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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 23, 2018 04:39 PM
From: Senator Thomas H. Killion
To: All Senate members
Subject: Waste-To-Energy Facility Surplus Electricity Sales
I plan to introduce legislation that would amend the Municipal Authority Section of Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to enable waste-to-energy facilities in public/private partnerships with local communities and authorities to sell the surplus electricity they generate to their local electric utility at the default service commodity rate (price to compare).

Requiring the purchase of electricity from these facilities by local utilities at this rate would not increase costs to electricity customers; it is the same price the distribution companies are paying other generators in their regions. In addition, electricity sold to local utilities would count toward their obligations to purchase Tier 1 energy sources under the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards.

This change would provide much needed financial support to these public/private partnerships that were significantly affected by changes in public policy since they were originally built.

In Pennsylvania, there are six waste-to-energy facilities, serving 2.9 million Pennsylvanians, which safely dispose of about 36 percent of the municipal waste in the state and they generate 1,623 MWHs of renewable electricity at the same time. They are located in numerous counties across the Commonwealth, including, Bucks, Dauphin, Lancaster, Montgomery, York, and the 9th Senatorial District, Delaware County.

These facilities are all public/private partnerships serving municipal authorities and local communities to provide a vital service to the public. To be economically viable, they depend primarily on revenue from waste tipping fees, the sale of electricity and to a lesser extent from the sale of recyclable metals to be economically viable.

The original development of these facilities was stimulated by a federal policy requiring local utilities to enter into long term power purchase agreements for the electricity they generated at these small power plants. Unfortunately, this policy no longer requires these agreements and leaves these facilities struggling financially. And, the 1,623 MWHs of electricity they generate is only a tiny portion of the 215 million MWHs of electricity generated in Pennsylvania.

I believe this legislation will prove to be beneficial to waste-to-energy facilities, as well as numerous public/private partnerships serving municipal authorities and local communities, and ultimately, residents of the Commonwealth.

Representative Farry and Representative Galloway intend to introduce a companion bill in the House of Representatives.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB1230