On June 17, 2009, Governor Manchin of West Virginia signed HB 103, the Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Act. The bill mandates that electric utilities (excluding municipal utilities, rural electric cooperatives, and utilities serving fewer than 30,000 residential customers) obtain 25 percent of their electricity from alternative or renewable energy sources by 2025. The bill sets interim targets of 10 percent by 2015 and 15 percent by 2020. Eligible alternative resources are advanced coal technology (e.g., carbon capture and storage, supercritical technology, ultrasupercritical technology and pressurized fluidized bed technology), coal bed methane, natural gas, fuel produced by a coal gasification or liquefaction facility, synthetic gas, integrated gasification combined cycle technologies, waste coal, tire-derived fuel, pumped storage hydroelectric projects, and recycled energy. Eligible renewable resources are solar PV, solar thermal, wind, run-of-river hydropower, geothermal, biomass, biologically-derived fuel, and fuel cell technology.
The bill sets up a system of tradeable credits to implement the program; covered utilities must hold credits equal to their generation. One credit is awarded for each megawatt-hour of alternative energy generation, two credits for renewable energy generation, and three credits for renewable energy generation located on a reclaimed surface mine.
In addition to the standard, the bill requires covered utilities to compensate through rebates or discounts any consumers who produce some or all electricity on-site and participate in a net metering program. The bill also directs the WV Public Service Commission to consider applying both the Alternative and Renewable Energy Standard and the net metering provisions to utilities not currently covered (i.e., municipal utilities, rural electric cooperatives, and utilities serving fewer than 30,000 residential customers).