Bioenergy from organic waste can provide renewable power that is available 24/7 to complement wind and solar, while providing many other benefits to California. Bioenergy generated from organic waste cuts greenhouse gas emissions, reduces catastrophic wildfires, helps divert waste from landfills, produces organic soil amendments for California’s soils, and generates 2 to 6 times as many jobs as fossil fuel based power. California has adopted several policies to promote bioenergy, including the 2012 Bioenergy Action Plan and Senate Bill 1122 (Rubio), which requires 250 MW of new bioenergy projects in California. BAC is helping to shape the successful implementation of these and other policies to promote biopower development.
Electricity Program Investment Charge (EPIC)
EPIC is a ratepayer surcharge adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission and implemented by the California Energy Commission to promote clean energy development, including investments in bioenergy. EPIC provides about $145 million per year for applied R&D ($55 million), technology demonstration and deployment ($75 million), and market facilitation ($15 million). In the past year, BAC members have received more than $25 million in EPIC grants for a range of bioenergy projects.
Connecting to the Grid
Despite bioenergy’s many advantages for the grid – availability 24/7, flexible and distributed generation – getting that power onto the state’s transmission lines remains terribly slow, expensive and unpredictable. BAC is actively involved in proceedings at the CPUC to provide greater predictability in the interconnection process, accelerate interconnection timelines and reduce unnecessary costs. BAC’s recent comments to the CPUC are below.