Missouri's electric utilities are opposing a planned 25%-by-2025 renewable portfolio standard (RPS) ballot initiative, Trey Davis, Missouri Energy Development Association executive director, said Thursday.
"The 25% RPS is putting a tax on families and small business while expanding state government to do so," Davis said. The RPS will only benefit a few parties, like the renewable industry, he said.
Instead, the trade association plans to have a bill introduced when the Missouri General Assembly convenes next week that will clarify aspects of Missouri's existing 15%-by-2021 RPS, Davis said. MEDA may also try to place a question on the November ballot to maintain the existing RPS, he said.
Missouri's current RPS was created by a 2008 ballot initiative spearheaded by Renew Missouri, an advocacy group that is planning to ask Missouri voters to expand the standard to 25%. The RPS garnered 66% of the vote in 2008.
Missouri's utilities, including Ameren Missouri, Empire District Electric Co, Kansas City Power & Light and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations, support renewables, but believe that the existing law needs more time to work out, Davis said. Also, it will harm ratepayers to expand renewable requirements in a period with a slow economy and a pullback in federal financial support for renewables, he said.
The planned bill will set a strict 1% cost cap for adding renewables, set clear cost recovery language and phase in a requirement that utilities are limited to using renewable energy credits from Missouri or neighboring states. The bill will also encourage using agriculture-related renewable energy, Davis said.