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U.S. Reps. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., Bill Delahunt, D-Mass., Jim McDermott, D-Wash. and Mike Honda, D-Calif. have introduced the Renewable Energy Jobs and Security Act, which would provide guaranteed renewable-energy payments to clean-energy generation sources of up to 20 MW in size.

Modeled after a Germany's feed-in tariff, the measure has three main components designed to provide long-term investment security - guaranteed interconnection to the grid; long-term, fixed-rate contracts with electric utilities; and a rate-recovery program through a regional cost-sharing commission to minimize the impact on consumers. It also would help some utilities meet renewable energy purchase obligations.

"America faces an infrastructure challenge today not unlike what we had to overcome a century ago to enable farmers to reliably deliver their goods to markets," says McDermott. "It is not enough to simply say we want to develop new clean and renewable energy resources; we have to facilitate the development and improvements in the transmission infrastructure that can reliably bring these new energy resources to market."

Under the Renewable Energy Jobs and Security Act, the Federal Energy Regulation Commission would set technology-specific prices that utilities would pay renewable-energy suppliers with up to 20 MW of capacity. Prices would be reduced incrementally every two years over a two-decade span, with the goal of reaching or approaching market rate.

The legislation has been endorsed by over 80 non-governmental organizations, renewable-energy companies and clean-energy investors. It is expected to be referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. A companion measure has not yet been introduced in the Senate.

SOURCE: Office of Rep. Jay Inslee


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