Combined heat & power legislation likely to get governorís signature

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Oct. 12, 2007 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

While the guessing game continues as to which energy-related bills the Governor may sign or veto, the conventional wisdom is that he will sign legislation by Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo), AB 1613, requiring utilities to include combined heat and power (CHP) in their procurement plans.

Other provisions of the bill allow the California Public Utilities Commission to require utilities to purchase the excess CHP-generated electricity, and require a publicly owned utility to provide a market for excess CHP-generated electricity.

CHP units use heat that would otherwise be wasted to generate electricity and provide significant grid reliability and environmental benefits to California.  Natural gas-fueled CHP reduces the state's greenhouse gas emissions from power generation by up to 65 percent compared to a typical California power plant.  According to the 2005 California Energy Commission Integrated Energy Policy Report, CHP is also the most cost-effective form of distributed generation.  

Two other bills relating to CHP this session did not reach the governor’s desk:  AB 1064 (Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View) would have expanded eligibility for the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) rebates to include advanced solar thermal, landfill gas, and waste gas technologies.  CMTA would have removed its opposition to the bill if it had been amended to extend SGIP eligibility for fossil fuel combustion technologies (which are eligible through Jan. 1, 2008).  SB 1012 (Christine Kehoe) would have extended the SGIP through 2012 but exempted residential customers from the costs of the program.

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