§ 39.35C.070. Development of cogeneration projects
(1) Consistent with the region's need to develop cost-effective, high efficiency electric energy resources, the state shall investigate and, if appropriate, pursue development of cost-effective opportunities for cogeneration in existing or new state facilities.
(2) To assist state agencies in identifying, evaluating, and developing potential cogeneration projects at their facilities, the department shall notify state agencies of their responsibilities under this chapter; apprise them of opportunities to develop and finance such projects; and provide technical and analytical support. The department shall recover costs for such assistance through written agreements, including reimbursement from third parties participating in such projects, for any costs and expenses incurred in providing such assistance.
(3)(a) The department shall identify priorities for cogeneration projects at state facilities, and, where such projects are initially deemed desirable by the department and the appropriate state agency, the department shall notify the local utility serving the state facility of its intent to conduct a feasibility study at such facility. The department shall consult with the local utility and provide the local utility an opportunity to participate in the development of the feasibility study for the state facility it serves.
(b) If the local utility has an interest in participating in the feasibility study, it shall notify the department and the state agency whose facility or facilities it serves within sixty days of receipt of notification pursuant to (a) of this subsection as to the nature and scope of its desired participation. The department, state agency, and local utility shall negotiate the responsibilities, if any, of each in conducting the feasibility study, and these responsibilities shall be specified in a written agreement.
(c) If a local utility identifies a potential cogeneration project at a state facility for which it intends to conduct a feasibility study, it shall notify the department and the appropriate state agency. The department, state agency, and local utility shall negotiate the responsibilities, if any, of each in conducting the feasibility study, and these responsibilities shall be specified in a written agreement. Nothing in this section shall preclude a local utility from conducting an independent assessment of a potential cogeneration project at a state facility.
(d) Agreements written pursuant to (a) and (b) of this subsection shall include a provision for the recovery of costs incurred by a local utility in performing a feasibility study in the event such utility does not participate in the development of the cogeneration project. If the local utility does participate in the cogeneration project through energy purchase, project development or ownership, recovery of the utility's costs may be deferred or provided for through negotiation on agreements for energy purchase, project development or ownership.
(e) If the local utility declines participation in the feasibility study, the department and the state agency may receive and solicit proposals to conduct the feasibility study from other parties. Participation of these other parties shall also be secured and defined by a written agreement which may include the provision for reimbursement of costs incurred in the formulation of the feasibility study.
(4) The feasibility study shall include consideration of regional and local utility needs for power, the consistency of the proposed cogeneration project with the state energy strategy, the cost and certainty of fuel supplies, the value of electricity produced, the capability of the state agency to own and/or operate such facilities, the capability of utilities or third parties to own and/or operate such facilities, requirements for and costs of standby sources of power, costs associated with interconnection with the local electric utility's transmission system, the capability of the local electric utility to wheel electricity generated by the facility, costs associated with obtaining wheeling services, potential financial risks and losses to the state and/or state agency, measures to mitigate the financial risk to the state and/or state agency, and benefits to the state and to the state agency from a range of design configurations, ownership, and operation options.
(5) Based upon the findings of the feasibility study, the department and the state agency shall determine whether a cogeneration project will be cost-effective and whether development of a cogeneration project should be pursued. This determination shall be made in consultation with the local utility or, if the local utility had not participated in the development of the feasibility study, with any third party that may have participated in the development of the feasibility study.
(a) Recognizing the local utility's expertise, knowledge, and ownership and operation of the local utility systems, the department and the state agency shall have the authority to negotiate directly with the local utility for the purpose of entering into a sole source contract to develop, own, and/or operate the cogeneration facility. The contract may also include provisions for the purchase of electricity or thermal energy from the cogeneration facility, the acquisition of a fuel source, and any financial considerations which may accrue to the state from ownership and/or operation of the cogeneration facility by the local utility.
(b) The department may enter into contracts through competitive negotiation under this subsection for the development, ownership, and/or operation of a cogeneration facility. In determining an acceptable bid, the department and the state agency may consider such factors as technical knowledge, experience, management, staff, or schedule, as may be necessary to achieve economical construction or operation of the project. The selection of a developer or operator of a cogeneration facility shall be made in accordance with procedures for competitive bidding under chapter 43.19 RCW.
(c) The department shall comply with the requirements of chapter 39.80 RCW when contracting for architectural or engineering services.
(6)(a) The state may own and/or operate a cogeneration project at a state facility. However, unless the cogeneration project is determined to be cost-effective, based on the findings of the feasibility study, the department and state agency shall not pursue development of the project as a state-owned facility. If the project is found to be cost-effective, and the department and the state agency agree development of the cogeneration project should be pursued as a state-owned and/or operated facility, the department shall assist the state agency in the preparation of a finance and development plan for the cogeneration project. Any such plan shall fully account for and specify all costs to the state for developing and/or operating the cogeneration facility.
(b) It is the general intent of this chapter that cogeneration projects developed and owned by the state will be sized to the projected thermal energy load of the state facility over the useful life of the project. The principal purpose and use of such projects is to supply thermal energy to a state facility and not primarily to develop generating capacity for the sale of electricity. For state-owned projects with electricity production in excess of projected thermal requirements, the department shall seek and obtain legislative appropriation and approval for development. Nothing in chapter 201, Laws of 1991 shall be construed to authorize any state agency to sell electricity or thermal energy on a retail basis.
(7) When a cogeneration facility will be developed, owned, and/or operated by a state agency or third party other than the local serving utility, the department and the state agency shall negotiate a written agreement with the local utility. Elements of such an agreement shall include provisions to ensure system safety, provisions to ensure reliability of any interconnected operations equipment necessary for parallel operation and switching equipment capable of isolating the generation facility, the provision of and reimbursement for standby services, if required, and the provision of and reimbursement for wheeling electricity, if the provision of such has been agreed to by the local utility.
(8) The state may develop and own a thermal energy distribution system associated with a cogeneration project for the principal purpose of distributing thermal energy at the state facility. If thermal energy is to be sold outside the state facility, the state may only sell the thermal energy to a utility.
[1996 c 186 § 411; 1991 c 201 § 8.]
Findings -- Intent -- Part headings not law -- Effective date -- 1996 c 186: See notes following RCW 43.330.904.
Last modified: April 7, 2009