For the purpose of this subchapter, the following definitions are applicable:
(1) "Carbon offset provider" means a third party entity that:
(a) arranges for projects or actions that either reduce carbon dioxide emissions or that increase the absorption of carbon dioxide; and
(b) has been determined to be qualified by the commission in an order addressing a utility's application for approval of an acquisition of an equity interest or lease in a facility or equipment constructed after January 1, 2007 that generates electricity primarily by combusting natural or synthetic gas.
(2) "Cost-effective carbon offsets" means actions taken by a utility or a carbon offset provider on behalf of a utility or both which reduce carbon dioxide emissions or increase the absorption of carbon dioxide and which collectively do not increase the annual cost of producing electricity from a facility or equipment that generates electricity primarily by combusting natural or synthetic gas by more than 2.5%.
(3) "Electricity supply costs" means the actual costs incurred in providing electricity supply service through power purchase agreements, demand-side management, and energy efficiency programs, including but not limited to: capacity costs, energy costs, fuel costs, ancillary service costs, transmission costs (including congestion and losses), planning and administrative costs, and any other costs directly related to the purchase of electricity and the management and provision of power purchase agreements.
(4) "Electricity supply resource" means:
(a) a wholesale power transaction, including bilateral contracts, however structured, and spot energy purchases;
(b) a plant or equipment owned or leased, in whole or in part, by a utility for purposes of generating electricity and used to serve the utility's native load;
(c) a demand-side management activity, including energy efficiency and conservation programs, load control programs, and pricing mechanisms; or
(d) a combination of (4)(a), (b), and (c).
(5) "Environmentally responsible" means explicitly recognizing and incorporating into electricity supply resource portfolio planning, management, and procurement processes and decision-making the policy of the state of Montana to encourage utilities to acquire resources in a manner that will help ensure a clean, healthful, safe, and economically productive environment.
(6) "External costs" means costs incurred by society but not incorporated directly into electricity production and delivery activities, or retail prices for electricity services directly paid by consumers.
(7) "Long-term" means a time period at least as long as a utility's electricity supply resource planning horizon.
(8) "Planning horizon" means the longer of:
(a) the longest remaining contract term in a utility's electricity supply resource portfolio;
(b) the period of the longest lived electricity supply resource being considered for acquisition; or
(c) ten years.
(9) "Pre-filing communication" means, with respect to an application by a utility for approval of a electricity supply resource, informal information exchange, including oral dialogue and written discovery, between the utility and members of its stakeholder advisory committee, the Montana Consumer Counsel,
other stakeholders, and commission staff that occurs after the utility files a notice of intent to request approval of a new electricity supply resource pursuant to ARM 38.5.8228 up to the date the utility files the application.
(10) "Rate stability" means minimal price variation, both month-to-month and year-to-year, and minimal price inflation over time.
(11) "Stakeholder" means a member of the public (individual, corporation, organization, group, etc.) who may have a special interest in, or may be especially affected by, these rules.
History: 69-8-403, MCA; IMP, 69-8-403, MCA; NEW, 2003 MAR p. 654, Eff. 4/11/03; AMD, 2003 MAR p. 2894, Eff. 12/25/03; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 575, Eff. 3/28/08.