Bioenergy Feed-in Tariff Program (SB 1122)

The Bioenergy Feed-in Tariff Program or the Bioenergy Market Adjusting Tariff (BioMAT) is a feed-in tariff program for small bioenergy renewable generators less than 5 MW in size. (other small renewable generators are procured through the Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff). The BioMAT program offers up to 250 MW to eligible projects through a fixed-price standard contract to export electricity to California’s three large investor owned utilities (IOUs). Electricity generated as part of the BioMAT program counts towards the utilities’ RPS targets. Small-scale bioenergy projects can be procured in three categories:

  • Category 1: Biogas from wastewater treatment, municipal organic waste diversion, food processing, and co-digestion - 110 MW
  • Category 2: Dairy and other agricultural bioenergy - 90 MW
  • Category 3: Bioenergy using byproducts of sustainable forest management (including fuels from high hazard zones effective February 1, 2017) - 50 MW 

For utility specific BioMAT information, including materials describing procurement and pricing status, please visit the following links:

Program History

The BioMAT program was established pursuant to SB 1122 (Rubio, 2012). On December 1, 2015 the IOUs launched the BioMAT Program by accepting applications for Program Period 1 (February 1 – March 31, 2016). Program Periods occur every two months for Categories 1 and 2, and monthly for Category 3. The offered contract price within each program category adjusts independently at the start of each program period.

The Commission is planning a workshop on third party verification of fuel sources. The timeframe and other details are not available at this time. As information becomes available it will be submitted to the Rulemaking R.18-07-003  service list.

The CPUC implemented AB 1923 (Wood, 2016) regarding increased BioMAT facility capacity eligibility in Decision 17-08-021, issued on August 28, 2017.

The Commission implemented AB 1923's changes to interconnection rules for BioMAT through Decision 18-11-004 issued on November 13, 2018. The decision determines that a facility may participate in BioMAT if it interconnects to an existing transmission line owned by a utility, revises the definition of "strategically located" facilities, confirms that the cap on interconnection upgrades applies to existing transmission lines, and adopts a program deposit amount for facilities that drop out of the CAISO interconnection queue.

Pursuant to the initial BioMAT program decision, Energy Division conducted a program review in 2018.  As a result, the Commission adopted several program changes in D.20-08-043 on August 27, 2020, including, but not limited to, extending the program end date, requiring program costs be allocated to all customers, and lengthening the guaranteed commercial operation date

BioMAT Program Review

In November 2017, in accordance with the program rules established by the Commission in 2014, Energy Division initiated a BioMAT program and in October 2018, Energy Division issued its draft BioMAT Program Review and Staff Proposal. This document describes Energy Division staff's key observations about program performance to-date, sets a timeline for the program review, lays out Energy Division's straw proposal for program changes, and poses questions to stakeholders.  On July 19, 2019, Energy Division held a workshop to discuss some of the issues raised in comments on the draft staff proposal.

On March 10, 2020, the Commission released a Ruling requesting comments on Energy Division's Staff Proposal on BioMAT. The final staff proposal recommended changes to the BioMAT program rules, contract terms, process, as well as recommended clarifications to the program.

On August 27, 2020, the Commission approved D.20-08-043 adopting the staff proposal, with modifications, to revise the BioMAT program rules, contract terms, and processes.

 

BioMAT Program Review materials:

 

For more information, please contact

Dieter Smiley (dieter.smiley@cpuc.ca.gov).

 

More Information on the BioMat Program


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