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Washington Bill Incentives Conversion of Last Coal Plant to Biomass or Natural Gas

– by Anna Simet, February 22, 2016, Biomass Magazine

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Photo: Transalta

Washington’s last coal-fired power plant may have a new incentive to convert to a cleaner fuel, rather than closing down in less than a decade.

SB 5575, which passed the Senate on Feb. 12 and was scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Technology and Economic Development on Feb. 23, would provide the 1,340-MW Centralia Coal Plant with sales and use tax exemptions, in the form of a remittance of tax paid, to encourage the coal-fired electric generation plant to convert to biomass energy or natural gas.

According to the bill summary, construction of new structures or renovation of existing structures for the purpose of the conversion would be tax exempt, including labor and services to construct the facility and the machinery, as well as equipment required for the conversion. The tax exemptions would be in the form of a remittance that wouldn’t be paid until the conversion of the facility is operationally complete, but not earlier than July 1, 2020.

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