Legislation would eliminate limits on hydropower eligibility

Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:11 am

by Taylor Beck

Ameren would be able to include Bagnell Dam as renewable energy under a measure heard by the House Utilities Committee Wednesday, Jan. 30.

In 2008, Missouri voters approved Proposition C, which requires electric utilities to generate a portion of their power from renewable energy.

The proposal, however, limits to smaller hydroelectric facilities what can be counted to comply with the requirement. The measure before the House committee would allow hydroelectric facilities of any size to be included.

Supporters of the bill, including Trey Davis, president of the Missouri Energy Development Association, said wind and solar power have an unfair advantage right now under Proposition C. He said since higher quantities of hydropower would not count, the creation of solar and wind power is in higher demand.

“Contrary to the folks on the other side’s belief, this is not because we don’t want to invest in renewables,” Davis said.

Davis said this proposition promised to create jobs, but he says the way it is hydropower plants are not encouraged to expand and create jobs. He added that the advantage solar and wind power plants have could cause hydropower to scale back and kill jobs.