ExxonMobil Granted Lease of U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve Facility

The U.S. Energy Department awarded a 20-year contract to ExxonMobil Pipeline Company to operate the Strategic Petroleum Reserve’s two-million-barrel capacity St. James marine terminal and Bayou Choctaw 36-Inch Pipeline, according to an Oct. 28 news release. The new lease, effective Jan. 1, 2020, ends Shell Pipeline Company LP’s 22-year control of the facilities. The St.…

Virginia Signs Largest State Renewable Energy Contract to Buy 420 Megawatts of Solar, Wind

Democratic Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia entered into a contract with Dominion Energy Inc. to buy 420 megawatts of renewable energy to power state government facilities, according to an Oct. 18 news release. The agreement, which includes four new solar projects and Virginia’s first onshore wind facility, will ensure that state agencies and institutions…

Trump Administration Challenges California’s Cap-and-Trade Pact With Quebec, Citing Intrusion into Federal Sphere

The U.S. Department of Justice on Oct. 23 filed a lawsuit against California for unlawfully entering into a cap-and-trade agreement with the Canadian Province of Quebec in 2013. The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, claims that the agreement interferes with foreign policy and the federal government’s full and…

New Jersey Ratepayer Advocate Cautions About Double Payments Under Nuclear Subsidy Due to Carbon Market Entry, Wholesale Market Reforms

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities must take a hard look at the ratepayer impact of nuclear subsidies as the state’s reentry into the regional carbon market and pending wholesale market initiatives will likely increase revenue for the nuclear units receiving zero emission credits, or ZECs, according to the Division of Rate Counsel. Those…

New York Finalizes Largest Offshore Wind Deal for 1.7 Gigawatts

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority executed 25-year contracts with Equinor Wind US LLC and Sunrise Wind LLC for nearly 1.7 gigawatts of offshore wind at an average all-in development cost of $83.36 per megawatt-hour in 2018 prices, according to an Oct. 23 announcement. The agency also released a report on the…

New York Adopts ‘Pay-as-You-Go’ for Retailers Under Nuclear Subsidy Program

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Department of Public Service on Oct. 21 released a final plan revising the method used to calculate load-serving entities’ payment obligations under the zero emission credit, or ZEC, program that compensates nuclear plants for carbon-free electricity production. The plan establishes a flexible, “pay-as-you-go” model…

New York Regulator Issues New Cybersecurity and Privacy Protocols to Protect Customer Data

The New York State Public Service Commission adopted new cybersecurity and data privacy requirements for third-party energy suppliers and companies that electronically receive and exchange utility housed customer data, according to an Oct. 17 press release. The commission’s decision is directed at the state’s utilities and third-party energy suppliers with standards that ensure customer data remains…

Illinois Power Agency Revises Renewable Procurement Plan for Ameren, ComEd, MidAmerican Energy

The Illinois Power Agency proposed revisions to its long-term renewable procurement plan, covering the agency’s potential procurements and programs for 2020 and 2021 for Ameren Illinois Company, Commonwealth Edison Company, and MidAmerican Energy Company, according to an Oct. 21 filing with the Illinois Commerce Commission. For the 2020-2021 delivery year, the overall number of renewable…

California Regulators Blast PG&E For Failures During Unprecedented Emergency Blackout

The California Public Utilities Commission’s President Marybel Batjer ordered Pacific Gas and Electric Company to take a multitude of immediate corrective actions after it encountered significant problems with communication and coordination during the largest public safety power shut-off event in the history of California, which impacted an estimated 2 million people, according to an Oct.…

Michigan Regulators Propose Overhaul of Natural Gas Standards Including Cybersecurity Rules

The Michigan Public Service Commission is proposing to amend rules governing the technical standards for gas service for utilities under the Commission’s jurisdiction, including cybersecurity measures, according to an Oct. 17 press release. The proposed rules reflect new technologies in the area of metering, equipment inspections and tests as well as removing references to obsolete…

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry to Step Down This Year Amid Ukraine Scandal

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced his resignation on Oct. 17 amid a Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s actions to pressure the Ukraine government to investigate his political opponent Joe Biden. The Energy Department wrote to House Committees that it would not comply with a subpoena demanding Ukraine-related documents, arguing that the House…