The NC Utilities Commission recently made two important rulings that impact our state's green energy economy and further defines what qualifies as a renewable energy source. Click here for more information on both rulings.
The first ruling resolved one of the more contentious issues of the last year - do forests and tree farms count as a renewable energy source or just wood waste like sawdust and other scraps? The Commission ruled that whole trees count, which unfortunately, will allow power companies to harvest entire trees for wood chips to be used as a fuel in power plants.
The Utilities Commission also ruled that the thermal energy at a combined heat and power (CHP) facility produces RECs; however, these RECs cannot be used to meet the requirements of the poultry (or swine waste) set-aside even where the fuel used to generate the thermal energy is poultry waste. The ruling was in response to Greenville, SC-based Peregrine Biomass Development, which wanted to build several industrial boilers in NC that burn chicken droppings as an energy source and sell the steam or hot water to factories and other industrial applications.
This: The Commission ruled that whole trees count, which unfortunately, will allow power companies to harvest entire trees for wood chips to be used as a fuel in power plants. is not good and must be revisited