EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – States Extend Much-Needed Regulatory Relief to Solar Industry in Response to COVID-19

A handful of U.S. states have taken steps to provide relief for the solar industry that has been facing uncertainties in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Measures to address the ensuing challenges range from expanding incentive programs, extending project deadlines, and expediting new projects.

California Adopts New Standard Contracts for Small Generators Under Federal Power Purchase Law

The California Public Utilities Commission on May 15 issued a decision adopting a new standard offer contract for independent electricity generators of up to 20 megawatts seeking to sell their power to regulated utilities under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act 1978, or PURPA. The commission established a contract length of 12 years for new…...

New York Regulator Initiates Power Grid Study to Advance Clean Energy Goals

The New York Public Service Commission on May 14 opened a proceeding to implement the provisions of the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act with regard to distribution and transmission upgrades and capital expenditures needed to meet the state’s clean energy goals. The law established a new siting office to streamline permitting for…...

Maine Approves Avangrid’s $950 Million Hydropower Transmission Project

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection on May 11 granted a permit allowing Central Maine Power Company to build its New England Clean Energy Connect, a transmission project designed to deliver up to 1.2 gigawatts of Canadian hydropower into the Northeast. The proposed 145-mile high-voltage power line would cross western Maine to supply Massachusetts with…...

U.S. Renewable Portfolio Standards – May 2020 Update

State renewable portfolio standards are a key driver behind the torrid expansion of wind and solar generation across the U.S., responsible for about half of the nation’s deployment of clean energy sources over the last couple of decades, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Over three dozen states, territories and the nation’s capital have…

Trump Administration Approves 690-Megawatt Solar Project, Largest in U.S.

The U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management on May 11 approved the Gemini Solar Project, a proposed 690-megawatt facility, located about 33 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The $1 billion project, which includes 380 megawatts of battery storage, is expected to be the eighth largest in the world. The project will serve NV Energy…...

U.S. Agriculture Department Announces $100 Million to Expand Biofuel Availability

The U.S. Agriculture Department on May 5 issued a notice of funding of up to $100 million in competitive grants for projects designed to boost the sale and use of renewable fuels under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, or HBIIP. The initiative will offer cost-share grants of up to 50 percent of project costs,…...

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Growing Demand for Energy Resilience Brings Microgrids to the Forefront

More states and utilities are exploring microgrids as part of their resiliency strategies driven by the growing demand to bolster the reliability of the power system in the face of extreme weather events, such as storms and wildfires.

Virginia Reopens Renewable Energy Pilot With Expanded Participation Limit

The Virginia State Corporation Commission on May 6 announced the resumption of a renewable energy pilot program, following recent legislation that expanded the statutory limit for the program. The pilot allows non-utility owners of renewable energy to sell electricity to utility customers under a power purchase agreement. Due to the high interest in the program,…...

Connecticut Strengthens Marketing Standards for Third-Party Electric Suppliers

The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority on May 6 issued a final decision adopting comprehensive marketing standards and sales practices for electric suppliers. The new standards are designed to ensure that customers choosing third-party suppliers have access to accurate information to make educated decisions. The standards apply to switching practices, solicitations and renewals, hiring and…...

California Plans to Expedite Microgrid Deployment to Prepare for Utility Power Shutoffs

The California Public Utilities Commission on April 29 proposed a decision adopting short-term actions to expedite the deployment of microgrids and related resiliency strategies that would mitigate the impacts of safety power shutoff events to avoid the risk of power lines starting wildfires. The proposal would direct the state’s large investor-owned electric utilities to streamline…...

SWEPCO Wins Arkansas Approval to Acquire 800 Megawatts of Wind Power

The Arkansas Public Service Commission on May 5 approved a settlement agreement, allowing Southwestern Electric Power Co. to acquire up to 810 megawatts of wind energy from three projects in Oklahoma. The company will invest $1.01 billion to own 54.5 percent of a 1,485-megawatt portfolio of wind projects, which it plans to buy with Public…...