EPA finalizes emergency generator rule

generator D09C3116Electric cooperatives will be able to use small emergency generators, with restrictions and paperwork requirements, to ensure a ­stable flow of electricity at the local and regional level, under new federal regulations.

In a rule announced Jan. 15, the Environmental Protection Agency said units could run 100 hours a year for emergency demand response, maintenance and testing without being subjected to new federal emissions limits.

Up to 50 of those hours can be used in non-emergency circumstances to prevent ­situations that could lead to a local or regional power disruption, according to the agency. EPA said it crafted that language, in part, in response to input from electric cooperatives.

In the last three years, co-op representatives have filed hundreds of comments and met with EPA. They have pointed out how they use RICE units for demand-response, and how limited, targeted use of peak shaving helps to increase capacity and keep electric rates affordable.

As of 2015, all emergency generators will be required to use ultra-low sulfur ­diesel fuel if they run more than 15 hours annually.

Also, co-ops and entities that operate emergency generators of more than 100 horse power for up to 100 hours a year for blackout and brownout prevention, will need to collect and submit an annual report including location, dates and times of operation.
Source: Electric Co-op Today, Steven Johnson