Resolution in Support of FERC Proposed Rulemaking on PURPA
Whereas the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) was passed in 1978, splitting authority for implementation and enforcement of different aspects of the law between the states and federal government
Whereas in recent years, numerous state legislatures and public utility commissions have sought to amend their laws and regulations implementing PURPA to react to changing circumstances
Whereas many of these state level reform efforts have been stymied by outdated regulations from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
Whereas since the FERC rules implementing PURPA were promulgated in 1980 there have been substantial changes in technology and electricity markets.
Whereas FERC in September 2019 proposed updating its regulations to take account of these changes by, among other proposals:
- Granting states the flexibility to allow energy rates for qualifying facility (QF) contracts to vary during the life of the contract,
- Allowing states to incorporate market pricing into the calculation of “avoided cost,”
- Modifying the “one-mile rule” so that large generation facilities are not able to game regulations to qualify as multiple small facilities,
- Lowering the qualifying threshold for mandatory electricity purchases from a given facility from 20 MW to 1 MW, and
- Requiring states to establish objective and reasonable criteria for a QF’s commercial viability and financial commitment to construction before a facility is entitled to a legally enforceable obligation.
Whereas these proposed reforms give states more flexibility, increase market signals in PURPA qualifying project decisions, and reduce the weight of federal regulatory burdens, thus promoting ALEC principles of federalism, free markets and limited government.
Therefore be it resolved:
[The Legislature of XXXXX/The American Legislative Exchange Council] supports FERC’s efforts to modernize PURPA regulations.