HB626 (2015) Detail

Authorizing energy infrastructure development and designating energy infrastructure corridors.


HB 626-FN-A - AS INTRODUCED

2015 SESSION

15-0030

09/04

HOUSE BILL 626-FN-A

AN ACT authorizing energy infrastructure development and designating energy infrastructure corridors.

SPONSORS: Rep. Suzanne Smith, Graf 8; Rep. Moffett, Merr 9; Rep. Ford, Graf 3; Rep.?R.?Brown, Graf 2; Rep. Chandler, Carr 1; Sen. Forrester, Dist 2; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3

COMMITTEE: Science, Technology and Energy

ANALYSIS

This bill authorizes the site evaluation committee to approve proposals for energy infrastructure development and designates energy infrastructure corridors. The bill also establishes a commission to study the designation of energy infrastructure corridors.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

15-0030

09/04

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen

AN ACT authorizing energy infrastructure development and designating energy infrastructure corridors.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Statement of Purpose. The legislature recognizes that, as New Hampshire’s economy becomes more complex, as its businesses and industries become more dependent on lower-cost energy to remain competitive, as its residents seek more affordable and cleaner sources of light, heat, and power for both economic and health-related reasons, and as its citizens become more aware of the value, to themselves and others, of the state’s natural landscapes, it has become increasingly difficult to site and develop large-scale above-ground energy transmission lines from neighboring lower-cost regions without unacceptably high development costs and regulatory delays, unacceptable negative impacts on the state’s most valuable natural landscapes, and the potential for unacceptable adverse impacts on adjoining private property values. The general court therefore finds that it would be in the public interest for the state to designate certain “energy infrastructure corridors” along, within, and under major state-owned or state-controlled transportation routes, for the underground collocation of major energy transmission lines necessary to support balanced economic growth, reduce or mitigate high energy prices, and contribute to a cleaner environment, while providing the state with market-based revenue from private energy transmission companies in return for the use of such designated energy infrastructure corridors.

2 New Chapter; Energy Infrastructure Development and Corridors. Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 162-Q the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 162-R

ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT AND CORRIDORS

162-R:1 Definitions.

I. “Energy infrastructure” includes electric transmission facilities, natural gas transmission lines, carbon dioxide pipelines, petroleum pipelines, and other energy transport pipelines or conduits.

II. “Energy infrastructure corridor” means a transportation right of way on an existing state-owned transportation right of way within which energy infrastructure could potentially be sited underground.

III. “Potential developer” means a person that can demonstrate to the state the financial and technical capability to engage in the development and construction of energy infrastructure.

IV. “Project” means the development or construction of energy infrastructure within an energy infrastructure corridor.

V. “Site evaluation committee” means the site evaluation committee established in RSA 162-H:3.

VI. “State-owned” means owned by the state or by a state agency or state authority.

162-R:2 Energy Infrastructure Corridors Designated.

I. In accordance with RSA 236:18, the state has the exclusive rights insofar as they do not conflict with any federal statute to build, lease, or utilize for any public purpose the space adjacent to and below the toll highways and the interstate system highways within the state.

II. The following areas, owned by the state, are designated as energy infrastructure corridors:

(a) I-89 (between the intersection of 1-93 and the Vermont border).

(b) I-93 (between the Massachusetts border and the Vermont border.

(c) I-95 (between the Massachusetts border and the Maine border).

(d) NH Route 101 (between the intersection of I-93 and the intersection of I-95.

162-R:3 Energy Infrastructure Proposal; Decision Criteria.

I. The site evaluation committee shall evaluate and render a decision on an energy infrastructure proposal.

II. The site evaluation committee may approve an energy infrastructure proposal only if it finds that the proposal:

(a) Materially enhances or does not harm transmission opportunities for energy generation within the state;

(b) Is reasonably likely to reduce electric rates or other relevant energy prices or costs for residents and businesses within the state relative to the value of those rates, prices, or costs but for the proposed energy infrastructure development or, if the committee is unable to determine to its satisfaction the impact of the proposal on rates, prices, or costs, the owner or operator of the proposed energy infrastructure agrees to pay annually an amount of money, determined by the site evaluation committee, to reduce rates, prices, or costs over the life of the proposed energy infrastructure; and

(c) Is in the long-term public interest of the state, based on a determination made in accordance with paragraph III.

III. The site evaluation committee shall determine whether an energy infrastructure proposal is in the long-term public interest of the state. In making that determination, the committee shall, at a minimum, consider the extent to which the proposal:

(a) Materially enhances or does not harm transmission opportunities for energy generation within the state;

(b) Is reasonably likely to reduce electric rates or other relevant energy prices or costs for residents and businesses within the state relative to the expected value of those electric rates or other energy prices or costs but for the proposed energy infrastructure development;

(c) Increases long-term economic benefits for the state, including but not limited to direct financial benefits, employment opportunities, and economic development;

(d) Ensures efficient use of the statutory corridor through collocation of energy infrastructure, collaboration between energy infrastructure developers, and the preservation of options for future uses;

(e) Minimizes conflict with the public purposes for which the state-owned land or asset is owned and any management plans for the land or asset within the statutory corridor and, when necessary, mitigates unavoidable impacts;

(f) Limits and mitigates the effects of energy infrastructure on the landscape, using underground installation.

(g) Increases the energy reliability, security, and independence of the state; and

(h) Reduces the release of greenhouse gases.

162-R:4 Use of Energy Infrastructure Corridors; Requirements. Development or construction of energy infrastructure within an energy infrastructure corridor is governed by this section. No person shall engage in development or construction of energy infrastructure within a energy infrastructure corridor, unless such person is in compliance with applicable state and federal laws, rules, and regulations.

162-R:5 Revenues.

I. The department of transportation, right of way (ROW) appraisal bureau, shall identify an initial range of value for the use of state-owned land or assets within a statutory corridor and the range of value of individual projects determined by the bureau.

II. A portion of the revenues generated from the use of state-owned land and assets within energy infrastructure corridors under this chapter shall be deposited in the general fund in order for the site evaluation committee to perform its duties under this chapter and all other revenues shall be deposited in the highway fund.

162-R:6 Commission to Study the Designation of Energy Infrastructure Corridors.

I. There is established a commission to study and recommend a process for the designation of energy infrastructure corridors.

II.(a) The members of the commission shall be as follows:

(1) Three members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

(2) One member of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate.

(3) The commissioner of the department of transportation, or designee.

(4) The director of the office of energy and planning, or designee.

(5) The chairman of the site evaluation committee, or designee.

(b) Legislative members of the commission shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the commission.

III. The commission shall study and recommend a process for the designation of energy infrastructure corridors.

IV. The members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members. The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the first-named house member. The first meeting of the commission shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section. Five members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.

V. The commission shall report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the house clerk, the senate clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before November 1, 2015.

3 Repeal. RSA 162-R:6, relative to the commission to study energy infrastructure corridors, is repealed.

4 Effective Date.

I. RSA 162-R:6, as inserted by section 2 of this act, shall take effect upon its passage.

II. Section 3 of this act shall take effect November 1, 2015.

III. The remainder of this act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

LBAO

15-0030

Revised 02/19/15

HB 626-FN-A FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT authorizing energy infrastructure development and designating energy infrastructure corridors.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Public Utilities Commission states this bill, as introduced, may increase state expenditures and revenue by an indeterminable amount in FY 2016 and each year thereafter. The Department of Transportation states this bill will increase state general fund revenue by an indeterminable amount in FY 2016 and each year thereafter. There will be no impact on county and local expenditures or revenue.


METHODOLOGY:

    The Public Utilities Commission states this bill requires the site evaluation committee to make determinations concerning the use of certain designated State-owned rights of ways by energy projects being developed in New Hampshire. Further, this bill establishes a commission to study the designation of energy infrastructure corridors. The Commission states the findings required by the site evaluation committee concern analysis of the economic impact of proposed projects, including impacts on energy prices in the State, as well as determinations concerning appropriate levels of payment to the State for the use of State-owned corridors. The Commission states this bill would add significant, but unquantifiable time and effort, to the site evaluation committee review process, although it cannot estimate the additional associated costs. The Commission reports that if an energy project is approved and uses a designated energy infrastructure corridor, it is possible the State would receive an indeterminable amount of revenues.

    The Department of Transportation states this bill directs a portion of the revenues generated from the use of state-owned land and assets within energy infrastructure corridors under RSA 162-R shall be deposited in the general fund for the site evaluation committee to perform its duties pursuant to RSA 162-R. The Department states it is unable to determine the amount of revenue that may be generated by this bill. The revenue would depend on the value of specific projects that may come about as a result of this designation. The Department states the values would be variable, but is anticipated to be minimal, depending on the specific use, limits, and requested rights.

    The Department of Justice and Department of Environmental Services state this bill will have no fiscal impact on their respective operations.

Links

HB626 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

HB626 Revision: 28089 Date: Dec. 16, 2015, midnight

Docket