A. An OSW applicant shall comply with this regulation when submitting an application to the Commission for a proposed offshore wind project.
B. An application submitted pursuant to Public Utilities Article, §7-704.1(a)(1), Annotated Code of Maryland, shall be submitted to the Executive Secretary.
(1) Upon receipt of an application by the Executive Secretary prior to the opening of an application period, the Commission shall determine within 30 calendar days whether that application is administratively complete.
(2) If the Commission determines that the application received under §(B)(1) of this regulation is not administratively complete, the Commission shall promptly notify the OSW applicant of any deficiencies and allow the OSW applicant to submit missing items or information, or both. Upon receipt of missing items or information, or both, the Commission shall again have 30 calendar days to determine whether that application is administratively complete.
(3) Upon the first determination that an application is administratively complete, the Commission shall open an application period establishing a period of time during which other persons may submit applications. The Commission shall provide notice specifying the closing date and time of the application period, after which the Commission shall not accept applications or material changes to previously submitted applications and any other information the Commission determines appropriate.
(4) The closing date of the application period shall be 180 calendar days after the Commission issues the notice to the public described by §B(3) of this regulation that it is accepting applications. The Commission may extend this closing date by one or more additional periods of 30 calendar days.
C. The Commission shall determine within 30 calendar days whether an application submitted during the application period is administratively complete. If the Commission determines the application is not administratively complete, the Commission shall notify the OSW applicant within that 30-day period of any deficiencies. The OSW applicant shall have an opportunity to submit missing items or information, or both, but only if the OSW applicant’s submission occurs before the close of the application period.
D. Upon the close of the application period, the Commission shall conduct a multi-part review to evaluate and compare the proposed offshore wind projects that it has determined to be administratively complete.
(1) The Commission shall first determine whether a proposed offshore wind project described in an application meets the minimum threshold criteria.
(a) An application for a proposed offshore wind project that does not meet the minimum threshold criteria shall not be eligible for further review.
(b) The Commission shall publish a list of OSW applicants who have submitted applications that the Commission has determined meet the minimum threshold criteria.
(2) For each application describing a proposed offshore wind project that the Commission determines meets the minimum threshold criteria, the Commission shall conduct a qualitative evaluation, then a quantitative evaluation, as described by Regulation .03B of this chapter, to assess and compare proposed projects.
E. The Commission may, at any time, issue questions to the OSW applicant on a confidential basis in order to facilitate its evaluation of the application. Information submitted by an OSW applicant shall become part of the application and responses containing confidential information shall be marked in accordance with Regulation .02C of this chapter. Once the application period has closed, any information submitted in response to a Commission-issued question may not change the proposed OREC price schedule, the proposed OREC amount, or materially change other information or materials included in the application.
F. The Commission shall conduct a proceeding to provide an opportunity for interested parties to comment, consistent with applicable confidentiality laws and regulation.
G. Unless extended by mutual consent of the Commission and the OSW applicant, the Commission shall approve, conditionally approve, or deny an application within 180 calendar days after the close of the relevant application period.
H. Prior to acceptance of applications, the Commission shall notify potential applicants of the Long-Term Composite Treasury Bond rate (or equivalent) that will be used as the nominal discount rate and the near-term average GDP Deflator (or equivalent) that will be used as the deflation rate to determine whether the OREC price in the applicant’s proposed OREC price schedule exceeds $190 per megawatt hour (levelized in 2012 dollars) and whether the projected net rate impacts for residential and nonresidential customers, as described by Public Utilities Article, §7-704.1(e)(1)(ii) and (iii), Annotated Code of Maryland, will be exceeded.
I. The Commission may provide for one or more additional application periods.