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The proposed omnibus amendment to HB 80 incorporates separate amendments offered by Representatives DePasquale, Houghton, Keller, and Ross. It also addresses the cost-benefit analysis and consumer notification issues raised by Representative Cutler. This amendment will make the following substantive revisions:

1)Limit the requirement to purchase alternative energy credits from advanced coal combustion with limited carbon emissions facilities if a carbon dioxide sequestration facility is not available to receive the carbon. If the sequestration facility is not operating, only existing coal fired power plants that are retrofitted with carbon capture technology may generate credits – but the number of credits they can generate is limited to the amount needed to recover the power plant’s costs to install the carbon capture technology.
2)Require the Public Utility Commission to declare force majeure and suspend the requirement to purchase alternative energy credits if the price of the credit exceeds the statutorily established alternative compliance payment. For tier 1 and tier 2 credits, the alternative compliance payment is $45. For solar credits the current compliance payment is 200% of the credit’s market value. This amendment would cap the solar compliance payment at $450 and reduce it annually by 3%.
3)Reduce the tier 1 credit requirement in years 2014 – 2024. As currently drafted, HB 80 would require utilities and electric generation suppliers to purchase 18% of their energy (in the form of credits) from tier 1 sources by 2024. The amendment would reduce the requirement to 15% in 2024.
4)Require the Public Utility Commission and the Department to annually evaluate and report to the legislature the amount of installed alternative energy system capacity and megawatt hours generated by alternative energy systems, infrastructure needs for alternative energy systems, and analyze the total costs and benefits (including price suppression, environmental and job creation benefits) to consumers as a result of compliance with the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act. The results of the analysis will also be provided to rate payers.
5)Require solar electricity systems to meet all applicable codes and be installed by contractors approved by the Department as part of its Sunshine Grant program. Installers must also be licensed electricians if so required by the municipality where the system is installed.
6)Require the operator of a sequestration facility to provide financial assurance, such as a bond or insurance, to cover the costs of mitigating a release and providing compensation for damages that result from a release from the facility.
7)Allow all Commonwealth owned lands (not State parks) to be leased for the development of a sequestration facility or carbon dioxide pipeline, provided the facilities do not interfere with the use and purpose of the land. If State forest land is proposed to be leased, DCNR must conduct an environmental review of the land prior to offering the site for lease.