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week of Apr. 29, 2019

Before heading out for the weekend, have a look at EnerKnol Week Ahead, our handpicked list of energy policy events and deadlines, brought to you by the EnerKnol Platform. Coming up, members of Congress debate a bipartisan bill that seeks to boost the development of advanced nuclear reactors and re-establish U.S. leadership in nuclear energy; West Virginia revises its net metering rules following a four-year battle with solar advocates and utilities; New Jersey prepares for the transition to a new distributed solar regime.

Featured Entities

Arizona CC

Michigan PSC

New Jersey BPU

Rhode Island PUC

U.S. Congress

West Virginia PSC

Federal Agencies

April 30
U.S. Congress Public Lands and Clean Energy Hearing

The House Natural Resources Committee will examine the importance of public lands for clean energy development. About one-third of the nation’s land mass and all of its offshore areas are in federal hands. Currently, federal lands host a significant portion of the nation’s renewable energy generating capacity, including 15 percent of hydropower, 7 percent of wind power, 48 percent of geothermal energy, and 33 percent of solar energy.

April 30
U.S. Congress Leadership in Nuclear Energy Hearing

The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will discuss the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act. The bill, introduced by Chairman Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, seeks to bring together the private and public sectors to develop next-generation reactor technology. The bipartisan legislation will fund research for more modular and compact reactors as well as set up pilot programs for early deployment of these technologies. The bill also extends the length of federal power purchase agreements from 10 to 40 years to better fit the technology.

April 30
U.S. Congress Department of the Interior Reorganization Hearing

The House Natural Resources Committee will discuss the reorganization of the Department of the Interior. The U.S. Senate recently voted to confirm David Bernhardt as Secretary of the Interior. President Trump’s pick for the position has been acting secretary since Jan. 2 and has been strongly criticized by environmental groups and leading Democrats over conflicts of interest related to his previous activities as well as the way he has been spending his time at the agency since joining in 2017. The 70,000 strong department manages 500 million acres of public lands, subsurface rights, and offshore areas that produce approximately 19 percent of the nation’s energy.

May 1
U.S. Congress State of Pipeline Safety Hearing

The U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce will review the Pipeline Safety Act and discuss ways to confront new safety and security challenges and improve pipeline infrastructure. Three million miles of pipeline transport oil and gas throughout the country. President Donald Trump recently signed two executive orders aimed at speeding up the federal process for cross-border energy infrastructure projects and restrict the role of states in the permitting process for siting pipelines and other fossil fuel projects.

May 1
U.S. Congress DOE Environmental Cleanup Cost Hearing

The U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce will analyze the growing costs associated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s environmental cleanup efforts. The department faces nearly $500 billion in environmental liabilities related to cleaning up nuclear and hazardous waste which poses serious risks to human health and the environment.

Eastern Region

April 30
RI PUC Revolution Wind Project Hearing

The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission will discuss National Grid’s proposed contract to purchase 400 megawatts of electricity from Orsted US Offshore Wind’s Revolution Wind project off the Rhode Island coast. The hearings are scheduled for April 30-May 2 and May 9-10. The agency is slated to make a decision at a May 31 open meeting, followed by a June 7 deadline for a written order. 4929

April 30
WV PSC Net Metering Hearing

The West Virginia Public Service Commission will gather information about rules governing electric utility net metering for solar and other renewables. The agency proposed revised rules in 2018 following recommendations from a 2015 task force. However, electric companies sought modifications, without adequate information to decide whether the changes have merit. The commission seeks input on the comments and reply comments received and related to blank meter sockets, dual meters, and non-standard meters. GO 258.3

May 2
NJ BPU Solar Transition Proposal Hearing

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities will discuss its staff’s straw proposal to phase out the current Solar Renewable Energy Certificate, or SREC Program following legislation enacted in May 2018, which closes the program when 5.1 percent of electricity sold in the state comes from distributed solar, and transition to a new system. The board staff proposes to divide the solar credits into legacy SRECs for projects that come online before the transition point, pipeline SRECs for projects that have not started operations until that point, and SREC successor program for projects that seek registration after the 5.1 percent threshold. READ MORE

Western Region

May 1
MI PSC Consumers Resource Plan Settlement Hearing

The Michigan Public Service Commission will consider a proposed settlement in Consumers Energy Co.’s integrated resource plan. The Solar Energy Industries Association, Inc. and Cypress Creek Renewables LLC filed objections to the plan regarding investments in demand response, retirement of coal-fired Karn Units 1 and 2, new avoided cost methodology under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act and other issues. The commission set a deadline of June 10 for a ruling on the proposed agreement. U-20217

May 3
AZ CC Excessive Billing Investigation Deadline

The Arizona Corporation Commission is due to issue a report with the findings of its regulatory audit and rate review of Arizona Public Service Company after the agency received complaints of large bill increases from the utility’s electric customers. The commission said that the significant number of complaints indicate inadequate customer outreach efforts after the recent rate increase and that the utility might be making profits beyond what was authorized. READ MORE

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