Manure-to-electricity facilities in California could readily generate 350 MW of renewable power, but dairy owners have been hampered by power purchase contract terms, farming advocates say. That may be about to change, though, as the California Public Utilities Commission nears resolution of procurement terms for green power from farms. The last remaining hurdle appears to be a protest by Southern California Edison over the power purchase terms the commission laid out in a decision last summer. After months of uncertainty, the issue should be resolved in the weeks ahead. In a move farm advocates call an about face for another utility, Pacific Gas & Electric put a tariff in place January 1 for purchasing electricity made by California dairies under that CPUC decision. In response, it expects to see a number of manure-to-electricity projects move ahead in the coming year. However, Edison still maintains that the CPUC overstepped its bounds by including dairies under its decision. In filings to the commission, the utility advocates that the tariff should be restricted to renewable energy produced only by water and wastewater agencies, as called for in AB 1969, enacted in 2006. Edison also objects that the commission ordered the tariff to allow dairies to either sell all of their power or just the excess power they produce but don\u2019t consume on their premises. \u201cIn exchange for the above-market price paid for the energy, utilities are supposed to receive the renewable credit for all energy produced by the generating facility and not just the excess amount,\u201d said Stuart Hemphill, Edison director of renewable and alternative power. He added that by extending the tariff called for by AB 1969 to dairies, \u201cthe CPUC doubled the state program limits.\u201d The law set the limit at 250 MW from water and wastewater agencies. Hemphill said Edison already offers a standard contract program for biomass facilities, which covers dairies. It receives about 10 inquiries a month in response to its power purchase offer. The company also buys 750 million kWh per year of power from biogas facilities, he said. Statewide, some 20 biogas systems already have been installed. However, until the commission puts to rest Edison\u2019s objections over the new tariff terms, any movement forward on new manure-to-electricity projects remains \u201cin abeyance,\u201d said Allen Dusault, Sustainable Conservation sustainable agriculture program director. \u201cThat\u2019s been a nightmare.\u201d Moreover, even with the recent headway, he said, dairies still want improvements in power purchase terms. For instance, they want the right to keep the renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction credits associated with their power making operations, which reduce greenhouse gas emissions by burning methane that otherwise would be released directly to the atmosphere. Methane is a more powerful greenhouse gas than the carbon dioxide that results when it is burned to make power. Under the CPUC decision the credits would go to the utilities that purchase the green power. Dairies also want the utilities to follow the state\u2019s interconnection process rather than an alternative Federal Energy Regulatory Commission process they say is more complicated and lengthy. PG&E\u2019s tariff would rely on the federal process. However, CPUC executive director Paul Clanon ruled that the FERC interconnection procedure would not be \u201cunnecessarily burdensome.\u201d He added that the commission staff would handle disputes about which process to use on a case-by-case basis.