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SB361 Energy Infrastructure Corridor Study Commission

02 Apr

Sent: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 6:28 pm

Subject: SB361 Passed the Senate on a voice vote

Dear Folks,

Just wanted to let you know that SB361, as amended, passed out of the Senate today.

I don’t have all the emails, so please pass on to anyone you think will be interested.

Senate Bill 361 creates a commission to study the feasibility of an underground energy corridor using NH existing rights-of-way. This was a great collaborative effort of a lot of folks that started back in late September/early October and the legislation was filed in October. I’ve attached the final legislation below.

This bill now goes to the House and I expect Rep. Rappaport, Rep. Brosseau, Rep. Ladd, and Rep. Cali-Pitts will shepherd the bill through the House quickly so we can get it signed into law by the Governor.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the final legislation.

Jeanie Forrester

From Representative Rappaport:

Great News Senator Forrester!

Assuming it comes to my committee (and it should), you can be certain that I will do my best to support it. This may be but another battle in the war, but it is one I’m certain we will win.

Thank you for the bill and thank you for your efforts!


Larry Rappaport
NH State Representative
Coos District One

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Amendment to SB 361

Amend the title of the bill by replacing it with the following:

AN ACT establishing a commission to study the feasibility of establishing energy infrastructure corridors within existing transportation rights of way and repealing a commission.

Amend the bill by replacing all after the enacting clause with the following:

1 Declaration of Purpose. The legislature finds that the state would be well served by determining whether it is feasible to use existing transportation rights of way to serve as locations for underground utility infrastructure. This act establishes a commission to conduct a feasibility study, and, if warranted, to recommend a process by which appropriate energy infrastructure corridors should be identified for specific utility facilities and a process by which bidding for these corridors and revenue for the annual use of the corridors would be established.

2 New Chapter; Commission to Study the Feasibility of Establishing Energy Infrastructure Corridors within Existing Transportation Rights of Way. Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 362-F the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 362-G COMMISSION TO STUDY THE FEASIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE CORRIDORS WITHIN THE EXISTING TRANSPORTATION RIGHTS OF WAY

362-G:1 Definitions. In this chapter:

I. “Energy infrastructure” includes electric transmission and distribution facilities, natural gas transmission lines, carbon dioxide 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. “State-owned” means owned by the state or by a state agency or state authority.

362-G:2 Commission to Study the Feasibility of Establishing Energy Infrastructure Corridors Within the Existing Transportation Rights of Ways.

I. There is established a commission to study the feasibility of establishing energy infrastructure corridors within the existing transportation rights of ways.

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

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

(b) Two members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

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

(d) The commissioner of the department of administrative services, or designee.

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

(f) The commissioner of the department of environmental services, or designee.

(g) The commissioner of the department of resources and economic development, or designee.

(h) The chairman of the public utilities commission, or designee.

(i) The commissioner of the department of revenue administration, or designee.

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

IV. The commission shall identify the feasibility of using state-owned transportation corridors for underground energy infrastructure and, if the commission finds the use of transportation corridors feasible for such underground use, shall specify which corridors are most appropriate for specific utility infrastructures. In determining whether the establishment of one or more energy infrastructure corridors is in the long-term public interest of the state, the commission’s assessment of feasibility shall consider, but shall not be limited to the following issues:

(a) Whether such corridor or corridors materially enhance the delivery of electricity or other utilities, or both, to New Hampshire consumers and increase the reliability and security of the electricity distribution system in the state.

(b) The identification of the corridors.

(c) The identification of available technologies.

(d) The identification of the costs of available technologies.

(e) Whether there would be long-term economic benefits for the state, including, but not limited to, direct financial benefits from leasing rights of ways; employment opportunities; and private sector economic development.

(f) What the effects of such corridor or corridors are on the retail price of electricity or other utilities, or both, to businesses and residential ratepayers.

(g) Whether such corridors would do any harm to the orderly development of renewable energy generation in the state.

(h) A process design to assure the efficient development of such corridor or corridors by energy distribution companies serving the state.

(i) What actions need to be taken to assure that conflict with the public purposes for which such rights of way are already owned is minimized.

(j) Whether the development of such corridor or corridors would lead to any reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases.

(k) Circumstances where eminent domain might be used to complete an otherwise incomplete energy infrastructure corridor.

V. Chairperson; Quorum. 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 senate member. The first meeting of the commission shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section. Six members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.

VI. Report. The commission, after public hearings, shall report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the senate clerk, the house clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before December 1, 2012.

3 Repeal. The following are repealed:

I. RSA 362-G, relative to the commission to study the feasibility of establishing energy infrastructure corridors within the existing transportation rights of way.

II. RSA 371:16-a, relative to the establishment of the commission to investigate the procedural rights of the landowner when a petition is presented to the public utilities commission by a utility seeking eminent domain, develop a framework for the state to provide use rights to transmission developers on state owned rights-of-way, develop policies to encourage burying such lines where practicable, and establish a structure for payment.

4 Effective Date.

I. Paragraph I of section 3 of this act shall take effect December 2, 2012.

II. The remainder of this act shall take effect upon its passage.

2012-1172s

AMENDED ANALYSIS

This bill establishes a commission to study the feasibility of establishing energy infrastructure corridors within existing transportation rights of way.

This bill also repeals the commission established in HB 648 of the 2012 regular session.

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