Texas Governor Signs Bills Supporting Cogeneration

June 24, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

Rick PerryTexas Governor Rick Perry (pictured) has signed House Bill 2049 and HB 1864 into law supporting combined heat & power (CHP) technology. These policies remove regulatory barriers and improve the business climate for cogeneration facilities in Texas.

Concerns about power generation margins or resource adequacy and water shortages have led Texas to a policy crossroads, according to Texas Combined Heat & Power Initiative (TXCHPI).

Cogeneration, often referred to as CHP, is the simultaneous production, and use, of electricity and heat energy.

HB 2049 clarifies language in the Texas Utility Code to allow cogeneration facilities to sell electricity and heat energy to multiple customers within the proximity of the facility thereby maximizing efficiency and minimizing financial risk.

HB 1864 instructs the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) to issue compliance guidelines for how to conduct a CHP feasibility analysis prior to the construction or renovation of any government facility deemed to be critical for disaster preparedness and emergency response. The analysis is currently required by law as part of the Hurricane Ike Disaster Preparedness statute. The new legislation will help provide accurate information to elected officials for key decisions regarding on-site power generation at critical facilities used for disaster preparedness and emergency response.

Natural gas used in CHP produces up to 65 percent fewer emissions than coal per kilowatt hour making it a much cleaner base load fuel, and CHP does not use water resources like traditional power generation; also the energy is produced and consumed where it is needed without the loss of energy that typically occurs during transmission and distribution, says TXCHPI.

Photo credit: eschipul’s Flickr photostream

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