The Public Service Commission has adopted rules that will help keep energy production within state lines and makes the state less reliant on coal. Public Service Commission Chairman Robert Clayton says the goal is to slowly produce and use more clean energy in the state.
It’s a fairly gradual change in their portfolio, he says. Missouri law requires that by 2011, electric companies must either generate or purchase at least 2 percent of the electricity they sell from renewable sources. That percentage increases to approximately 15 percent by 2021.
The electric companies are required to meet those required percentages by either generating the electricity through the use of renewable energy sources or by purchasing renewable energy credits. Under the rules, at least 2 percent of the renewable energy must be from solar.
Clayton says the mandate applies to Missouri’s four regulated energy providers: AmerenUE, Kansas City Power & Light, KCPL-Greater Missouri Operations Company and The Empire District Electric Company. It does not apply to Missouri’s rural electric cooperatives and municipal electric systems.
Clayton says the renewable energy standards rules are slated to take effect this fall.
“These rules take significant steps toward reducing our reliance on out-state-fuels for the production of electricity,” Clayton says. “Missouri voters made it clear that they expect Missouri utilities to acquire clean and locally produced energy for their customers. These rules will support the creation of Missouri jobs and Missouri electricity.”
Rate adjustments to implement the renewable energy standards rules would be limited to an average of 1 percent a year. In addition, the Commission determined that if a utility company needs to purchase renewable energy credits to meet rule requirements, the renewable energy associated with those credits must be sold to Missouri customers.
“The 2 percent solar requirement along with the Commission’s net metering rules adopted last year provides additional incentives for customers to consider adding solar panels to their homes,” says Clayton. The renewable energy standards rules establish a solar rebate program for retail customers.
Renewable energy includes electricity produced by wind, solar, biomass, landfill gas, small-scale hydropower projects and hydrogen fuel cells.
The rules adopted by the Commission establish penalty provisions for utility companies that fail to meet the requirements. The PSC staff will monitor actual implementation of the renewable energy plans.
The Commission’s vote was 3-2. The renewable energy standards rules are scheduled to take effect this fall.