addition to steady state analysis
  • Wind facilities must conduct one additional study
    (low voltage ride through capability)
  • Provides further detail regarding protective
    equipment and costs

24
Facilities Study
  • Provides the final determination of the
    protective equipment needed
  • Provides a refined cost estimate of upgrades
  • Sets forth any operating protocols that may be
    necessary

25
THANK YOU
  • Paul Roberti, Commissioner
  • Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission
  • 89 Jefferson Blvd.
  • Warwick, Rhode Island 02888
  • Tel (401) 780-2101
  • Email proberti_at_puc.state.ri.us
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