Duke Energy Unveils Path to Carbon-Free Power by 2050

Duke Energy Corporation aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions from electric generation by 2050, and cut emissions by at least 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, according to a Sept. 17 press release. The company plans to double its renewable energy portfolio by 2025, and continue deploying low-cost natural gas to speed the transition…

Louisiana Commission to Slash Residential Solar Payouts at Year-End Amid Mounting Program Costs

Louisiana’s utility commission is putting an end to the state’s net metering scheme for residents with solar generators at the end of the year as the regulator seeks to limit the costs the program imposes on all ratepayers. In a 3-2 vote, commissioners approved a staff proposal to set compensation for residential solar power sold…

New York Regulators Approve $400 Million for Upstate Power Line to Support Renewables

The New York Public Service Commission on Sept. 19 authorized New York Transco, a consortium of major utilities, to borrow up to $400 million to upgrade transmission corridors that will allow increased transmission of renewable electricity across the state. In May, Transco sought approval to issue new long-term debt securities to complete the New York…

FERC Proposes Reforms to 40-Year Old Power Purchase Law to Reflect Energy Market Changes

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced a rulemaking to update provisions of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act 1978, or PURPA, which requires utilities to purchase power from small independent electricity generators at the avoided cost, or the cost the utility would spend to procure the electricity itself, according to a Sept. 19 press release.…

Virginia Governor Signs Executive Order for Carbon-Free Power by 2050

Democratic Governor Ralph Northam signed an executive order on Sept. 17, setting a goal for the state to produce 30 percent of its power from renewable energy resources by 2030 and transition to zero-carbon electricity by 2050. Legislation enacted last year set a goal of achieving 5.5 gigawatts of wind and solar by 2028. The…

States Reexamine Policies to Accommodate Distributed Generation Growth

A growing number of states are redesigning policies and incentives for distributed generation as customer-sited installations spread amid falling costs. Regulators have initiated a number of actions this year, ranging from examining the value of distributed energy resources (DER) to overhauling interconnection rules, and equipping utilities with the planning structure required to accommodate new resources.

New Jersey Board Clears Denmark-Based Orsted’s Interconnection Agreement for 1.1-Gigawatt Offshore Wind Project

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved Ocean Wind LLC’s purchase of capacity interconnection rights, or CIRs, to advance its proposed 1.1 gigawatt wind project off the coast of Atlantic City, according to a Sept. 11 order. The agency found that the CIRs reduce the costs of transmission upgrades, and therefore, the ratepayer allocation…

Xcel Energy Seeks Minnesota Approval for 80-Megawatt Solar Power Contract to Support Renewable Program

Xcel Energy Inc. asked the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to authorize a power purchase agreement with Elk Creek Solar LLC for new solar energy generation from an 80-megawatt facility to be located in Rock County, according to a Sept. 10 filing. The company plans to use the generation in support its Renewable*Connect program, a green…

Massachusetts Proposes 800-Megawatt Expansion of Solar Incentive Program

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources on Sept. 5 proposed to add 800 megawatts to the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target, or SMART, program, which is fast approaching its current 1.6-gigawatt target. The declining block program was launched last November to provide a long-term, sustainable solar incentive solution.The agency proposed several revisions to the initiative as…

EnerKnol’s State Policy Playbook: Northwest Utilities Prepare for Impending Coal Phase-Outs

Carbon reduction is becoming ingrained in the planning strategies of utilities across the Northwest in response to state-level decarbonization policies and market changes. As coal plants are no longer cost-competitive, utilities are taking advantage of new technologies and favorable economics of natural gas and renewables.