CPUC approves coal-to-biomass plant conversion

The California Public Utilities Commission has approved a Power Purchase Agreement between Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and DTE Stockton LLC, allowing DTE to retrofit an existing coal-fired power facility to generate biomass electricity that will be purchased by PG&E.

Conversion of the 45-megawatt facility in Stockton, Calif., will help California meet its current renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of 33 percent by 2020. Under the RPS, investor-owned utilities, energy service providers and community choice aggregators operating in California must obtain 20 percent of their retail sales from renewable energy by the end of 2010.

Retrofits of the Stockton facility are expected to be complete in 2013.