U.S. Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Advance Innovative Energy Technologies

Senators Lisa Murkowski, a Republican representing Alaska, and Joe Manchin, a Democrat representing West Virginia, unveiled a bipartisan legislative package on Feb. 27 that compiles more than 50 energy-related measures reported by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year. The comprehensive bill supports innovative energy technologies covering a range of topics including energy efficiency,…

Wind Outpaces Hydro as the Top Renewable Electricity Source in 2019: EIA

U.S. annual wind electricity generation surpassed hydropower for the first time in 2019 to become the largest source of renewable electricity generation in the U.S., according to a Feb. 26 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Although total installed capacity of wind power exceeded that of hydro in 2016, it wasn’t until last year…

Maine Launches Solicitation for 375 Megawatts of Distributed Generation

The Maine Public Utilities Commission issued a request for proposals from solar and other renewable energy developers for small-scale projects, pursuant to a 2019 law that established a distributed generation procurement program, according to a Feb. 28 news release. The law directs the agency to conduct multiple solicitations to obtain 250 megawatts of distributed generation…

Pennsylvania Improves Customer Protections, Price Transparency in Retail Power Market

The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission on Feb. 27 adopted reforms to enhance rules related to customer information disclosure and pricing practices for retail electricity service. The revisions are intended to provide customers with accurate, timely pricing information when they are shopping for electric service from competitive suppliers. The rule changes ban termination fees in the final…

California Eases Solar Mandate, Approving Community Program Under New Building Code

The California Energy Commission on Feb. 20 approved Sacramento Municipal Utility’s proposal for a community solar program under the state’s new building standards, which took effect on Jan. 1. While the 2019 Energy Code requires a solar photovoltaic system on new homes, the commission noted that community solar was built into the code to provide…

California Carbon Auction Clears at Record High Prices

The twenty-second quarterly carbon auction held by California and Quebec sold all of the nearly 57.1 million carbon permits offered for current emissions at a price of $17.87 per allowance, above the floor price of $16.68, according to the results released on Feb. 26 by the California Air Resources Board. The current allowance price is…

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – How Utility Resource Planning is Evolving to Keep Pace with Low-Carbon Transition

Utility regulators are expanding resource planning requirements as a growing number of utilities are proposing early closure of coal plants, in addition to investing more in solar, wind and battery storage. Long-term resource plans are evolving to consider a host of emerging issues ranging from equity assessments and avoided costs, to reflecting the cost of carbon, as utilities seek to balance flexibility and reliability.

AEP Subsidiary Wins Oklahoma Approval to Add 675 Megawatts of Wind Generation

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission approved a settlement allowing Public Service Company of Oklahoma to recover costs to add 675 megawatts of wind power the state, according to a Feb. 20 news release. The move will not increase rates for customers, as cost savings resulting from the project will be passed on to them. Public Service will…

Michigan Regulator Asks DTE Electric to Submit Revised Resource Plan

The Michigan Public Service Commission on Feb. 20 sent DTE Electric Company back to the drawing board on its long-term resource plan, citing fundamental flaws including lack of competitive bidding for supply-side resource additions. The agency recommended that DTE issue a request for proposals for new generation, and raise the proposed energy efficiency targets. Considering…

FERC Orders Could Hinder Renewables, Electric Storage in New York Power Markets

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Feb. 20 issued a series of orders to narrow the resources exempt from the New York grid operator’s buyer-side market power mitigation rules. The agency dismissed a complaint from the Public Service Commission and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority seeking an exemption for electric storage…

Utility-Scale Wind Accounted for 70 Percent of Michigan’s Renewable Energy in 2019: Report

Utility-scale wind generators accounted for 70 percent of the 3.1 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity in Michigan last year, according to a Feb. 18 report by the state’s Public Service Commission. Across the state, new wind and solar projects are expected to add more than one gigawatt of new, utility-scale electricity generation in 2020 and…