In June 2010, the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) unanimously approved a Renewable Energy Pilot Program for the state. The final implementation plan was adopted in November 2010. The goal of the pilot program is to determine whether a renewable portfolio standard is suitable for Louisiana. The pilot program has two major components: the Research Component and the Request for Proposal (RFP) Component.
The Research Component of the pilot program provides an opportunity for utilities to collect data on the feasibility of different renewable energy resources. Under this component, each investor-owned utility must develop a minimum of three projects. There are two options for the projects, and utilities may pick any combination of the two options. Projects must be fully operational by the end of 2013.
# '''Option 1: Self-Build Options for New Renewable Resources''' Utilities may build their own renewable energy facilities. Each individual project is generally limited to 300 kilowatts (kW), but one project may be up to five megawatts (MW).
# '''Option 2: Standard Offer Tariff Option for New Renewable Resources''' Under this option, utilities must develop a tariff and an associated contract to purchase renewable energy. In order to qualify for this tariff, developers must deliver energy from a new renewable resource. Utilities may not purchase more than 5 MW from any single project, and may not purchase more than a total of 30 MW of nameplate capacity. The amount of the tariff will be $30/megawatt-hour (MWh) plus an avoided-cost payment (as defined in LPSC General Order No. U-22739) for a maximum of five years. After the five-year contract, the developer will continue to receive the avoided-cost payments.
The RFP Component applies both to investor-owned utilities and cooperative utilities. Utilities must issue RFPs for new, long-term renewable resources that will come online between 2011 and 2014. In total, the utilities will request a combined maximum of 350 MW. Each utility's portion of the 350 MW will be determined based on 2009 retail sales. The contract awarded through the RFP will have terms of 10 to 20 years. Award winners that supply renewable energy to investor-owned utilities must deliver at least 2 MW, and those that deliver to co-ops must deliver at least 1 MW.
See the implementation plan for additional rules and reporting requirements.