Utilities Sector

News & Analysis as of

EPA Publishes Final 316(b) Rule: Flexibility for Generators Means Litigation By Environmental Groups

Last Friday, EPA finally published its § 316(b) rule in the Federal Register. As we noted in May, the rule is more significant for what it does not do – require closed cycle cooling – than for what it does....more

Yieldcos – The New “Promised Land” of the Renewable Energy Space?

For the most part, with the exception of a limited number of projects referred to as “community wind,” America’s roughly 70,000 MW of installed utility scale wind and solar projects are owned directly or through subsidiaries...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds Order No. 1000, FERC’s Landmark Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation Rulemaking Order

On August 15, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously affirmed Order No. 1000, a landmark set of rules approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2011 to...more

Appeals Court Validates FERC Regional Planning Mandate as Reasoned Evolution of the Open-Access Electricity Transmission System

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Order No. 1000 mandate that going forward the high-voltage electric transmission grid be planned and fairly financed regionally by all of its operators and beneficiaries,...more

Recent UK Proposals Emphasise Importance of REMIT Compliance for Energy Firms

Two recent actions demonstrate the United Kingdom’s (“UK”) continuing commitment to enforcing the European energy laws and the need for vigorous compliance efforts by market participants. Last month, the Office of Gas and...more

Recent EU Decisions Highlight Risks of “Gun Jumping”

The European Commission (“the Commission”) last month levied a fine of EUR 20 million on Marine Harvest ASA (“Marine Harvest”), a Norwegian seafood company, for acquiring a 48.5% stake in its competitor Morpol ASA (“Morpol”)...more

Public Participation Hearings on Rate Changes Start Next Month For SCE, PG&E and SDG&E Customers

The California Public Utilities Commission will begin holding a series of public participation hearings throughout the State to provide an opportunity for customers of the three major utility companies to address proposed...more

Na-Nu Na-Nu – Final Report to Ork From Mork – Information from FCPA Inquiries

A Venezuelan company, Derwick Associates (Derwick), are under investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Derwick was reported to have been “awarded hundreds of millions of...more

Renewable Energy Update -- August 2014 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - Renewables provide 56 percent of new U.S. generating capacity in first half of 2014: Electric Light & Power - Jul 21: Solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower provided 55.7 percent of...more

CAISO Asks FERC to Approve Tariff Changes Establishing Flexible Resource Adequacy Capacity and Must-Offer Obligation Requirements

On August 1, 2014, the California Independent System Operator (“CAISO”) filed proposed tariff changes at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) in FERC Docket No. ER14-2574 that would establish new flexible...more

Of Buckeyes and Batons Rouges: Ohio and Louisiana Adopt Comprehensive Pole Access and Attachment Rules

In recent separate actions, the Public Utility Commission of Ohio (“PUCO”) and the Louisiana Public Service Commission (“LPSC”) adopted comprehensive pole attachment regulatory regimes intended to facilitate the deployment of...more

FERC approves second Southwest blackout penalty

A California irrigation district has agreed to pay a $12 million penalty to settle its role in a 2011 power outage affecting over 5 million people in California, Arizona, and Mexico. ...more

Value-of-Solar is Delayed; Minnesota Community Solar Gardens Move Forward

Last Thursday, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (“MPUC”) approved Xcel Energy’s first Minnesota-based Community Solar Garden (CSG) program. After Xcel’s initial program filing was rejected by the MPUC in April, Xcel...more

Gloves Are Off: FERC Issues Public Notice of Alleged Violations in Powhatan Investigation

On August 5, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") issued a public Staff Notice of Alleged Violations ("NAV") regarding alleged manipulative Up To Congestion trading by Powhatan Energy Fund (Powhatan) in the...more

FERC Accepts CAISO’s Proposed Generator Interconnection Process Enhancements To Facilitate Project Downsizing

On July 31, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) accepted amendments to the California Independent System Operator Corporation (CAISO) tariff designed to improve the efficiency and flexibility of the CAISO’s...more

FERC Issues Notice of Alleged PJM Market Manipulation to Alan Chen and Powhatan Energy Fund, LLC

On August 5, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Staff Notice of Alleged Violations (Preliminary Notice) stating that FERC’s Office of Enforcement has preliminarily determined, in a non-public...more

UK power generation assets: optimisation and monetisation

In recent years, the UK power sector has seen owners and/or operators of generation assets increasingly reflect on their commercial strategies with respect to their operations. In the case of power plants, this has involved a...more

Another Complaint Filed at FERC Against New England Transmission Owners to Lower ROEs

On July 31, 2014, a consortium of state attorneys general, state regulators, state consumer advocates and transmission customers filed a complaint at FERC against New England transmission owners (NETOs), seeking to reduce...more

Renewable Energy Update -- August 2014

Renewable Energy Focus - Renewables now ‘mainstream’ business for U.S. utilities, says report: PV-Tech - Aug 1: NV Energy, Xcel, PG&E, Sempra, and Edison International have topped a new index ranking investor-owned...more

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Law that Authorizes the Dominican State, through the Corporación Dominicana de Empresas Eléctricas Estatales...

On March 12, 2014, we advised that the Executive Power had introduced an important bill to the Senate (“Bill”) seeking primarily to (a) authorize the Dominican State, through the Corporación Dominicana de Empresas Eléctricas...more

Energy Technology Connections: Your Law Firm Link to Industry News - August 2014

In This Issue: - Leaders in the News - Washington Update - Event Highlights - Innovator Profile - Energy Navigator - Upcoming Events - Excerpt from Washington...more

Environmental Alert: EPA Will Not Require or Enforce Air Permits Solely For GHGs

On July 24, 2014 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Air and Radiation issued a Memorandum to all EPA Regions regarding the issuance and enforcement of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) related air permits following...more

Court Provides Guidelines on Valuing Natural Resources in Eminent Domain Proceedings

Valuing mineral rights in eminent domain proceedings is inherently speculative and can lead to wide swings in property valuations. So how do appraisers best deal with the uncertainty involved in mineral exploitation? The...more

Does The EPA Have A Thing Against Building Energy Codes?

What if there was a technology that had a 20 year track record of saving 4.8 quads of energy and 41 million tons of carbon, while saving consumers more than $44 billion over the past 20 years, and was anticipated to save...more

First FERC Workshop on Price Formation in RTO/ISO Markets Will Address Uplift Payments

Several weeks ago, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) announced that in order to facilitate its evaluation of price formation in energy and ancillary services markets operated by Regional Transmission...more

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