Minnesota Regulators Approve CenterPoint’s Renewable Natural Gas Interconnection Plan

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Nov. 21 granted CenterPoint Energy’s request to offer renewable natural gas, or RNG, interconnection service. The approval establishes a process for producers to inject RNG into the company’s system and creates terms and conditions for the service, including proposed interconnection rates. CenterPoint said that the proposal responds to demand…

Visual Primer: Joe Biden’s Victory Hailed as Turning Point in U.S. Energy and Climate Policy

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s energy agenda prioritizes clean energy and climate action, with a far-reaching strategy, which includes rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to achieve a carbon-free power sector by 2035, and banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters.

Texas Grid Operator Projects Sufficient Generation for Upcoming Winter, Spring

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. expects nearly 83,000 megawatts of resource capacity to be available to meet the projected peak demand of 57,699 megawatts for the upcoming winter season from December 2020 to February 2021. The winter peak demand forecast in the grid operator’s final winter resource adequacy assessment, released on Nov. 5, …...

Visual Primer: State Regulators Scrutinize Gas Utility Planning to Align With Climate Goals

A growing number of states are investigating long-term planning of natural gas utilities to explore cost-effective alternatives that better align with climate policies. Investigation into the future of the gas industry is becoming important to develop strategies that facilitate progress toward a net-zero emissions energy future while safeguarding ratepayer interests and ensuring reliable service.

New York Governor Announces Creation of Special Counsel for Ratepayer Protection

Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed New York City Council Member and former Assembly Member Rory Lancman to the new role of Statewide Special Counsel for Ratepayer Protection, according to an Oct. 30 press release. In the new role, Lancman will assess the performance of the state’s regulated utilities across the electric, natural gas, water, and…...

Ameren Missouri’s Natural Gas Rates Increase

The Missouri Public Service Commission on Oct. 29 announced changes to Ameren Missouri’s wholesale cost of natural gas as well as a cost adjustment, which will result in a rate increase of about $0.03 per hundred cubic feet of gas effective Nov. 1. At present, residential customers pay approximately $0.35 per hundred cubic feet of…...

Massachusetts Regulators Investigate Role of Natural Gas Industry in Achieving Net-Zero Emissions

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities opened an inquiry to examine the role of natural gas distribution companies in achieving the state’s 2050 climate goals. The move follows the Baker-Polito administration’s determination establishing net zero greenhouse gas emissions as the state’s legal emissions limit for 2050. The proceeding will explore strategies to facilitate progress toward…...

Visual Primer: FERC Order on PJM Capacity Market Reforms Hinders States’ Plans for Clean Energy Transition

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued an order on implementing reforms that expand the minimum offer price rule (MOPR) to most state-subsidized resources participating in the regional capacity market administered by PJM Interconnection LLC, which operates across 13 states and the District of Columbia. The ruling has sparked concerns over its potential to harm renewable generation seeking to participate in the capacity market and frustrate state clean energy policies.

U.S. Energy Department Announces First Extensions of Natural Gas Export Terms Through 2050

The U.S. Energy Department on Oct. 21 granted seven applications extending the terms of long-term liquefied natural gas export authorizations to non-free trade countries through 2050, in accordance with a policy statement issued in July. The policy, which marks a change from the prior practice of granting 20-year export terms, also allows existing applicants to…...

Natural Gas Generators Accounted for 43 Percent of U.S. Electricity Generating Capacity in 2019: EIA

Natural gas-fired generators accounted for 43 percent of operating U.S. power generating capacity in 2019, according to an Oct. 16 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration based on the agency’s annual survey of electric generators. They provided 39 percent of generation last year, more than any other source. Most of the capacity added in…...

Texas Commission Approves El Paso Electric’s 228-Megawatt Natural Gas Power Plant

The Texas Public Utilities Commission on Oct. 16 issued an order allowing El Paso Electric to add a 228-megawatt natural gas-fired generating unit to its Texas-based Newman Power Station. The project is expected to come online in 2023 at an expected cost of $143 million. By the end of 2022, El Paso Electric plans to…...

Pennsylvania Regulator Slashes UGI Utilities’ Natural Gas Rate Hike Request by 70 Percent

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission approved a settlement allowing UGI Utilities Inc. to increase its annual operating revenues by $20 million, or 2.7 percent, implemented in a phased manner. In its initial filing in January, the UGI Corp. subsidiary asked for an annual revenue increase of approximately $74.6 million. During the three-step phase in, the…...