News & Analysis as of

Public Utility

NC Department of Transportation Condemnation: What Do They Mean By Permanent Utility Easement?

by Ward and Smith, P.A. on

When the North Carolina Department of Transportation ("DOT") exercises its power of eminent domain, in addition to taking private property in fee simple, it will often take various easements, including Permanent Utility...more

9th Circuit Finds That FERC Acted Arbitrarily and Capriciously by Awarding Incentive Adders to PG&E for Membership in CAISO

In an opinion issued January 8, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit found that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) had acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it determined that Pacific...more

Federal Tax Reform: Major Changes Impacting Public Utilities

by Cozen O'Connor on

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law a comprehensive tax reform bill commonly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Act). The Act contains several changes of general applicability to the taxation of...more

Solar Test Case Heads to North Carolina Supreme Court

The North Carolina Waste Awareness and Reduction Network (NC WARN), a Durham, North Carolina based activist group, has filed an appeal of a North Carolina Court of Appeals decision upholding the North Carolina Utilities...more

Court Holds Federal Law Preempts California Regulations Promoting Renewable Energy Projects

by Holland & Knight LLP on

• A solar developer claimed that California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) orders promoting solar and wind generation under 3 megawatts (MW) prevented it from securing a contract from a utility under the Public Utility...more

Federal Court Finds California PURPA Programs Non-Compliant

In a decision issued last week, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted summary judgment in favor of Winding Creek Solar LLC (“Winding Creek”). Winding Creek had alleged that certain California...more

First Circuit Decision Finds No Private Right of Action Under PURPA Against a Utility

On November 13, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit held in Allco Renewable Energy Ltd. v. Mass. Elec. Co. that a Qualifying Facility (QF) does not have a private right of action against a utility company...more

The IRS Continues Providing Normalization Guidance - This Time on Both the Consistency and Proration Rules  

On October 13, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued two private letter rulings (PLR 201741004 and PLR 201741005) that provide further guidance on applying the normalization consistency rules to the inclusion of...more

SMART Moves to a New Forum: Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to Consider a SMART Tariff

Stakeholders have been following the development of “SMART” as a successor to the SREC program in Massachusetts for more than a year.  (See our previous posts on the development process here, here, and here.)  As it stands,...more

FERC and IRS Diverge on Approaches to Tax Equity Investors

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) have recently taken different approaches to issues raised by tax equity investors that have invested specifically in renewable energy...more

FERC Confirms that FPA Section 203 Approval is Not Required for Tax Equity Investment

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) has issued a declaratory order confirming that no approval under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) is required in connection with the transfer or issuance of passive...more

North Carolina’s Court of Appeals Affirms that Power Purchase Agreements are Impermissible in the State

by Holland & Knight LLP on

A recent North Carolina Court of Appeals decision, State of North Carolina ex. rel. Utilities Commission, et. al. v. N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network (NC WARN), affirming an order of the North Carolina Utilities...more

ITC Implementing New Capital Project in Ann Arbor Area

by Clark Hill PLC on

I have been contacted by property owners from whom ITC is seeking right of way for a new transmission line project in Ann Arbor and Pittsfield Township ITC’s website identifies new projects that it is contemplating. One...more

FERC Holds Certain Passive Equity Interests in Public Utilities Are “Non-Voting Securities” for Purposes of Section 203 of the...

On October 4, 2017, in a decision with significant implications for the energy project finance community, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the “Commission”) granted a petition for declaratory order filed by...more

Tax Equity Investors Wave Goodbye to FPA Section 203

by Stoel Rives LLP on

Tax equity investments, and potentially other passive investments, in renewable energy just became that much easier to make. Today, in response to a petition for declaratory order filed in January 2017 by a coalition of...more

Sens. Inhofe and Heinrich Propose to Amend Section 203 of the Federal Power Act to “Provide Parity to FERC Reviews” of Certain...

On September 27, 2017, Sens. James M. Inhofe (R-OK) and Martin T. Heinrich (D-NM) introduced S. 1860, the Parity Across Reviews Act (“PARs Act”), which, if enacted, would add a $10 million value threshold to the requirement...more

Rooftop Solar Provider Held to be a “Public Utility” in North Carolina

On September 19, 2017, the Court of Appeals of North Carolina (“Court”) held that companies that install solar panels on customer rooftops are “public utilities” under state law, at least when they retain ownership of the...more

Legal Considerations for Establishing Operations in the United States (Pennsylvania)

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

I. Introduction – Business and Legal Climate in the United States. The business climate in the United States, though subject to business cycles, is the largest, most dynamic and durable in the world. The freedom to compete...more

Is an Entity Supplying and Operating Solar Panels for an Unrelated Facility a Public Utility? North Carolina Appellate Court...

The Court of Appeals of North Carolina (“Court”) addressed in a September 19th opinion whether an entity supplying and operating a system of solar panels to a North Carolina facility is a “public utility” under North Carolina...more

Updates to Energy Related Bills in the 2017-2018

by Stoel Rives LLP on

Stoel Rives’ Energy Team has been monitoring and providing summaries of key energy-related bills introduced by California legislators since the beginning of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session. Legislators have been busy moving...more

IRS Provides Safe Harbor for Inadvertent Normalization Violations

On September 7, 2017, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2017-47, which provides a safe harbor for regulated public utilities for inadvertent or unintentional uses of a practice or procedure that is inconsistent with the...more

Illinois Announces Winning Bids for New Wind and Solar Project REC Contracts

by Bryan Cave on

Pursuant to Section 16-111.5 (e) of the Illinois Public Utilities Act, the Illinois Commerce Commission (“ICC”) convened a special meeting on September 7, 2017, to vote on whether to approve the recommendations of the...more

What is FPA Section 203(a)(1)(B)? American Transmission Company Reminded Us.

by Stoel Rives LLP on

The US Treasury will soon be $205,000 richer due to the payment of a civil penalty by American Transmission Company (ATC) related to violations of sections 203 and 205 of the Federal Power Act. ATC’s compliance failure stems...more

In 2017 Legislative Sessions, New England States Continue to Lead in Clean Energy and Climate Change Measures

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In their 2017 legislative sessions, New England states continued to show support for clean energy projects and policies, as well as efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, and continue to look to each other in determining what...more

Legislature Authorizes, But Limits, Water and Sewer Impact Fees

by Smith Anderson on

Controversy and litigation have erupted in North Carolina in recent years with regard to water and sewer impact fees levied by cities and counties on new real estate development. The fees are authorized in "local bill" State...more

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