The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalised rules that restrict the usage of small emergency generators by electric co-operatives at the local and regional level.
The EPA said units can run 100 hours a year for emergency demand response, maintenance and testing without being subjected to new federal emissions limits. Up to 50 of those hours can be used in non-emergency circumstances to prevent situations that could lead to a local or regional power disruption, according to the agency.
For peak-shaving purposes, EPA will permit generator use for up to 50 hours annually, but only until May 3, 2014. As of 2015, all emergency generators will be required to use ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel if they run more than 15 hours annually.
Co-operatives and entities that operate emergency generators of more than 100 horsepower (75 kW) for up to 100 hours a year for blackout and brownout prevention will need to collect and submit an annual report including location, dates, and times of operation.