Extends deadlines, under certain circumstances, for completion and commercial operation of certain solar electric power generation facilities.
Sponsored by: Assemblyman WAYNE P. DEANGELO District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex), Assemblyman DANIEL R. BENSON District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex), Assemblyman ROBERT J. KARABINCHAK District 18 (Middlesex)
Co-Sponsored by: Assemblymen Calabrese and Conaway
As amended and reported, this bill provides that deadlines for the completion or commercial operation of certain solar electric power generation facilities may be extended as a result of delays in the approval and contracting process by the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”), or an applicable electric public utility.
Specifically, the bill would automatically extend the project completion or commercial operation deadline dates established for a solar electric power generation facility when the facility fails, or is projected to fail, to achieve project completion or commercial operation by certain deadline dates, provided that the delay is due to a tolling event. As defined in the bill, a “tolling event” includes any act or inaction by PJM or an applicable electric public utility, any moratorium in new applications declared by PJM or an electric public utility, any deferral in processing of existing applications by PJM or an electric public utility, any new application process, study, report, or analysis established by PJM or an electric public utility to approve and contract a project, or the deferral to negotiate, execute, and deliver any other engineering or other studies, agreements, or approvals required by the PJM or electric public utility as a prerequisite to project interconnection or commercial operation of a qualified solar electric power generation facility.
To receive the extension provided by the bill, a project sponsor would be required to certify in writing, and provide supporting documentation, to the Board of Public Utilities (“BPU”) describing the tolling event and anticipated duration of the delay associated with the tolling event. Within 45 days after receipt of this certification, the bill would require the BPU to issue an unconditional order approving an automatic extension of the project deadline date or commercial operation deadline date established for that facility. The order would be issued by the BPU on a non-discretionary basis, and no factual investigation or hearing by the BPU would be conducted. The order would extend the previously established project completion or commercial operation deadline date for the facility by an amount of time coextensive with the duration of the tolling event, and may provide such other and further relief as the BPU may deem appropriate.
Under the bill, a project sponsor would have a continuing obligation to apprise the BPU, on at least a quarterly basis, regarding the nature and extent of the tolling event and its anticipated duration. Upon conclusion of the tolling event, the project sponsor would be required to complete the facility and commence commercial operation within the within the timeframe permitted by the Interconnection Service Agreement executed between the project sponsor, PJM, and the public electric utility