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Virgina Biomass Bill Stricken

Senate Bill 647, related to woody biomass and renewable energy, was removed from the 2016 legislative agenda at the request of the patron yesterday. She has reported to us that her desire is to convene meetings of the interest groups after session to discuss her objectives. Below is a summary of the bill as proposed to this year's legislators. Based on conversations and meetings prior to yesterday, we believe that woody biomass would have been removed from the current statutory list of Virginia's renewable resources if the bill had passed. The impact would have been negative for biomass - to - electric generation and the suppliers of woody biomass. Good studies on woody biomass as a renewable energy form and Virginia's solid history of reforestation and forestry certainly helped to convince the legislator to strike the bill. The forest industry and each sector,i.e.,logging, mills, and landowners are critically important to the continuation of a strong forest products industry. Renewable energy; efficient biomass. Excludes inefficient biomass from the definition of renewable energy. The measure provides that renewable energy includes any biomass energy capacity, efficient or otherwise, in operation prior to January 1, 2016, and that on and after that date renewable energy may include the proportion of the thermal or electric energy from a facility that results from the co-firing of efficient biomass on or after January 1, 2016. "Efficient biomass" is defined as thermal or electric energy or combined heat and power from biomass generating units with an overall efficiency of 50 percent or greater on an annual basis. The measure directs how a unit's overall efficiency shall be determined on the basis of outputs of electrical generation and useful thermal energy output, which is defined in the bill as (i) including direct heat and other valid thermal end-use energy requirements for which fuel or electricity would otherwise be consumed and (ii) excluding thermal energy used for the purpose of drying or refining biomass fuel.