California Bill Seeks to Add Nuclear Power to Renewable Portfolio Standard

Republican lawmakers introduced legislation on Jan. 16 that would allow all hydroelectric generating facilities in operation as of Jan. 1, 2021, and nuclear power plants to qualify for California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard program. The legislation would also suspend the renewable power mandates, and direct the savings from the temporary pause to investor-owned utilities’ infrastructure investments to…

Virginia Bill Seeks to Establish Competitive Retail Power Market

Virginia Delegates Mark Keam, a Democrat, and Lee Ware, a Republican, introduced legislation on Jan. 17 that would enable customers to purchase electricity from the retail provider of their choice, ending monopoly control over the state’s energy system. The bill would require each incumbent investor-owned utility, electric cooperative, and municipal electric authority to separate its…

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Grid Modernization Efforts Expand to Accommodate Proliferation of Distributed Resources

More states are venturing into grid transformation initiatives that enable customer-focused and innovative solutions to support clean energy commitments. The electricity system is undergoing a significant transition powered by technological innovation, increased use of distributed energy resources (DER), and changing customer preferences. These factors are driving the changes needed to make the grid more efficient, flexible, resilient, and renewable.

Maryland Regulator Appeals FERC Capacity Market Order Citing Potential to Frustrate State Clean Energy Efforts

The Maryland Public Service Commission requested rehearing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s order issued last December to revamp PJM Interconnection LLC’s capacity market rules, according to a Jan. 21 news release. The ruling would expand the minimum offer price rule, or MOPR, to new or existing resources entitled to state subsidies, with certain exemptions.…

California Regulator Allots $1 Billion for Distributed Energy Projects to Boost Wildfire Resiliency

The California Public Utilities Commission on Jan. 16 approved $830 million in new funding for the Self-Generation Incentive Program, or SGIP, prioritizing energy storage projects for communities most impacted by utilities’ public safety power shutoff events to avoid the risk of power lines starting wildfires. When added to unspent funds from previous years, the decision…

New York Expects $4.6 Billion in Savings From New Pricing Structure for Renewable Energy Procurement

The New York Public Service Commission on Jan. 16 issued an order authorizing the state’s Energy Research and Development Authority to offer an index renewable energy credit price option in addition to the traditional fixed-price in future solicitations for long-term renewable energy contracts. The new pricing structure, expected to reduce risks for developers and lower…

Rhode Island Governor Signs Order for 100 Percent Renewable Electricity by 2030

Democratic Governor Gina Raimondo signed an executive order on Jan. 17 setting a goal for the state to source all of its electricity from renewable resources by the end of 2030. The order directs the state’s Office of Energy Resources to conduct an economic and energy market analysis and develop policies and programs to attain…

Solar, Wind Represent 76 Percent of New Electric Generating Capacity in 2020: EIA

About 42 gigawatts of new power generating capacity is expected to come online in 2020, with solar and wind accounting for almost 32 gigawatts of the capacity, according to a Jan. 14 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Wind represents the largest share at 44 percent, followed by solar at 32 percent and natural…

First Solar Wins Federal Approval for 450-Megawatt Project in California Desert

The U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management authorized Desert Quartzite LLC, a subsidiary of First Solar Inc., to build a 450-megawatt solar photovoltaic project covering about 3,000 acres of public lands in eastern Riverside County, California, according to a Jan. 15 news release. The project will result in a private infrastructure investment of $1…

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – States Seek Closer Scrutiny of Net Metering as Utilities Push for Reforms

The debate over net metering for rooftop solar power continues across U.S. states as utilities seek rate structures that reduce the compensation for power exported to the grid or add charges to avoid shifting grid maintenance costs to non-solar customers. More than 20 states are reexamining the policy to more precisely assess the value of distributed generation. Some have changed their rules, while others have initiated studies, and a few have opted to continue with net metering. Critical findings across state commissions will influence the outcomes in other states.

South Carolina Regulator Raises Dominion Energy’s Compensation Rate for Solar Developers

The South Carolina Public Service Commission on Jan. 3 voted to increase the rates that Dominion Energy Inc. must use to compensate independent solar providers under the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act, or PURPA. The vote revokes a November 2019 decision that lowered the rates and would have stifled solar development in the state. The…

New York’s Second Offshore Wind Solicitation Targets 1-Gigawatt of Capacity

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will launch its second solicitation for offshore wind energy this year, targeting at least one gigawatt of additional capacity, according to Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who gave his State of the State address on Jan. 8. The first solicitation held last year resulted in contracts for…