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SB 224 With Weak RES Passes Indiana Senate 39 to 9 January 29, 2008

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
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Although HB 1102 to establish a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) and HB 1098 to revise the net metering and interconnection rules were defeated in the House Commerce, Energy and Utilities Committee last week, several other renewable energy proposals are still alive at the Indiana General Assembly. One of those bills is SB 224 introduced by Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Monticello). SB 224 started out as a clean coal bill but was amended to add RES language in the Senate Utilities & Regulatory Affairs Committee chaired by Sen. Hershman. HB 1117 will be addressed in another post to this blog.

Last night (01/29/08) around 7:00 pm the Indiana Senate passed third reading on weaker RES language in SB 224. The bill passed 39 to 9. See the roll call at http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2008/PDF/Srollcal/0140.PDF.pdf. It appears that the votes against the bill were in opposition to the controversial utility tracker language and not the RES language.

Here is what the bill includes as renewable energy resources:

Sec. 8. (a) As used in this chapter, “renewable energy resources” means alternative sources of renewable energy, including the following: (1) Wind energy. (2) Solar energy. (3) Photovoltaic cells and panels. (4) Dedicated crops grown for energy production and used as: (A) the sole fuel; or (B) part of a co-firing application; in an energy generating facility. (5) Organic waste biomass, including any of the following organic matter that is available on a renewable basis: (A) agricultural crops. (B) Agricultural wastes and residues. (C) Wood and wood wastes (other than treated or painted lumber) including the following: (i) Wood residues. (ii) Forest thinnings. (iii) Mill residue wood. (iv) Waste from construction and demolition. (D) Animal wastes. (E) Aquatic plants. (6) Hydropower from existing dams. (7) Fuel cells. (8) Energy from waste to energy facilities that produce steam that is not used for the production of electricity. (9) Methane systems that convert waste products, including animal, food, and plant waste, into electricity. (10) Methane recovered from landfills or underground coal mines. (11) Ocean current or wave energy. (12) Any other sources that: (A) are included in any applicable federal renewable resource portfolio standard; or (B) become available through future developments in renewable energy technologies.

Here is the time table:

Two percent (2%) by December 31, 2011; four percent (4%) by December 31, 2011; and six percent (6%) of the electricity supplier’s Indiana retail sales by December 31, 2020. An electricity supplier may not use an advanced energy resource to supply more than fifty percent (50%) of the electricity that the electricity supplier is required to supply.

Here’s the catch though. The definition of advanced energy resource is as follows:

Sec. 2. (a) As used in this chapter, “advanced energy resources” includes the following sources and programs for the production or conservation of electricity: (1) Combined heat and power systems that: (A) use natural gas or renewable energy resources as feedstock; and (B) achieve at least seventy percent (70%) overall efficiency. (2) Demand side management or energy efficiency programs that: (A) reduce electricity consumption; or (B) implement load management or demand response technologies that shift customers’ electric load from periods of higher demand to periods of lower demand. (3) Waste coal. (4) Clean coal and energy projects (as defined in IC 8-1-8.8-2). (5) Other non carbon dioxide emitting or low carbon dioxide emitting electricity generating technologies, including integrated gasification combined cycle generation with the capability for carbon capture and sequestration through: (A) storage; or (B) enhanced oil recovery.

That means that 50% of the requirements under this proposed legislation can be met by burning more coal!

For all the full copy of SB 224 including the controversial utility tracker mechanism included in this bill see http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2008/PDF/SB/SB0224.2.pdf.

SB 224 now moves to the Indiana House. The House Sponsors include Representative Battles, Grubb, Lutz and Crooks. Watch this blog for more details as this proposed legislation moves during the second half of the 2008 session of the Indiana General Assembly.

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