BAC and CASA filed joint comments fully supporting the CPUC’s Proposed Decision on changes to pipeline biogas standards and urged the Commission to begin a new phase to consider additional incentives for pipeline biogas and a biogas procurement program that includes all sources and conversion technologies.
BAC sponsored legislation in 2016 that required the CPUC to hire the California Council on Science and Technology to review California’s pipeline biogas standards for heating value (BTU) and siloxanes. CCST has recommended several changes, which the CPUC is now proposing to adopt:
- Reduce the heating value requirement from 990 to 970 BTU.
- Maintain the siloxanes requirement.
- Reducing the siloxanes monitoring and reporting requirements for biogas sources that are unlikely to contain siloxanes.
- Allow blending in certain locations where lower BTU biogas would not present safety risks.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has reopened its proceeding on pipeline biomethane to reconsider the current standards and incentive programs for pipeline biomethane. Legislation that BAC sponsored in 2016 required the CPUC to hire the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) to review pipeline standards for heating value (BTU) and siloxanes. CCST issued its report earlier this summer recommending a number of changes and the CPUC then asked parties to comment on CCST’s recommendations as well as a number of other issues related to incentives for biomethane. The CPUC is expected to rule on these issues before the end the year. BAC’s Reply Comments on Pipeline Biomethane focus on several key issues:
- Need to adopt a biomethane procurement requirement that focuses on instate biomethane production from all organic waste sectors and conversion technologies.
- Need to increase incentives for pipeline biomethane, including an allocation of the gas utilities’ Cap & Trade revenues and an increase in R&D for biomethane.
- Support for the California Council on Science and Technology’s recommendations to revise the standards and monitoring requirements for BTU and siloxanes.
See BAC’s Comments on proposed changes to pipeline biomethane standards, opportunities for additional funding for pipeline biomethane, and the need for a biomethane procurement program. These were filed with the CPUC in late July 2018.
California has some of the strictest pipeline biogas requirements in the country, which can add significantly to the costs of pipeline biogas projects. As a result, the state enacted legislation in 2016 requiring the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) to review the standards for the heating value (BTU) and siloxanes. The CCST report recommends that the CPUC consider reducing the BTU requirement to as low as 970. CCST recommends further study on the siloxanes standard and suggests that monitoring requirements be reduced for biogas sources that are unlikely to have siloxanes (diverted organic waste, dairy, forest and agricultural waste).
Click here to see the CCST study and executive summary.
In late October, the California Department of Food and Agriculture announced the recipients of $35 million in grants for dairy digester research and development. Of the 16 projects that received CDFA funding, 15 are being developed by BAC members Anaergia, Calgren Dairy Fuels LLC, California Bioenergy, and Southern California Gas Company. Congratulations to all !!
See CDFA’s announcement and the project descriptions.
BAC members CR&R and SoCalGas have broken ground on a new pipeline to bring carbon-neutral renewable gas into the SoCalGas distribution system for the first time. CR&R will produce the renewable biogas from food and yard waste that would otherwise have gone to a landfill. Instead, the organic waste will be converted to biogas to generate renewable power, cooking, heating and transportation fuels. Increasing renewable gas use will cut air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while providing good jobs and economic development in Southern California.
View the announcement from SoCalGas and CR&R: CR&R and So Cal Gas to Put Renewable Gas in Pipeline
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