Electricity

News & Analysis as of

AUC Finds TransAlta Guilty of Manipulating Electricity Market

In a landmark and long anticipated decision, on July 27, 2015, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) released its 217-page decision in Market Surveillance Administrator allegations against TransAlta Corporation et al., Mr....more

Michigan Supreme Court Approves Partial Use Tax Exemption for Transmission and Distribution Equipment

The Michigan Supreme Court held that an electric utility’s transmission and distribution equipment used for both taxable and exempt purposes qualifies for a partial sales and use tax exemption. See Detroit Edison Co. v. Dept....more

FERC, NERC and Business Blackout: New CIP Standards and Fictional Cyber Attacks

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) July 16, 2015, proposing to approve various Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) reliability standards proposed by the North...more

Lloyd’s Report Highlights Risk of Cyberattacks on National Power Grid

A sophisticated cyberattack on the U.S. power grid could cause nearly $250 billion in economic losses and, under the most severe circumstances, cost more than $1 trillion to the U.S. economy, according to a recent report...more

U.S. renewable energy share highest since 1930s

In 2014, about 9.8% of the total energy consumed in the U.S. came from renewable energy sources, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This represents the highest share of total domestic energy supply...more

Tenth Circuit Rejects Constitutional Challenge to Colorado’s Renewable Energy Mandate

On July 13, the Tenth Circuit upheld Colorado’s renewable energy mandate against a claim that it impermissibly interferes with interstate commerce. This decision, addressing a state’s power to encourage or require the...more

Joint Agency Symposium Discusses Role of Electricity Sector in California’s 2030 GHG Reduction Goals

Last week, several state agencies and the California Independent System Operator held a symposium on ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electricity generation while maintaining an affordable and reliable...more

FERC Meeting Agenda Summary - July 2015

In this issue: - Electric Items - Miscellaneous - Gas Items - Hydro Items - Certificates Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s July 16, 2015 meeting,...more

State Renewable Energy Standards Pass First Big Constitutional Test

On July 13, in the first federal appellate court decision to address the constitutionality of a state renewable energy mandate, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals squarely rejected an industry-group challenge to Colorado’s...more

CFTC Requests Public Comment on Rule Amendment Certification Filing by Ice Futures

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is requesting public comment on a certification of proposed rule amendments that were filed by ICE Futures U.S. Inc. Under the amendments, ICE Futures would base position limits...more

10th Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects Challenge to Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit unanimously rejected a challenge to Colorado’s renewable-energy mandate today. The case, which was argued before the judges in January, centered...more

Wind Power Trade Association Seeks Reforms to Generator Interconnection Process

On July 7, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice seeking comments on a petition for rulemaking filed by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The petition asks FERC to implement reforms...more

Mexico’s Energy Reforms and Dispute Resolution System

In 2013, Mexico’s President submitted an initiative to Congress to modify the Mexican Constitution to allow private parties to perform exploration and production activities in Mexico. The initiative also included...more

CAISO Takes Step to Allow Distributed Energy Resources to Compete in Wholesale Energy Markets

On June 10, 2015, the California Independent System Operator (“CAISO”) released a draft final proposal (the “Expanded Metering and Telemetry Options Phase 2, Distributed Energy Resource Provider”) that, if finalized, would...more

County Waited Too Long to Assess

In Duke Energy Fayette II, LLC v. Fayette County Board of Assessment Appeals, No. 1406 C.D. 2014 (May 28, 2015), the Court found that the Fayette County Board of Assessment Appeals conducted an impermissible spot reassessment...more

SHE Matters - Summer 2015

In This Issue: - Changes to Comah Regulations - Make Sure You Are Prepared - Strengthening of Enforcement Powers Under the Environmental Permitting Regine and Tackling Waste Crime - Will You Be Affected? - The...more

Maine explores non-transmission alternatives coordinator

Should Maine designate an entity to coordinate the development of lower-cost alternatives to new electric transmission lines? The Maine Public Utilities Commission has opened an inquiry to obtain comments on the role of a...more

Supreme Court: EPA Must Consider Costs in Power Plant Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Michigan v. EPA, reversing a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and holding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must consider...more

FERC Confirms Distribution Cooperatives Must Purchase QF Output

A distribution cooperative must purchase the electrical output made available to it by a qualifying facility (QF), notwithstanding restrictions in the cooperative’s all-requirements contract with its generation and...more

Battery Energy Storage Facilities May Be Subject to Wholesale Distribution Charges

FERC found that a storage device using a utility’s distribution system in charging mode should share in the costs of the distribution system. On June 18, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) upheld an earlier...more

Oregon Enacts Energy Storage Legislation

On June 1, 2015, the Oregon legislature passed House Bill 2193-B, which requires certain electric companies to procure qualifying energy storage systems by January 1, 2020, subject to authorization by the Oregon Public...more

FERC Surges Ahead in Planning for Solar Flare Grid Standards

On May 14, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proposed the approval of a new reliability standard to address susceptibility of electric transmission systems to the effect of geomagnetic disturbances (GMDs)....more

Italy: Administrative Court Refers Feed-in Tariff Reductions to the Constitutional Court

On June 23, the Regional Administrative Court of Latium (TAR Lazio) finally handed down its decision to refer the question of the constitutional legitimacy of Article 26, paragraph 3 of D.L 91/2014 (the spalma-incentivi) to...more

Summary of FERC Meeting Agenda - June 2015

In This Issue: - Administrative Items - Electric Items - Hydro Items - Certificate Items - Excerpt from Certificate Items: C-1: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, LLC (Docket No....more

Post Session News

Minimum Wage Hike for Airport Workers - On Monday, the Metropolitan Airports Commission backed a $10 an hour minimum wage for about 2,800 employees of airline subcontractors. Commission members voted 11-4 for...more

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