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Ky. biomass power bill signed into law

By Erin Voegele | March 06, 2013

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has signed legislation into law that could make biomass power a more attractive option for electricity suppliers within the state. The bill, SB 46, was introduced in the senate Jan. 11, and passed by a vote of 38 to zero on Feb. 11. The measure moved to the House Feb. 12, and passed by a vote of 100 to zero on Feb. 21. Beshear signed the bill into law on March 5.

According to the text of the legislation, the new law allows the Public Utilities Commission to let utilities recover costs not recovered in the existing rates of the utility for the purchase of electric power from a biomass energy facility that has received a certificate from the Kentucky State Board on Electric Generation and Transmission Siting. However, the bill specifies that no recovery will be allowed unless the full costs of the purchase agreement over the full term of the agreement have been found by the commission to be fair, just and reasonable.

In the event the commission does approve cost recovery under the new law, it will be valid for the entire initial term of the agreement.

The bill declares an emergency, noting that it is vital for Kentucky to incent businesses to advance the goals of energy independence and job creation. The emergency declaration allows the bill to become effective immediately following approval by the governor.