CPUC staff has proposed some major changes to the BioMT program, including a five-year extension of the program from 2021 to 2026, changes to the pricing mechanism, fuel requirements in the forest BioMAT category, contract changes due to interconnection delays, and more. Comments on the Staff Proposal are due to the CPUC on November 29.
Fifteen California counties and the Rural County Representatives of California urge the CPUC to adopt policies to increase baseload and flexible generation power, including biomass and biogas, as part of California’s 50 percent renewable power requirement. The counties lay out the many benefits of biomass and biogas for ratepayers and the public, including renewable power to complement wind and solar, provide grid stability, reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, protect water and hydropower supplies, protect utility infrastructure from wildfire, and provide economic development in rural communities.
See the Counties’ letter to CPUC
See the Opinion Piece in Biomass Monitor on “Forest Biomass Utilization Combatting Catastrophic Wildfires,” written by Julia Levin of BAC and Tad Mason of TSS Consultants. The piece explains that catastrophic wildfires are not natural or good for California forests, emit huge quantities of black carbon and other pollutants and threaten California water supplies. Forest fuel treatment and use of that biomass to produce energy can help restore healthy, more resilient forests and cut pollution from wildfires and fossil fuel power generation.
In August, the CPUC sought comments on implementation of SB 840, which waives some interconnection requirements for forest BioMAT projects. BAC’s Comments and Reply Comments are below.
The Sacramento Bee published an opinion piece by BAC’s Executive Director and Tuolumne County Supervisor Hanvelt on the need for the CPUC to move more quickly on bioenergy development under the Governor’s Emergency Order. The op-ed underscores the importance of forest biomass facilities to protect public safety and the many benefits to ratepayers and the public of converting California’s millions of dead trees to energy. To see the opinion piece, click here.