Investigation into possibility of adding an additional seat to the Vermont System Planning Committee
Ann Bishop, Hearing Officer
The Vermont System Planning Committee ("VSPC") was established by the Vermont Public Service Board ("Board") in Docket 7081 to promote public engagement, long-term planning, and effective collaboration in addressing Vermont's electrical transmission needs. In particular, the VSPC serves to enable the timely identification of future transmission needs and to address these needs by utilizing cost-effective non-transmission alternatives such as efficiency and distributed generation. To promote public engagement in this process and ensure that the interests of residential, environmental, and commercial/industrial users of electricity are appropriately represented, the VSPC includes three public members representing each of these categories. The VSPC's structure and purpose are set forth in a Memorandum of Understanding, most recently approved by the Board in its February 20, 2013, Order in Docket 7081 ("Docket 7081 MOU").
In this Proposal for Decision, I recommend that the Board approve an amendment to the Docket 7081 MOU to add an additional seat to the Supply and Demand Resources sector of the VSPC. In addition, I recommend that the Board utilize an open solicitation process, consistent with its prior practice in selecting the VSPC's public members, to select an individual to serve as the new representative for supply resources.
II. Procedural History
On March 27, 2013, Renewable Energy Vermont ("REV") responded to a memorandum from the Board seeking comments on candidates for the VSPC's public member seats. In its comments, REV expressed its interest, both for itself and on behalf of its members, in participating as part of the VSPC, but noted the lack of a seat that would appropriately reflect its roles and mission in the VSPC's current configuration. Following REV's comments, additional comments were submitted by Vermonters for a Clean Environment ("VCE") and the VSPC itself addressing the concept of adding an additional member to the VSPC to represent supply resources and discussing how the Board should conduct the selection process for an additional member, should it choose to do so.
On July 10, 2013, the Board issued an Order opening an investigation in this Docket to determine whether to add an additional member to the Supply and Demand Resources voting sector of the VSPC and how to do so if it were concluded that such a member should be added.
On July 24, 2013, I held a prehearing conference in this Docket. At the prehearing conference, parties developed a proposed schedule, which I accepted. The schedule called on VELCO to work through the processes described in the Docket 7081 MOU to develop a proposed amendment to the Docket 7081 MOU. VELCO was then to file this proposal in this Docket, after which parties were to have an opportunity to review and respond to the proposal.
On August 22, 2013, VELCO filed a letter with the Board describing its proposal to amend the VSPC MOU ("VELCO Letter") and including a proposed amendment to the text of the Docket 7081 MOU ("Proposed Amendment"). The VELCO Letter and the Proposed Amendment provide that an additional public member would be added to the Supply & Demand Resources Sector of the VSPC to represent the interests of supply resources. The VELCO Letter further states that the Proposed Amendment also has the support of the following entities: the City of Burlington Electric Department ("BED"); Green Mountain Power Corporation; Hervey Scudder (VSPC residential representative); REV; VCE; the Vermont Department of Public Service ("Department"); and the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation ("VEIC").
On September 6, 2013, the Department filed a letter with the Board expressing its support for the Proposed Amendment.
On October 8, 2013, the Department filed a memorandum of understanding between itself, VELCO, BED, the Conservation Law Foundation, and VEIC ("MOU"). No other parties submitted comments on the Proposed Amendment, and no party requested a technical hearing.
Pursuant to 30 V.S.A. § 8(c), and based on the record and evidence before me, I present the following findings of fact and conclusions of law to the Board.
1. The VSPC is composed of a number of voting sectors representing members of the public, supply and demand resources, and different categories of Vermont ...