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Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., R-Utah, has signed the Energy Resource and Carbon Emission Reduction Initiative (Senate Bill 202) that establishes a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) for the state.

The bill states that beginning in 2025, 20% of electrical corporations' and municipal electric utilities' adjusted electric sales come from qualifying electricity, including renewable energy resources, if cost effective. Sources include wind, solar photovoltaic and solar thermal energy. An increase in the annual target from one year to the next is limited to the greater of 17,500 MWh or 20% of the prior year's amount. The bill also addresses cost recovery for certain energy resources.

To qualify for the RPS, electricity must have been generated on or after Jan. 1, 1995, from a renewable resource located within the geographic boundary of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council.

Under the new standard, renewable energy certificates can be issued and recognized in an amount equal to at least 20% of adjusted retail electric sales for certain electrical generation and actions by an energy user.

The bill was passed in the Senate on Feb. 26 with a vote of 28 to 1 and in the House on March 4 by a vote of 67 to 8.

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