Sunday, January 30, 2011

Louisiana Public Service Commission recently passed order

This is a synopsis of the recently passed order per the La PCS in regards to the renewable portfolio standard. RPS

1. The Docket no. is R-28271. The history and findings can be accessed on the LPCS web site in the docket tab.
2. The order was officially filed on July 10,2010. It will go into effect after a 90 day review period which will allow for the development of the implementation process.
3. The driving force has been the issue that several States have developed RPS programs and the anticipation that there would be Federal legislation in some regard.
4. The original attempt to develop such in La. begin in 2005 which resulted in the “Geaux Green” program.
5. With the change in the Fed. administration and passage of the Waxman/Markey legislation, the LPCS began the process again in May 2009 which entailed the establishment of a task force.
6. Following a series of meeting and inputs, the staff recommended that a “Pilot” program be established on June 15, 2010 which the LPCS adopted with unanimous consent.
7. The goals are, “allow the Commission to accomplish its stated policy goals of: providing additional resources that result in reliable and economical long-term electric supply; diversification of La. fuel mix; greater energy security through the use of indigenous resources; encouraging private investment; improving air quality; developing additional in-state renewable resources; ; and encouraging job creation and job retention while avoiding the uncertainty associated with the cost impacts of a long term policy decision in an uncertain economic and political climate.”
8. As set out the “Pilot” program consist of two components, A. Research Component and B. RFP component.

1. Research component - These will be small scale research/evaluation of renewable energy projects of either self-build and/or affiliated entities limited to no larger than 30MW for the entire component.
Affiliated entities may enter into 3 yr. contracts with utilities at standard cost plus $30 per MWH.
2. RFP component- each jurisdictional utility will be required to conduct RFPs. The total capacity will be 350 MW based on an utility base load. Contracts will be for less than 20 years. Terms will be developed subject to PSC approval.
An exception will be an utility that is undertaking a bio-fuel co firing. Terms and conditions are detailed.

A list of defined renewable resources are listed which may be revised.
At present there are 16 resource. The most significant are those based on bio-mass and combined heat and power. Other listed are methane, fuel cells, geothermal, water sources, solar, waste to heat and wind.
A review process is designed. At the conclusion of the “Pilot” program, approx. 2013. At such time it will be a goals-based or mandatory.
Related items: There are separate dockets that will address energy efficiency, integrated resource planning, net metering and other policies so related.
Comments: Generally favorable to the program. After extensive input primarily from forestry interests, bio-mass is identified as a significant source of renewable resources for La. as is the case for the southeast States. A market based mechanism, feed in tariff, was introduced and a modified version can be found in the adopted order.
In light of the current status of Federal legislation on energy policy, the program of the LPSC is light years ahead.

The possibility of economic impact on the agriculture interests will be enhanced.

Frank Neelis, Delta Chapter Energy Chair