CEC urged to exclude some power plants


American Wind Energy Association consultant Nancy Rader is urging the California Energy Commission (CEC) to consider excluding some forms of power plant from the $540 million funding available to pay for existing renewables output under the state's recently passed market deregulation legislation. In presenting testimony on October 16 to the CEC, Rader suggested excluding utility owned facilities as well as facilities that burn tires as fuel. Rader also warned the CEC that "it may be ineffective to have multiple mechanisms for allocating a relatively small amount of funds" and asked whether there should be "upper and lower limits of funding awarded to each renewable resource and/or technology and to a single company." At the hearing, Marwan Masri of the CEC pointed out that if the maximum amount of funds earmarked for the existing 601 renewable energy projects operating in California and representing 5733 MW was evenly split among all existing renewable generators, each project would get only 0.3 cents/ kWh. "There is a scarcity of resources," said Masri. "We have to figure out how best to utilise this opportunity." Masri also pointed out that California has only achieved 6% of the potential renewable capacity available, which is as much as 73,156 MW. The state has developed 37% of the technical wind capacity -- 1646 MW, says Masri. Some 2814 MW of potential wind capacity still exists in California, according to the CEC figures.