Today, eight manufacturers, developers, and institutions – including Cargill, Cummins, Veolia, and Minnesota Forest Industries – delivered a letter to the Minnesota Public Service Commission (PUC) asking for fair and reasonable standby rates that would encourage the installation of combined heat and power (CHP) and waste heat to power (WHP) systems across the state. The businesses cited a study that found that a Minnesota company with a 2 MW CHP system with no outages would be required to pay standby fees ranging from roughly $1,000 to nearly $6,600 each month – dependent upon where the system is located. If the prices charged by utilities for access to this standby power are too high, they can deter a company from installing CHP or WHP systems. The manufacturers asked the Minnesota PUC to regulate standby rates across the state, and make them transparent, efficient and appropriately correlated to cost of service. You can read the press release here and an article about the letter that appeared in Breaking Energy here.
The Alliance also submitted public comments that urge the PUC to review each Minnesota utility’s standby tariffs to ensure equitable revenue allocation and rates which are correlated to cost of service. The Alliance also supports the adoption of the model tariff put forth by the Midwest Cogeneration Association. Such a model tariff would help Minnesota utilities achieve fair rates, accurate cost recovery, and reductions in peak load.
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