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Green Power Partnership

Green Power Partnership Eligible Resources

EPA defines green power as a subset of renewable energy that includes those resources and technologies that provide the highest environmental benefit. Renewable energy refers to a set of energy resources that are naturally replenishing, such as solar, wind, biomass, hydro, and geothermal. By comparison, fossil fuels, such as oil, coal, and natural gas, are not renewable since they are finite in quantity.

Green power resources produce electricity with zero anthropogenic (human-caused) emissions and have a superior environmental profile compared to conventional power generation. For the purposes of the Partnership, EPA requires that green power sources must have been built within the last 15 years in order to support the new renewable energy development requirement.

The following renewable resources are eligible in meeting EPA's usage requirements:

  1. Solar photovoltaic (PV)
  2. Wind
  3. Geothermal
  4. Some forms of hydroelectric

    Hydropower is eligible if it meets one or more of the following conditions*:

    • Hydropower facilities certified by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute
    • New incremental capacity** on a non-impoundment or “new” generation capacity on an existing impoundment that is a run-of-the-river hydropower facility
    • Hydropower facilities that consist of a turbine in a pipeline or a turbine in an irrigation canal

    Hydropower is not eligible if it comes from a new water impoundment.

    * All eligible hydropower must still meet other Green Power Partnership eligibility requirements outlined in the Partnership Requirements document.
    **All “new” output resulting from eligible new incremental capacity must meet the repowering requirements for hydropower outlined under Section XIII “New” Renewables Usage Requirements. New incremental capacity shall be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

  5. Some forms of biomass
    • i.e., solid, liquid, and gaseous forms from the following fuels:
      • All woody waste*
      • All agricultural crops or waste
      • All animal and other organic waste
      • All energy crops e. Landfill gas and wastewater methane**
      • Municipal solid waste, which is eligible if it meets EPA requirements for co-firing of biomass with non-renewables (see Appendix B).
    • Biomass resources excluded from eligibility include:
      • Wood that has been coated with paints, plastics, or formica
      • Wood that has been treated for preservation with materials containing halogens, chlorine or halide compounds like CCA-treated materials, or arsenic. (CCA = chromated copper arsenate)
    • Qualified wood fuels may contain de minimis quantities (i.e., less than 1 percent of total wood fuel) of the above excluded contaminates.

      * Includes “black liquor” from pulp and paper processing, mill residues, industrial waste wood, and waste wood from woodworking or wood processing, so long as the wood is not chemically treated or coated.

      ** Landfill gas and wastewater methane that have been commingled in a pipeline or storage container with conventional natural gas, but were “directed” or “nominated” for use at a specific power generation facility, may be eligible subject to a case-by-case review by EPA. The methodology presented to EPA must demonstrate that the volume and heat content of the injected landfill gas or wastewater methane was measured, preferably by an independent entity, at the point of injection and that only the amount of electricity generated that can be attributed to the “directed” landfill gas or wastewater methane is counted as green power.

  6. Co-firing of eligible forms of biomass with non-renewables—accepted under certain conditions
    • Co-firing of eligible forms of biomass with non-renewables is permitted if at least one of the following conditions is met:
      • The facility is located in an electric system control area that makes use of a generation tracking system (e.g., NEGIS, PJM-GATS, WREGIS) that is fully capable of accurately measuring and reporting the differentiated (i.e., biomass-fired and non-biomass-fired) electrical output from the facility; or,
      • The biomass is in a gaseous or liquid state, is separately metered and there are contracts in place to verify that the biomass portion was converted to electricity; or,
    • Facilities that do not meet either of the criteria above may be eligible subject to a case-by-case review by EPA. The methodology presented to EPA must demonstrate that the Btu value of the electrical output from the facility is attributed to the eligible biomass fuel. Some of the criteria that EPA will consider in making its decision are:
      • Whether the facility was modified to accept biomass fuel.
      • Whether an independent entity is involved in verifying or determining the appropriate measurement.
      • Whether there is a way to determine and ensure that the net electricity increment being sold as or considered “renewable” can be attributed to eligible biomass fuel. EPA would prefer a verification methodology that can be applied universally.
    • Only the amount of electricity generated from the eligible biomass may count towards the EPA criteria.
  7. Biodiesel (B100)
    • Biodiesel (B100) that is used to generate electricity is eligible if the following conditions are met:
      • The biodiesel is separately measured (and verified) from the petroleum diesel, and
      • Contracts are in place to allow a third party to verify that the biodiesel was converted to electricity.
    • Only the amount of electricity generated from the biodiesel may be counted as an eligible renewable resource.
  8. Fuel cells—using the above eligible fuels
    • Fuel cells are eligible when powered by hydrogen derived from any of the eligible renewable resources identified above.
  9. Cogeneration/Combined Heat and Power
    • Note on cogeneration/combined heat and power technologies: Electricity produced by “new” cogeneration (also known as combined heat and power) is eligible if the fuel used is listed above as an eligible green power resource. Only the amount of electricity generated from the eligible resource may count towards EPA requirements.

To learn more about eligible renewable resources, please check out the Partnership Requirements document.

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