Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard

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Last modified on October 11, 2009.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place Ohio

Incentive Source

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) issued rules to implement Ohio's Alternative Energy Resource Standard in April 2009; additional comments are expected. These rules likely will not be final until the third quarter of 2009. At that point, this summary will be updated accordingly.

In May 2008, Ohio enacted broad electric industry restructuring legislation (S.B. 221) containing alternative energy and renewable energy generation and procurement requirements for the state's electric distribution utilities and electric service companies (hereafter referred to as utilities). This definition encompasses all retail electricity providers except municipal utilities and electric cooperatives.

Under the standard, utilities must provide 25% of their retail electricity supply from alternative energy resources by 2025, with specific annual benchmarks for renewable and solar energy resources (see details below). Alternative energy resources include all renewable and advanced energy resources. Eligible renewable resources are defined to include the following technologies: solar photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal, wind, geothermal, biomass, biologically derived methane gas, landfill gas, certain non-treated waste biomass products, fuel cells that generate electricity and qualified hydroelectric facilities.* Distributed generation systems used by customers to generate electricity using the aforementioned eligible renewable resources are also included.

Generally, advanced energy resources are defined as any process or technology that increases the generation output of an electric generating facility without additional carbon dioxide emissions. The definition of advanced energy resources explicitly includes clean coal; generation III advanced nuclear power; distributed combined heat and power (CHP); fuel cells that generate electricity; certain solid waste conversion technologies; and demand side management or energy efficiency improvements. Additionally, new or existing mercantile customer-sited advanced energy resources and renewable energy resources that the customer commits into a utility's demand-response, energy efficiency or peak demand programs are also eligible “advanced energy” resources. This designation generally includes any advanced or renewable technology that would be eligible if it were owned by a utility, but is also specifically includes waste heat resources, energy storage technologies, and resources that improve the relationship between real and reactive power.

In order to qualify under the standard, all alternative energy and renewable energy facilities must have a placed-in-service date of January 1, 1998, or later. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is authorized to classify any new technology as an alternative energy or renewable energy resource.

The renewable benchmarks begin in 2009 and increase annually towards an eventual target of 12.5% of retail electricity sales by year-end in 2024 and thereafter. The requirement also contains a carve-out for solar-energy resources with an ultimate solar target of 0.5% of the total electricity supply in 2024 and thereafter. The total renewable percentage requirement includes the solar specific portion (i.e., the solar requirement is not added on top of the specified renewables requirement). The detailed schedule of annual compliance benchmarks appears below. The law does not identify annual benchmarks for the overall alternative energy standard.

*In order to be considered a renewable resource for the purposes of the renewable resource standard, a hydroelectric facility must meet a series of requirements regarding its environmental impact. However, these requirements do not include a size limitation (e.g., 30 MW) of the type frequently found in state RPS laws.



  1. About DSIRE Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency accessed September 9, 2009