18 CFR § 292.205 - Criteria for qualifying cogeneration facilities.

§ 292.205 Criteria for qualifying cogeneration facilities.

(a) Operating and efficiency standards for topping-cycle facilities -

(1) Operating standard. For any topping-cycle cogeneration facility, the useful thermal energy output of the facility must be no less than 5 percent of the total energy output during the 12-month period beginning with the date the facility first produces electric energy, and any calendar year subsequent to the year in which the facility first produces electric energy.

(2) Efficiency standard.

(i) For any topping-cycle cogeneration facility for which any of the energy input is natural gas or oil, and the installation of which began on or after March 13, 1980, the useful power output of the facility plus one-half the useful thermal energy output, during the 12-month period beginning with the date the facility first produces electric energy, and any calendar year subsequent to the year in which the facility first produces electric energy, must:

(A) Subject to paragraph (a)(2)(i)(B) of this section be no less than 42.5 percent of the total energy input of natural gas and oil to the facility; or

(B) If the useful thermal energy output is less than 15 percent of the total energy output of the facility, be no less than 45 percent of the total energy input of natural gas and oil to the facility.

(ii) For any topping-cycle cogeneration facility not subject to paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section there is no efficiency standard.

(b) Efficiency standards for bottoming-cycle facilities.

(1) For any bottoming-cycle cogeneration facility for which any of the energy input as supplementary firing is natural gas or oil, and the installation of which began on or after March 13, 1980, the useful power output of the facility during the 12-month period beginning with the date the facility first produces electric energy, and any calendar year subsequent to the year in which the facility first produces electric energy must be no less than 45 percent of the energy input of natural gas and oil for supplementary firing.

(2) For any bottoming-cycle cogeneration facility not covered by paragraph (b)(1) of this section, there is no efficiency standard.

(c) Waiver. The Commission may waive any of the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section upon a showing that the facility will produce significant energy savings.

(d) Criteria for new cogeneration facilities. Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, any cogeneration facility that was either not a qualifying cogeneration facility on or before August 8, 2005, or that had not filed a notice of self-certification or an application for Commission certification as a qualifying cogeneration facility under § 292.207 of this chapter prior to February 2, 2006, and which is seeking to sell electric energy pursuant to section 210 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, 16 U.S.C. 824a-1, must also show:

(1) The thermal energy output of the cogeneration facility is used in a productive and beneficial manner; and

(2) The electrical, thermal, chemical and mechanical output of the cogeneration facility is used fundamentally for industrial, commercial, residential or institutional purposes and is not intended fundamentality for sale to an electric utility, taking into account technological, efficiency, economic, and variable thermal energy requirements, as well as state laws applicable to sales of electric energy from a qualifying facility to its host facility.

(3) Fundamental use test. For the purpose of satisfying paragraph (d)(2) of this section, the electrical, thermal, chemical and mechanical output of the cogeneration facility will be considered used fundamentally for industrial, commercial, or institutional purposes, and not intended fundamentally for sale to an electric utility if at least 50 percent of the aggregate of such output, on an annual basis, is used for industrial, commercial, residential or institutional purposes. In addition, applicants for facilities that do not meet this safe harbor standard may present evidence to the Commission that the facilities should nevertheless be certified given state laws applicable to sales of electric energy or unique technological, efficiency, economic, and variable thermal energy requirements.

(4) For purposes of paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section, a new cogeneration facility of 5 MW or smaller will be presumed to satisfy the requirements of those paragraphs.

(5) For purposes of paragraph (d)(1) of this section, where a thermal host existed prior to the development of a new cogeneration facility whose thermal output will supplant the thermal source previously in use by the thermal host, the thermal output of such new cogeneration facility will be presumed to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (d)(1).

[45 FR 17972, Mar. 20, 1980, as amended by Order 478, 52 FR 28467, July 30, 1987; Order 575, 60 FR 4857, Jan. 25, 1995; Order 671, 71 FR 7868, Feb. 15, 2006; Order 732, 75 FR 15966, Mar. 30, 2010; 76 FR 50663, Aug. 16, 2011]