HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today adopted a policy statement geared toward helping advance the development of combined heat and power (CHP) technology. Additionally, the PUC’s Bureau of Technical Utility Services will initiate a CHP Working Group to engage with stakeholders and encourage the deployment of, and reduce barriers to, CHP initiatives in the Commonwealth.
CHP captures the waste heat energy that is typically lost through power generation, using it to provide heating and/or cooling for manufacturing and business. CHP is an efficient means of generating electric power and thermal energy from a single fuel source, providing cost-effective energy services to commercial businesses like hospitals, universities and hotels.
“CHP offers a variety of benefits,” noted Chairman Gladys M. Brown in a supporting statement at today’s PUC public meeting,” First and foremost, CHP supports environmental stewardship through increased efficiency. Also, it provides economic benefits to its adopters through reductions in energy consumption. Further, it supports reliability and resiliency as a distributed energy resource.”
The Commission voted 5-0 to adopt the policy statement, which promotes a coordinated approach to CHP to the benefit of the economy, the environment, and the security of Pennsylvania residents and businesses. First proposed and issued for public comment in the winter of 2016, the newly adopted policy statement is intended to:
promote CHP investments;
encourage electric distribution companies (EDCs) and natural gas distribution companies (NGDCs) to make CHP an integral part of their energy efficiency and resiliency plans, as well as their marketing and outreach efforts; and
encourage these companies to design interconnection processes and rates for owners and operators of CHP facilities.
Under the new policy, EDCs and NGDCs are required to report to the Commission biennially on CHP development in their service territories, including their efforts to promote such development. Additionally, Commission staff will provide biennial reports to the Commission summarizing and analyzing the utility reports, identifying government agency programs providing financial aid and other support for CHP and making recommendations regarding the development of CHP in the Commonwealth.
The policy statement becomes effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
On Jan. 21, 2016, PUC Chairman Brown, on behalf of the Commission, signed a partnership agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Better Buildings Initiative. Specifically, the PUC’s partnership agreement pertains to the CHP for Resiliency Accelerator program, which was launched by DOE to support and expand the consideration of CHP solutions by states, communities and utilities for their infrastructure needs.
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Docket No.: M-2016-2530484