State Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) has introduced a bill during the 2014 session of the Indiana General Assembly to require the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to adopt rules to establish feed-in tariffs (FITs) for electric utilities.
Although Rep. Pierce has introduced FIT bills in prior sessions of the Indiana General Assembly, this proposed legislation is a significant departure from earlier proposed legislation. Instead of a very prescriptive bill detailing the type of FITs that should be established and offered by Indiana electric utilities the bill outlines an overall policy and guiding principles by the IURC.
Two Indiana electric utilities have already offered voluntary feed-in tariffs or VFITs, namely, Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL) and Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO). IPL's feed-in tariff called Rate REP for renewable energy production has expired and now approximately 100 MW's of solar PV projects are currently under construction or have recently come on-line.
The initial NIPSCO FIT (FIT 1.0) program is now nearly full except for small wind projects 5-10 kWs, however, a petition was filed in 2013 by NIPSCO for a FIT 2.0 tariff. The NIPSCO FIT 2.0 proposal is currently pending before the IURC in Cause No. 44393.
Indiana Distributed Energy Alliance is an intervenor in this current case before the IURC. A request for a continuance on the current time schedule was filed on 1/10/14 with the IURC to allow parties to the case to continue to discuss settlement negotiations. To learn more please contact Laura.Arnold@IndianaDG.net or (317) 635-1701.
HB 1374 DIGEST
Feed-in tariff for renewable energy facilities. Requires the utility regulatory commission (IURC) to adopt rules to establish an electric utility feed-in tariff (FIT) program. Provides that the rules adopted must do the following: (1) Require all jurisdictional electric utilities (utilities) to offer a FIT to eligible customers (including persons that are not existing customers of the electric utility) not later than July 1, 2015. (2) Require utilities, upon the request of an eligible customer, to enter into a contract, for a term of at least 20 years, for the purchase of electricity generated by a renewable energy facility (facility) located in Indiana at a site at which the utility provides, or will provide, retail electric service to the eligible customer. (3) Prohibit a utility from requiring a minimum size or capacity for participating facilities, subject to any: (A) program participation cap; or (B) maximum size or capacity limit (which must allow facilities with less than 20 megawatt capacities to participate) for any one participating facility; that the IURC may approve. (4) Establish appropriate standards for interconnections between facilities and utilities' electric systems. (5) Establish appropriate FITs for participating facilities, with separate rates for electricity generated from each type of qualifying renewable energy resource under the program. (6) Require that any renewable energy credit or clean energy credit earned by a utility under the program be retired. (7) Prohibit an electric utility from requiring that a person that otherwise qualifies to participate in the electric utility's FIT program to be a customer of the electric utility for any period of time before enrolling in the electric utility's FIT program. Requires the IURC to ensure that the program complies with certain federal laws, regulations, and orders. Requires the IURC to develop and make available a standard contract for use by utilities in entering into contracts with eligible customers under the program. Provides that a nonjurisdictional electric utility may offer a FIT program to eligible customers at any time under terms and conditions that: (1) are just and reasonable to the utility's customers and in the public interest; and (2) comply with certain federal laws, regulations, and orders, to the extent applicable. Requires the IURC to include certain information concerning the program in its annual report to the regulatory flexibility committee.
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