Utilities Sector

News & Analysis as of

Some PURPA Qualifying Facilities are More Qualified Than Others

In a fascinating decision last week, a divided panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Texas Public Utilities Commission had authority to limit the universe of “Qualifying Facilities” under the Public...more

Fifth Circuit Allows Texas Commission to Limit PURPA Sales

On September 8, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit dealt a blow to Exelon Corp. (“Exelon”), rejecting challenges by various Exelon wind-generating entities to a Texas Public Utility Commission (PUCT)...more

Renewable Energy Update -- September 2014 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - Blue and red states going green on energy policy: USA Today - Sep 11: Politically "red" and "blue" states are increasingly turning green as they push energy efficiency and renewable power to...more

Fifth Circuit Holds that Texas Public Utility Commission Can Limit Ability of Intermittent Wind Generators to Sell Their Power...

On September 8, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (“Fifth Circuit”), in a 2-1 decision, reversed an opinion by the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas (“District Court”)...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC's Order No. 1000

On August 15, 2014, the D.C. Circuit issued a per curiam decision rejecting challenges to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Order No. 1000 rulemaking brought by certain petitioners, including state regulatory...more

FERC authorizes mine drainage microhydro

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a hydropower license to a project whose turbines generate electricity from acid mine drainage. The micro-hydropower license issued to the Antrim Treatment Trust illustrates...more

El Paso Electric Company Issues 25 MW Solar RFP

The El Paso Electric Company (EPE) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking turnkey proposals for the engineering, procurement and construction of two (2) utility-scale solar energy generating facilities, with a...more

Renewable Energy Update -- August 2014 #6

Renewable Energy Focus - Underground energy debate powering up - San Diego Union-Tribune - Aug 26: California lawmakers may decide this week whether San Diego County utility customers must underwrite a new fleet of...more

D.C. Circuit Ruling Upholds New Ground Rules in Development of Electric Transmission Infrastructure

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC or "Commission") landmark regional electric transmission planning rulemaking, a multi-year effort by the Commission that has been met with vigorous opposition from some...more

California Energy Commission delays AB 1103 Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure Requirements for 2 years for buildings between...

The California Energy Commission ("CEC") issued an Emergency Rulemaking Action to delay the implementation of the California Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program ("AB 1103") relating to buildings between...more

FERC Proposes to Streamline Market-Based Rate Program

On June 19, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") issued a notice of proposed rulemaking ("NOPR") proposing to revise its policies for applications to sell energy, capacity, and ancillary services at...more

Governor’s Passion For Legislative CEQA Reform Has Waned, Contra Costa Times Reports After Mercury News Interview

On August 15, 2014, the Contra Costa Times reported on a wide-ranging interview of California Governor Jerry Brown conducted by the Mercury News opinion and editorial board on that same date. While largely devoted to other...more

Renewable Energy Update -- August 2014 #4

Renewable Energy Focus - Solar plant's downside? Birds igniting in midair: CBS News - Aug 19: Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's...more

Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Appeals Act 13 Ruling to State Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PPUC) is asking the state Supreme Court to review a July ruling by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court that strips PPUC of its authority to review and approve local drilling...more

Renewable Energy Update -- August 2014 #5

Renewable Energy Focus - Los Angeles' city-owned electric utility raises its energy efficiency ambitions: Energy Collective - Aug 13: The five-member Board of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has...more

DOE Issues Draft Triennial National Electric Transmission Congestion Study

On August 19, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Notice of Public Comment on its draft triennial National Electric Transmission Congestion Study (“Congestion Study”). DOE prepares such congestion studies every...more

HUD Notice has potential to encourage broad PHA renewable energy rollout

Housing authorities that are seeking alternate energy sources or new funding streams will be particularly interested in HUD’s latest PIH notice. It ushers in a number of programmatic changes in an effort to increase the use...more

Non-Incumbent Transmission Developers Win with Court’s Affirmance of FERC’s Order No. 1000

Non-incumbent transmission developers scored a big win last week. As we previously reported here, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld FERC’s Order No. 1000. Among other things, Order 1000 mandated that a regional...more

D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenges to FERC’s Order No. 1000

The court turned back all challenges to FERC’s order, which imposed major regional transmission planning requirements, concluding that FERC has adequately justified the order and acted within its statutory authority....more

CPUC Opens Rulemaking to Incorporate Distributed Energy Resources Into Grid Planning Process for California's Investor-Owned...

On August 14, 2014, the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) issued an Order Instituting Rulemaking (“Order”) to establish policies, procedures, and rules to guide California investor-owned electric utilities...more

Landmark Massachusetts Net-Metering Bill Goes up in Smoke as Water-Downed Compromise Bill Is Agreed to on Last Day of Legislative...

An eleventh-hour compromise by the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee effectively gutted the highly publicized net metering and solar power bill, which, as proposed, was considered by many including the Solar Energy...more

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

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