20.61.06.16

.16 Project Commencement of Operations.

A. Each project shall provide periodic updates to the Commission regarding the status of the development of project as required by COMAR 20.61.06.18, including and whether the project is on schedule to meet its estimated project COD as notified to the Commission in the project’s application.

B. If, based on facts and circumstances available at that time, a project determines that it is not reasonably expected to be able to meet its original estimated project COD, the project shall inform the Commission of its determination and provide the Commission with a new estimate of the project COD.

C. If the project gives the Commission the notice described in §B of this regulation after the Commission has established the RPS standard and the OREC purchase obligation to take effect in the year that estimated project COD is projected to occur, the qualified offshore wind project must appoint its administrator prior to April 1 of the year in which the offshore wind energy RPS takes effect. The administrator shall be instructed to establish an escrow account but not a reserve account for the purpose of receiving OREC purchase payments and applying the payments received in accordance with the priority of payments below until the qualified offshore wind project certifies (together with a certificate from an independent engineer confirming the same) to the administrator and the Commission that project COD has occurred:

(1) Prior to making the transfers specified in §C(2) of this regulation, withdraw from that escrow account, for the account of such administrator, its pre-agreed periodic fees and documented reasonable third-party expenses (including any costs and expenses invoiced to the administrator by or on behalf of the Commission in connection with Regulation .09K of this chapter); and

(2) After giving effect to §C(1) of this regulation, but no earlier than the 30th day of the immediately following calendar year, transfer all amounts remaining in the escrow account to the electric companies, in accordance with the relative market share of those companies (in megawatt hours), for subsequent allocation, in accordance with Regulation .14 of this chapter, to its retail electric customers (excluding retail electric customers specifically excluded pursuant to Public Utilities Article, §7-703, Annotated Code of Maryland).

D. If an administrator is appointed under §C of this regulation, then the administrator shall issue invoices to OREC purchasers in accordance with the procedure described in Regulation .05B of this chapter and in making the computations required under Regulation .05B of this chapter, the administrator shall use the OREC prices for the OREC price schedule described in clause (a) of the definition of “OREC price schedule.”

E. Upon the occurrence of project COD, the project shall instruct the administrator to establish a reserve account and all monies deposited into the escrow account shall be applied in accordance with Regulation .11G(1)—(4) of this chapter (except to the extent modified pursuant to Regulation .11I of this chapter); provided however, the aggregate fees and expenses paid to the administrator under §C(1) of this regulation shall be deducted from the first OREC invoice submitted by the project to the administrator (and if necessary to cover any shortfall, each subsequent OREC invoice submitted by the project to the administrator until the shortfall this eliminated).

F. If the new estimated project COD is projected to occur later than 730 days after the original estimated project COD, the Commission shall adjust the offshore wind energy RPS and the OREC purchase obligation, on a forward looking basis at least three years in advance to take such delay into account but no such adjustment shall modify any previously determined offshore wind energy RPS or the OREC purchase obligation until the lapse of the 3-year period commencing on the date the previously determined obligations were to take effect.

G. If the new estimated project COD will not occur before the end of 5 years after the original estimated project COD or if BOEM terminates the offshore wind project’s lease, the Commission may revoke the OREC order and any OREC price schedule previously issued by it to the project and adjust the offshore wind energy RPS and the OREC purchase obligation under §C of this regulation.

H. The Commission may withdraw this order if the project:

(1) Is unable to obtain rights to a BOEM lease site;

(2) Declares bankruptcy; or

(3) Is unable to demonstrate to the Commission that it has diligently pursued and engaged in a continuous development and construction program to achieve project COD.