October 8, 2012

California Bills for Biogas

As part of the package of 19 clean energy bills that California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on September 27, there are three in particular that will provide a boost to anaerobic digestion and biogas projects in the state.

The first of these, SB 1122, will require electric utilities to purchase in aggregate 250 MW of capacity from bioenergy projects that commence operation on or after June 1, 2013.

This total amount is further allocated as follows:  110 MW for biogas from wastewater treatment, municipal solid waste diversion, food processing, and codigestion; 90 MW for dairy and other agricultural bioenergy; and 50 MW for bioenergy using byproducts of sustainable forest management.  Capacity procured under this law is also eligible for RPS compliance purposes.

The other two bills, AB 1900 and AB 2196, work in conjunction to clarify when and how biogas that is upgraded to pipeline quality (i.e., "biomethane") and injected into the natural gas distribution grid can qualify under the state RPS when combusted at an in-state facility.  This clarification puts an end to the moratorium that was preventing the use of biomethane for RPS compliance purposes if the gas was commingled with traditional natural gas in the distribution grid.

While approaching the matter from different directions, these three bills together should succeed in opening the door to increased biogas project development throughout the State of California.

No comments:

Post a Comment