Senate Bill 218: www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2012/SB0218.html passed the NH Senate on a unanimous voice vote on March 21 with a provision to qualify new thermal renewable energy projects for renewable energy certificates after January 1, 2013.
SB 218 establishes a modest incentive for renewable thermal energy (solar thermal, geothermal, biomass thermal) in Class I (new renewable energy projects) of the NH Renewable Portfolio Standard. The mechanism is a “carve-out” that adds 2.6% to the current Class I utility obligation of 16% by 2025. The 2.6% thermal carve-out is implemented at a rate of 0.2% per year for 13 years, starting in 2013.
Certificates would be valued at up to $28/MWH of “useful thermal energy” for qualifying thermal projects, the lowest level of any existing class. It is likely that RECs will sell for less than the $28/MWH ACP. A very modest percentage increase in the RPS requirement, combined with the lowest ACP results in a very low compliance cost, estimated at $0.098 (9.8 cents) per month on an average residential electric bill of 600 kwh.
In addition, the incentives provided by thermal RECs will create jobs and economic development in the biomass heating (pellet, wood chip), solar thermal and geothermal industries in New Hampshire, rather than exporting our money to buy foreign oil.
The House Science, Technology and Energy Committee held a hearing on SB 218 on April 5 at which nine witnesses spoke in favor of the addition of thermal renewable energy to the RPS, and no one spoke in opposition. The committee is now holding work sessions on the bill, including one on May 3, and must report the bill to the full House by May 8.
It is especially important for Committee members to hear from their own constituents. If you don’t know who your representatives are, please go here: www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/wml.aspx
Contact information for individual members of the committee is here: www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/committees/committeedetails.aspx?code=H24
Use this email link to send a message to the entire committee with one click: HouseScienceTechnologyandEnergy@leg.state.nh.us