N.M. bill would allow creation of RECs for biomass thermal energy

By Erin Voegele | February 22, 2013

Pending legislation in New Mexico would enable renewable energy certificates (RECs) to be issued for the generation and use of thermal energy produced from renewable resources, with extra credits assigned to thermal energy generated from forest biomass. The credits are used by utilities to comply with the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS).

The bill, S.B. 204, was introduced on Jan. 22 by state Sen. Phil Griego. The Conservation Committee passed the measure by a vote of seven to three on Feb. 14 and referred the bill to the Corporations and Transportation Committee. 

According to the text of the legislation, each REC has a minimum value of 1 kWh for the purpose of RPS compliance. For the thermal credits, 3,412 Btu of useful thermal energy is equivalent to at least 1 KWh for purposes of compliance with the RPS. For biomass energy produced using a majority of feedstock from forest-related materials, an additional REC per unit of energy is assigned above the normal allocation.

The bill also expands the definition of biomass to include a variety of forest-related materials, agricultural-related materials, animal waste, solid woody waste materials, crops and trees planted for energy purposes, landfill gas, wastewater treatment gas, biosolids and segregated municipal solid waste.