FERC Establishes $10 Million Threshold for Merger Approvals

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Feb. 26 issued a final rule amending its regulations governing public utility mergers and consolidations. The rule requires transactions with a value above $10 million to be first authorized by the commission before consummation. For transactions valued below that threshold but above $1 million, utilities do not have to…

U.S. EPA Keeps Power Plant Sulfur Dioxide Limits Unchanged, Citing Air Quality Improvements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Feb. 26 that it will not revise the existing standard for sulfur dioxide, a harmful pollutant emitted from coal-fired power plants and industrial sources, citing scientific evidence that found the current limits sufficient to protect public health. The existing standard, established in 2010 under the Obama administration, is 75…

California-Quebec Carbon Auction Sells Out, Reflects Steady Demand Amid PG&E Uncertainty

The eighteenth quarterly carbon auction held by California and Quebec sold all 80,847,404 carbon permits offered for current emissions at $15.73, above the floor price of $15.62, according to the results released on Feb. 27 by the California Air Resources Board. The auction sold about 66 percent of the permits offered for 2022 emissions at…...

Court Approves $120 Million Aliso Canyon Gas Leak Settlement

Southern California Gas Company will pay $119.5 million to compensate for the methane emissions from a major gas leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility in October 2015, according to a Feb. 25 press release from the California Air Resources Board. The settlement, approved by the Los Angeles Superior Court, will fully mitigate the 109,000 metric…

Eversource Files Final Procurement Plan for Connecticut Renewable Energy Credits

The Connecticut Light and Power Company submitted its final procurement plan for the approval of 15-year contracts to purchase class I renewable energy credits from renewable energy projects in the state, totaling $2.83 million per year in contract commitments from low emissions renewable energy projects and $5.6million per year for medium and large zero emission projects. The company’s Year…

Georgia Regulator Approves $526 Million in Spending on Vogtle Nuclear Project

The Georgia Public Service Commission on Feb. 19 announced its approval of $526.4 million in construction expenses incurred by Georgia Power Company in the first half of 2018 for the Vogtle expansion project. The agency said the authorization does not deem the expenditure to be prudent, and is only an acknowledgement that the company has…...

Maine Governor Endorses Avangrid’s $1 Billion Hydropower Transmission Line

Democratic Governor Janet Mills authorized the Office of Energy to sign onto an agreement that requests the state’s utility regulator to approve Central Maine Power Company’s 1,200-megawatt transmission project, which would deliver Canadian hydropower to Massachusetts to help that state achieve its clean energy goals. Mills said that the stipulation enhances the proposed New England…

California Invests $200 Million Towards Decarbonizing Buildings in Bid for Carbon Neutrality

The California Public Utilities Commission has begun developing a policy framework on decarbonizing buildings as part of its ambitious goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, according to a Feb. 8 order. The Commission recognizes that the state’s ambitious 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goals cannot be achieved with 100 percent renewable energy alone since 25 percent…

TVA Votes to Close Two Aging Coal Power Plants Due to Unfavorable Economics

The Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors on Feb. 14 approved the retirement of Paradise Unit 3 by 2020 and the Bull Run Fossil Plant by 2023, in order to better balance its generation system with changing demands. The vote reflects TVA’s commitment to replace less-efficient coal-fired plants with cleaner resources, despite President Donald Trump’s…...

Virginia Legislature Passes Bill Aimed at Blocking Participation in Regional Carbon-Trading Program

The Virginia legislature approved a bill that would prohibit the governor or any state agency from participating in a regional carbon market, without a two-thirds majority vote from both the legislative chambers. The state is considering its own proposed cap-and-trade rule designed to link with the nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, the nation’s…...

Competitive Suppliers Accounted for 77 Percent of Ohio’s Renewable Energy Compliance Requirements in 2017: Report

The compliance obligations under Ohio’s renewable portfolio standard have been shifting from electric distribution companies to competitive retail suppliers as consumers are exercising their choice of electric service providers, according to a Feb. 11 draft annual report by the Ohio Public Utilities Commission staff. Competitive suppliers were responsible for about 77 percent of Ohio’s overall…...

Federal Oil, Gas Auctions Fetch $1.1 Billion in 2018, Nearly Triple Previous Record

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management state offices generated more than $1.1 billion of revenue from oil and gas lease sales during 2018, nearly thrice the previous record of $408 million set a decade ago, according to a Feb. 6 press release. The agency’s New Mexico office held 2018’s biggest lease sale in September, earning…...