Emission Performance Standards for Baseload Electric Generation
Emissions performance standards (EPS) are state imposed rules to a limit the amount of CO2 that each power station may emit to atmosphere.
Every five years, our office adopts rules on the average available greenhouse gas emissions output by surveying new combined-cycle natural gas thermal electric generation turbines. The turbines need to be commercially available, offered for sale by manufacturers and purchased in the United States. Then we determine the average rate of emissions of greenhouse gases for them.
Baseload generation is considered to be a generating unit operating at a capacity factor of 60 or greater percent. This means a facility that produces energy each year equaling at least 60 percent of the energy it could produce at continuous full power operation for the same period.
Utilities may not enter into long-term contracts (5 or more years in length) with a baseload generating facility, nor may utilities invest in a facility, when the CO2 emissions of the facility exceed the standard.
The standard applies to all investor and consumer owned utilities in the state. Renewable and nuclear powered electricity are exempt, as are long-term commitments with the Bonneville Power Administration.
The performance standards were lasted updated in 2018.