Category Archives: Regulatory

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Hawaii Sets 100% Renewable Energy Goal and Opens the Door to Community Solar

Electricity on the island state of Hawaii will come 100% from renewable resources by 2045, pursuant to new legislation. The plan will end Hawaii’s current reliance on imported fuel oil which Governor Ige has said currently costs $5 billion annually. Wind, solar, geothermal and storage technology and distribution improvements will all play important roles. Hawaii currently produces … Continue reading this entry

Edison International Using Rooftop Solar to Help Modernize It's Grid

SunEdison, Inc. has secured 20-year power purchase contracts with Southern California Edison to build 33 megawatts of rooftop arrays on industrial buildings in Southern California. Once the rooftop arrays are complete, SunEdison’s public traded yieldco unit TerraForm Power Inc. will purchase the systems.  The 17 systems are expected to be operational next year, and will … Continue reading this entry

FERC Issues Proposal to Ease Regulation of Gen-Tie Lines

FERC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) that would substantially reduce the regulatory burdens placed on energy project developers that construct generator lead lines (gen-tie lines) to interconnect their projects to the grid. Currently, developers that own, operate or control a gen-tie line (referred to in the NOPR as “Interconnection Customer’s Interconnection Facilities” … Continue reading this entry

IRS Issues Notice 2015-25 Extending Safe Harbor for Continuous Construction in Order to Take Advantage of Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Yesterday, the IRS issued Notice 2015-25, which updates the guidance in Notices 2013-29,  2013-60, and 2014-46. These Notices provide that a taxpayer can show that it has “begun construction” of its qualified renewable energy facility by December 31, 2014 for purposes of taking advantage of the section 45 renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) or the … Continue reading this entry

SCE Announces RAM 6 Program Forum

Southern California Edison (SCE) announced a Program Forum for SCE’s 2015 Renewable Auction Mechanism (RAM) Program. The Program Forum will be held on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time). The main purpose of the Program Forum is to discuss SCE’s upcoming RAM 6 Request for Offers (RFO) process. … Continue reading this entry

IRS Releases Guidance on Performance and Quality Standards for Small Wind Energy Property

The IRS recently released Notice 2015-4 (the Notice), which provides performance and quality standards that small wind energy property (defined under section 48(c)(4) of the Code as property utilizing a “qualifying small wind turbine” with a nameplate capacity of not more than 100 kilowatts (kW)) must meet to qualify for the section 48 investment tax … Continue reading this entry

Production Tax Credit Extended for Renewable Projects Beginning Construction in 2014

On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5771).  H.R. 5771 includes a retroactive one-year extension of the section 45 renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) for wind and other renewable energy facilities including geothermal, biomass, landfill gas and certain hydropower and marine hydrokinetic energy projects. Taxpayers … Continue reading this entry

Iowa Supreme Court Decision Boosts Renewable Energy Development

A recent Iowa Supreme Court decision may give a boost to small-scale renewable energy development in that state. On July 11, the court issued its opinion in SZ Enterprises, LLC vs. Iowa Utilities Board (link to decision), determining that a third-party power purchase agreement for behind-the-meter generation is not subject to regulation as a “public utility” … Continue reading this entry

Expensive Lessons Learned after 8th Circuit Rules against Wind Developer in Its $400 Million Suit against a Minnesota Utility

A large wind developer, enXco Development Corp. (“enXco”), learned a hard lesson about the importance of negotiating flexibility in contracts to deal with unforeseen regulatory hang-ups, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit affirmed a lower court’s ruling to dismiss enXco’s $400 million suit against Northern States Power Co. (“NSP”), a division … Continue reading this entry

IRS Issues New Notice Concerning the Effect of Sequestration’s Haircut on Section 1603 Grant Awards

The IRS issued Notice 2014-39 this week clarifying the effect of sequestration on section 1603 grant awards. Section 1603 of the Internal Revenue Code provides a cash grant of 30 percent of the eligible basis of specified energy property. The purpose of the Section 1603 Program, created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of … Continue reading this entry

Department of Energy Announces New Loan Guarantee Program for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects

The Department of Energy’s Loan Program Office (the “DOE”) announced on April 16, 2014, a new loan guarantee program for up to $4 billion under Section 1703 of Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act. The announcement coincides with the DOE’s release of a Draft Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project Solicitation (the “Draft Solicitation”) for … Continue reading this entry

The EPA's Golden Rule: No Good Neighbor Goes Unpunished

Have you ever wondered what all those additional charges are on your electric bill? This month my bill lists a “Customer Charge,” a “2013 Fuel Adjustment” and a “State-Wide Low-Income Assistance Fee,” which add up to about $10, or $120 a year. I’m a utility lawyer, and even I don’t know what all of these … Continue reading this entry

Enforcer Nominated as FERC Chair

Enforcement experience and a prior Senate confirmation are features of President Obama’s choice to replace Jon Wellinghoff as a FERC Commissioner and Chairman. Norman Bay, the nominee, currently serves as the Director of the Office of Enforcement at FERC and was previously the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico, having been nominated by … Continue reading this entry

Southern California Edison Forum - Renewable Auction Mechanism (RAM)

On January 24, 2014, Southern California Edison (SCE) held a forum on its Renewable Auction Mechanism (RAM). RAM, a program open to all Renewable Portfolio Standard eligible technologies for projects generally not less than 3 MW and not greater than 20 MW and which are interconnected within any of the service territories of the three … Continue reading this entry

Trade War Continues - China Hits U.S. Solar Material Suppliers With Final Anti-Dumping and Anti-Subsidy Duties

In a move viewed by many as retaliation against the U.S. for the anti-dumping and countervailing duties assessed by the U.S. against Chinese solar panels, China recently finalized its anti-dumping duties on imports into China of solar polysilicon from the U.S. and South Korea. These duties could be a significant blow to U.S. solar-grade polysilicon … Continue reading this entry

DG Growth and Energy Storage – FERC Reforms the SGIA Process

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Order No. 792 late last year, which amends the pro forma Small Generator Interconnection Procedures (SGIP) and pro forma Small Generator Interconnection Agreement (SGIA) under Order No. 2006. The amendments, many of which are rooted in policies first put in place in California, are intended to remedy undue discrimination and … Continue reading this entry

SREC II – Proposed Changes to MA DOER Regulations

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) recently issued draft regulations for the second phase of its solar renewable energy certificate program, known as “SREC II.” The aim of the SREC II program is to implement the Commonwealth’s goal to install a total of 1.6 GW of solar in the state by the year 2020. As … Continue reading this entry

Deadlines for SCE and SDG&E Renewable RFOs Fast Approaching

California’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs), Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), have issued new requests for offers (RFOs) in order to meet California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS). The RFOs are for Eligible Renewable Resources that provide both Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and Energy and REC-only products. Facilities must be at … Continue reading this entry

FERC Issues New Rules on Selling Ancillary Services to Promote Energy Storage

To promote use and development of energy storage technologies, FERC recently revised its market-based rate regulations, OATT ancillary services requirements, and accounting and reporting requirements. Order No. 784 revises regulations affecting certain sales of ancillary services at market-based rates to FERC-jurisdictional transmission providers. Now, with some restrictions, without submitting a market power screen, sellers of … Continue reading this entry

Department of the Interior Conducts Second Offshore Wind Auction

On September 4, 2013, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) held its public auction of the first federal lease for an offshore wind energy site off the Mid-Atlantic coast. This was the second federal lease sale; the first was in July for two lease areas offshore Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In this … Continue reading this entry

FERC Order Strikes Down ITC Midwest’s 100% Network Upgrade Reimbursement

FERC recently struck down a MISO Tariff provision that reimbursed new generators 100 percent for interconnection-related network upgrades in ITC Midwest, LLC (ITCM) (Click here for a copy of the Order). Now generators in ITCM will only receive reimbursement for 10 percent of the costs of network upgrades rated at or above 345 kV, and … Continue reading this entry

FERC Order on Initial Decision an Important Victory for Wind Developers Looking to Challenge Interconnection Costs

FERC recently reversed an ALJ’s initial decision and found that MISO violated its obligation with respect to the study of network upgrades by requiring Jeffers South, LLC to pay for the construction of a $43 million transmission line to interconnect its 130 MW wind facility in Minnesota (a copy of the order is available here). … Continue reading this entry