Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 16. Montana Energy Impact Assistance Act


69-3-1603. Definitions. As used in this part, the following definitions apply:

(1) "Ancillary agreement" means any bond, insurance policy, letter of credit, reserve account, surety bond, interest rate lock or swap arrangement, liquidity or credit support arrangement, or other financial arrangement entered into in connection with Montana energy impact assistance bonds that is designed to promote the credit quality and marketability of Montana energy impact assistance bonds or to mitigate the risk of an increase in interest rates.

(2) "Assignee" means any person to which an interest in Montana energy impact assistance property is sold, assigned, transferred, or conveyed, other than as security, and any successor to or subsequent assignee of a person.

(3) "Bondholder" means any holder or owner of Montana energy impact assistance bonds.

(4) "Customer" means a person who takes electric service from an electric utility for consumption of electricity in Montana.

(5) "Electric infrastructure or facility" means:

(a) any portion of an electrical generating facility owned by an electric utility used to serve customers in Montana; or

(b) any infrastructure or facility involved in the transmission or delivery of electricity to Montana customers; or

(c) associated cleanup or remediation of an electrical generating facility.

(6) "Electric utility" means any electric utility regulated by the commission pursuant to Title 69, chapter 3, including the electric utility's successors or assignees.

(7) "Financing costs" means, if approved by the commission in a financing order, costs to issue, service, repay, or refinance Montana energy impact assistance bonds, whether incurred or paid on issuance of the Montana energy impact assistance bonds or over the life of the bonds.

(8) "Financing order" means an order issued by the commission in accordance with 69-3-1606 that grants, in whole or in part, an application filed pursuant to 69-3-1605 authorizing the issuance of Montana energy impact assistance bonds in one or more series, the imposition, charging, and collection of Montana energy impact assistance charges, and the creation of Montana energy impact assistance property.

(9) "Financing party" means holders of Montana energy impact assistance bonds and trustees, collateral agents, any party under an ancillary agreement, or any other person acting for the benefit of Montana energy impact assistance bondholders.

(10) "Least-cost generation resource" means an incremental supply-side or demand-side resource that when included in an electric utility's generation portfolio produces the lowest cost among alternative resources, considering both short-term and long-term costs and assessing the likelihood of changes in future fuel prices and future environmental requirements, among other considerations.

(11) "Montana energy impact assistance bonds" means low-cost corporate securities, including but not limited to senior secured bonds, debentures, notes, certificates of participation, certificates of beneficial interest, certificates of ownership, or other evidences of indebtedness or ownership that have a scheduled maturity of no longer than 30 years and a final legal maturity date that is not later than 32 years from the issue date, that are rated AA or Aa2 or better by a major independent credit rating agency at the time of issuance, and that are issued by an electric utility or an assignee pursuant to a financing order.

(12) "Montana energy impact assistance charges" means charges in amounts determined appropriate by the commission and authorized by the commission in a financing order in order to provide a source of revenue solely to repay, finance, or refinance Montana energy impact assistance costs and financing costs that are imposed on and are a part of all customer bills and are collected in full by the electric utility that the financing order applies to, its successors or assignees, or a collection agent through a nonbypassable charge that is separate and apart from the electric utility's base rates.

(13) (a) "Montana energy impact assistance costs" means:

(i) at the option of and upon petition by an electric utility, and as approved by the commission pursuant to 69-3-1606, the pretax costs that the electric utility has incurred or will incur that are caused by, associated with, or remain as a result of the retirement or replacement of electric generating infrastructure or facilities located in Montana; and

(ii) pretax costs that an electric utility has previously incurred related to the closure or replacement of electric infrastructure or facilities occurring before July 1, 2019.

(b) Costs do not include any monetary penalty, fine, or forfeiture assessed against an electric utility by a government agency or court under a federal or state environmental statute, rule, or regulation.

(14) "Montana energy impact assistance property" means:

(a) all rights and interests of an electric utility or successor or assignee of an electric utility under a financing order for the right to impose, bill, collect, and receive Montana energy impact assistance charges as it is authorized to do solely under the financing order and to obtain periodic adjustments to the Montana energy impact assistance charges as provided in the financing order; and

(b) all revenue, collections, claims, rights to payments, payments, money, or proceeds arising from the rights and interests specified in subsection (14)(a), regardless of whether the revenue, collections, claims, rights to payment, payments, money, or proceeds are imposed, billed, received, collected, or maintained together with or commingled with other revenue, collections, rights to payment, payments, money, or proceeds.

(15) "Montana energy impact assistance revenue" means revenue, receipts, collections, payments, money, claims, or other proceeds arising from Montana energy impact assistance property.

(16) "Nonbypassable" means that the payment of a Montana energy impact assistance charge required to repay bonds and related costs may not be avoided by any retail customer located within an electric utility service area.

(17) "Pretax costs" means costs approved by the commission, including but not limited to:

(a) unrecovered capitalized costs of retired or replaced electric infrastructure or facilities;

(b) costs of decommissioning and restoring the site of the electric infrastructure or facility;

(c) other applicable capital and operating costs, accrued carrying charges, deferred expenses, reductions for applicable insurance and salvage proceeds; and

(d) the costs of retiring any existing indebtedness, fees, costs, and expenses to modify existing debt agreements or for waivers or consents related to existing debt agreements.

(18) "Successor" means, with respect to any legal entity, another legal entity that succeeds by operation of law to the rights and obligations of the first legal entity pursuant to any bankruptcy, reorganization, restructuring, other insolvency proceeding, merger, acquisition, consolidation, or sale or transfer of assets, whether any of these occur due to restructuring of the electric power industry or otherwise.

History: En. Sec. 3, Ch. 442, L. 2019.