Missouri legislator wants more hydropower projects added to state's renewable energy standard

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Legislation making its way through the Missouri General Assembly could see larger hydropower projects included as part of the state's renewable energy standard, HydroWorld.com has learned.

Missouri House Bill No. 44 -- introduced by Rep. Bart Korman -- would modify the state's existing legislature by adding "one new section relating to renewable energy definitions".

Missouri's current energy standards call for 15% of electricity sold by the state's utilities annually to be generated by renewable sources by 2021. Only hydroelectric plants with nameplate ratings of 10 MW or less can be counted toward that percentage now, though projects that require new water diversions or impoundments are not eligible. Pumped-storage scheme are also excluded.

HB 44 would allow hydroelectric stations of any capacity to count toward Missouri's "renewable" percentage, though pumped-storage would still be excluded.

The bill was already voted "Do Pass" by the state's utilities, rules and fiscal review committees and also has the support of the Missouri Energy Development Association.

Proponents say the legislation will place all sources of renewable energy on a level playing field so market competition can help determine which ones are the most economically efficient.

HydroWorld.com reported in January that Washington is also considering similar legislation.

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