Power Plants

News & Analysis as of

2014 Saw A Wave of Environmental Law Changes

The past year saw several developments in environmental law at both state and federal levels, particularly regarding water supply, water quality and regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. As federal regulators tightened the...more

PJM Proposes Capacity Performance Rules That Will Present New Opportunities and Risks for Clean Energy Resources

In response to poor performance by many generation resources in the PJM region during the 2104 “Polar Vortex” and concerns over the increasing reliance on natural gas-fired generation resources in the PJM region, PJM filed...more

FERC rules tribes exempt from some energy regulation

When a Native American tribe acquires a hydroelectric power plant licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, does the project become exempt from some federal regulations? Yes, according to a FERC order...more

FERC plans conferences on EPA carbon rule impacts

If the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed carbon regulations for power plants are adopted, how will state and regional efforts to comply with the rule impact the electric power grid? If states need new...more

Salem power plant wins market deferral

Federal regulators have granted a request by the developer of a power plant in Salem, Massachusetts, to defer its commitment to provide power to the New England market. The process reflects challenges inherent to developing...more

The Space Between Draft and Final

EPA has a lot to consider in finalizing its rule directing states to create programs to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuel fired electric generating units. The public comment period on a recently proposed...more

Renewable Energy Update -- December 2014

Renewable Energy Focus; Panasonic to build 26 megawatts in Kern County, California: Bloomberg - Dec 2: The 280-megawatt Mojave solar farm, owned by Abengoa SA’s energy holding company, has begun generating power for...more

Double Whammy for State Fuel Suppliers

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is poised to readopt the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulation in early 2015. With its readoption, CARB hopes to put to rest challenges that required a redo of the environmental...more

The Fat Lady Who Hasn’t Sung, Oil Field Technology, and a Lizard

Today is a grab-bag of topics, a pastiche if your college tuition was higher than mine. When Will the Fat Lady Sing? El Paso Marketing, LP v. Wolf Hollow I, L.P., involving a gas plant Supply Agreement,...more

Pa. Gas Utility May Use Eminent Domain to Supply Private Power Plant

A Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, judge recently authorized a natural gas public utility to use its eminent domain power in condemning easements for the construction and maintenance of a pipeline to supply gas to a private...more

Texas Supreme Court weekly orders (11/14)

In its weekly orders (11/21/14), the Texas Supreme Court issued five new opinions and granted review in three cases. Click here to read the order list and find the opinions....more

The Shale Play Today - November 2014

In This Issue: - Latest Aboveground Storage Tank Act Developments: Interpretive Rule Adopted and Comments Filed on Draft Emergency Rule: On October 21, 2014, the West Virginia Department of Environmental...more

Kentucky Federal Court Holds Tort Claims Not Preempted by Clean Air Act

State common law tort claims based on air emissions from a power plant are not preempted by the federal Clean Air Act (CAA), according to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The court agreed to...more

Regulate vs. Replace: Hg Ct in MN Affirms State Commission’s Application of Mercury Emissions Reduction Statute

Last year, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved investor owned utility Minnesota Power’s mercury emissions reduction plan for the 585 MW Boswell Unit 4, its largest coal-fired power plant. Minnesota’s Mercury...more

New York Supreme Court Pro Rata Allocation for MGP Sites on Long Island Clarifies Self-Insured Periods

A New York State trial court judge applied a pro rata time on the risk allocation for pollution from manufactured gas plants on Long Island. Keyspan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc.,Index No. 604715/1997,...more

Blue vs. Grey Over Green in Murray v. EPA; Cross-Border Rule Goes Ahead

As I posted earlier, in Murray, et al v. EPA , plaintiff Murray Energy Corporation seeks to enjoin EPA's Clean Power Plan rule even before it has been issued as a Final Rule. The Clean Power Plan proposes to regulate the...more

The Obama Clean Power Plan Nuclear Gap

If we want to arrest climate change, all we need are more renewables like wind and solar, right? Not exactly, according to a newly published Canadian report from Hatch Ltd. on lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions (“GHG”). The...more

Outstanding Design Flaws in California’s Cap-and-Trade Program

On January 1, 2013, California embarked on a grand experiment with the launch of the world’s most complex cap-and-trade program. Under this program, companies operating in California, such as food processors, power producers...more

The Shale Play Today - October 2014

In This Issue: - West Virginia Aboveground Storage Tank Act Interpretive Rule Filed and Emergency Rule Out for Comment: The Aboveground Storage Tank Act was enacted in response to the January 9, 2014 spill that...more

ISO New England's Winter Reliability Program 2014-2015

Keeping the lights on is what electric grid operators do around the clock – but challenges in New England are leading its grid operator to prepare for a winter when the availability of affordable electricity may be...more

We Need a Smarter, Greener Grid, But How?

There is no denying that the U.S. electrical grid is in need of replacing, but the route to achieving that goal is unclear. The EPA added another curve in June 2014 with its proposed and highly controversial Clean Power Plan,...more

Supreme Court of India Cancels 214 Coal Block Allocations

In a judgment delivered on 24 September 2014, the Supreme Court of India cancelled 214 coal block allocations that had been in place since 1993. Out of the 214 cancelled allotments, 42 coal blocks with end-use plants that...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - September 2014 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus: California acts to manage statewide groundwater issues: Allen Matkins - Sep 19: Faced with record drought and depleted groundwater supplies statewide, the California Legislature has...more

FERC Order 800 eases hydropower regulations

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued an order streamlining its regulations for some small hydropower projects. FERC Order No. 800 conforms the Commission's regulations to the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency...more

SDG&E 2014 Energy Storage Systems Request for Offers Among the Largest to Date

On September 5, 2014, San Diego Gas & Electric (“SDG&E”) issued a 2014 Energy Storage System (“ESS”) Request for Offers (“RFO”) soliciting at least 25 MW—and up to 800 MW—of energy storage (the “2014 ES RFO”). SDG&E’s 2014...more

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