Signed Energy Act Sets Tone for Upcoming Energy Legislation Debates

Insight for Industry – Energy Efficiency Improvement Act Will Reduce Energy Demand The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, which President Obama signed into law on April 30, will add momentum to falling energy consumption per capita in the United States by reducing energy demand from commercial buildings, manufacturing plants, and homes. The relatively uncontroversial...

Market Speculation Drops in 27th RGGI Carbon Allowance Auction

Insight for Industry – RGGI Market Gaining Stability The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative’s (RGGI) first quarterly auction of 2015 (Auction 27) results indicate a stable market design as compliance entities purchased all allowances and the clearing price remained below the Cost Containment Reserve (CCR) threshold. Despite high overall demand, zero non-compliance (solely financial market) entity...

REV Policy Framework Restricts Utility Ownership of Distributed Energy Resources

Distributed System Platform to Facilitate New Resource Integration The marketplace envisioned under the New York Public Service Commission’s (PSC) Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding targets efficient development of distributed energy resources (DERs). In its REV Track One regulatory framework issued on February 26, 2015, the New York PSC determined that utilities will perform the...

New York Utilities to Create New Distribution System Platform

Incumbent Utilities will act as Distributed System Platform Providers New York Public Service Commission (PSC) and Department of Public Service (DPS) staff has deemed incumbent utilities as the best entities to develop new distributed system platforms (DSPs) under the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding. The proceeding aims to reorient New York’s electric industry and...

Demand Response to Grow Under Alternate Scenarios Regardless of FERC Order 745 Outcome

Demand response participation in wholesale power markets has varied across Regional Transmission Organizations since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission finalized Order 745 in 2011. The outcome of the Supreme Court’s pending review of the May 2014 Order 745 vacatur will have varying impacts across RTOs based on market structure and demand response enrollments in wholesale...

NY PSC Orders All State Utilities to Implement Demand Response

Expansion of demand response across utility territories is expected to provide longer-term benefits by reducing energy costs, avoiding or deferring new infrastructure, and improving overall system reliability and resiliency.    Demand response (DR) programs have primarily focused on addressing peak loads and meeting reliability needs during system stress conditions.  On December 15, 2014, the New...

FERC and NARUC Panelists Voice Concerns Over Clean Power Plan Reliability Impacts

State and Regional Regulators Voice CPP Concerns at FERC and NARUC Meetings This past week, states and industry stakeholders directly voiced questions, concerns, support and opposition for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed emissions reductions from existing power plants. On February 19, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) held its first of four technical...

NY REV Impact Statement Identifies Billions in Cross-Cutting Benefits by 2026

The REV and CEF are anticipated to yield overall positive environmental impacts, primarily by reducing fossil fuel-based energy generation and supporting demand management, rate structures, electric vehicles, energy storage, and smart grid technologies.   On February 6, 2015, the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) released its Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement providing...

Apple’s $848M Contract is Largest Commercial Solar Investment

Apple’s $848M power purchase agreement with First Solar could stimulate more corporate solar contracts, spurred by looming solar tax credit reductions. On February 10, 2015, First Solar Inc. announced that Apple has committed $848M to purchase 130 MW of clean energy from First Solar’s California Flats Solar Project under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA)....

President’s Budget Would Increase Funding for Renewable Technologies but Defund Fossil Energy Research

The House Energy and Power Subcommittee heard testimony from Secretary Moniz on the DOE FY 2016 budget request, which outlined $1+B in renewable energy program funding increases but a decrease to fossil energy research and development. On February 11, 2015, the House Energy and Power Subcommittee held a hearing on the Department of Energy’s (DOE)...

California Climate Bills Could Set Precedent for Emissions Policies in Other States

California Senators Propose to Increase State’s Renewable Energy Targets in Support of Governor’s 50-50-50 Goal On February 10, 2015, California Democrat Senator Kevin de León publicly announced four bills as part of the California Climate Leadership bill package to support the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and establish objectives beyond its 2020 emissions reduction targets....

Wisconsin Court Ruling Favors Net Metering Customers

A Wisconsin court decision rejecting restrictive net metering policies reflects the acknowledged need for state policies that encourage customer-sited electricity generation. Wisconsin is not a leading state for solar photovoltaic (PV) installations — its 19 MW of installed solar capacity ranks 27th in the country, paling in comparison to California’s 8.5+ GW, and Arizona’s nearly...