California Sets Greenhouse Gas Standards for Electric Utilities
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has adopted greenhouse gas emissions requirements for any long-term power commitment made by the state's electric utilities. The interim Greenhouse Gas Emissions Performance Standard prohibits utilities from entering into a long-term commitment to buy baseload power from power plants that have carbon dioxide emissions greater than 1,100 pounds per megawatt-hour, which is the amount emitted by a combined cycle turbine fueled with natural gas. The standard applies to new power plants, new investments in existing power plants, and new or renewed contracts with terms of five years or more, including contracts with power plants located outside of California. The CPUC action complies with Senate Bill 1368, which has been signed into law, and will help the state meet the greenhouse gas emissions goals of Assembly Bill 32, which Governor Schwarzenegger approved last year. See the CPUC press release.