Governor Gregoire Signs Bill Expanding Renewable Energy Law

Source:  CBS News, March 8, 2012.

Governor Gregoire signed a bill into law that broadens the definition of renewable energy.  Electricity produced from older biomass facilities including pulp mills are now eligible under the renewable energy definition.  Energy generated from the byproducts of pulping or wood manufacturing processes, yard and food wastes, and untreated construction debris now qualify as renewables.  Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging and Weyerhaeuser’s Longview plant are now eligible.

This is the first time that I-937 has been amended since its passage by the voters in 2006 despite numerous endeavors.  The law requires the state’s largest utilities to generate fifteen percent of their electricity generation from renewables (wind, solar, geothermal, and some qualifying woody biomasses) by 2020.  Hydropower and biomass facilities built prior to 1999 are not considered renewables under the law.

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