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On October 15, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“Commission”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) in Docket No. RM21-2, in which it proposes to amend its regulations implementing the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (“PURPA”) to clarify that the definition of “useful thermal energy output” of a topping-cycle cogeneration qualifying facility (“QF”) includes energy produced by Solid Oxide Fuel Cell systems with integrated natural gas reformation equipment. 

The Commission issued this NOPR in recognition of the technical development and commercialization of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell systems with integrated natural gas reformation equipment over the past decade, and in response to a Petition for Rulemaking filed by Bloom Energy Corporation (“Bloom Energy”) in Docket No. RM20-20.  The Commission states that the NOPR furthers PURPA’s goal of encouraging the innovation and development of cogeneration facilities. 

The NOPR is limited only to Solid Oxide Fuel Cell systems with integrated natural gas reformation that take in natural gas to produce hydrogen and to generate electricity by using steam from the power generation process to reform the natural gas to produce the hydrogen that the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell systems use to generate electricity. 

Comments on the proposed revisions are November 25, 2020.

The NOPR can be accessed here.

For further information regarding the NOPR, please contact Lisa Gast, Peter Scanlon, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Sean Neal, or Clarence Hawkes III.