week of Sep. 23, 2019

The EnerKnol Week Ahead is back with a selection of upcoming energy policy events. Next week, regulators in Massachusetts seek to add 800 megawatts of solar to their SMART program, which is fast approaching its current 1.6-gigawatt target; Federal regulators want to disclose the names of companies that violate cybersecurity standards following a wave of public requests; Congress debates a series of bills that seek to prevent taxpayers from subsidizing oil and gas development.

Featured Entities


CO PUC

EIA

FERC

MA DER

ME PUC

OH PUC

U.S. Congress

WA UTC

Federal Agencies

Tuesday,
September 24
U.S. Congress Fossil Fuel Development Hearing

The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources will discuss legislation related to fossil fuels, including H.R. 2711 to reduce and prevent gas waste and to enhance gas measuring and reporting, H.R. 4346 to protect taxpayers from unduly bearing the reclamation costs of oil and gas development and other legislation that seeks to improve returns to taxpayers for the development of federal energy resources.

Tuesday,
September 24
U.S. Congress Nuclear Regulatory Commission Oversight Hearing

The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce will discuss oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Topics may include nuclear plant retirements, grid reliability, cyber attacks, and advanced reactor designs.

Wednesday,
September 25
EIA Monthly Energy Report

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will issue its Monthly Energy Review, providing data on energy production, consumption, prices and trade. U.S. natural gas production continued to increase last month, setting a new daily production record of 92.8 billion cubic feet per day on August 19, 2019, according to the Energy Information Administration. Previous Report

Thursday,
September 26
FERC Cybersecurity Violations Disclosure Deadline

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is scheduled to receive public comment on a proposal jointly prepared by its staff and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation to provide public access to information on violations of mandatory reliability standards governing cybersecurity of the bulk electric system. FERC has received an unprecedented number of requests for this information in recent years. Under the proposal, NERC would submit each notice with a public cover letter that discloses the name of the violator, which reliability standards were violated, and the amount of penalties assessed.

Thursday,
September 26
U.S. Congress Extreme Weather in Changing Climate Hearing

The U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology will discuss forecasting and communicating extreme weather in a changing climate. A recent report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is responsible for weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, and climate monitoring, stated that 2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record and that climate-related weather events have caused $91 billion in damages to the U.S. economy.

Eastern Region

Monday,
September 23
ME PUC Non-Wire Alternatives Hearing

The Maine Public Utilities Commission will debate rate-setting mechanisms to incentivize the deployment of non-wire alternatives. The regulator will consider issues raised by Central Maine Power Company regarding the implementation of the Act To Reduce Electricity Costs through Non-Wires Alternatives. Utilities across the nation have been forgoing traditional transmission and distribution upgrades for alternatives such as energy storage, energy efficiency, demand response and more advanced grid controls. 2018-00171

Friday,
September 27
OH PUC Gas Pipeline Safety Deadline

The Ohio Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to receive comments on proposed revisions to gas pipeline safety rules as part of its regular five-year review. The proposed rule would adopt the 2019 federal safety standards and include a requirement for pipeline operators to develop a plan for abandoning inactive service lines in the state. READ MORE

Friday,
September 27
MA DER Solar Program Expansion Deadline

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources is scheduled to receive comments on a proposal 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 part of its review to examine oversubscription, land use impacts, geographic and project type diversity, and accessibility to low-income communities. READ MORE

Thursday,
September 26
ME PUC Electric, Gas Consumer Protection Hearing

The Maine Public Utilities Commission will discuss revisions to consumer protection standards for electric and gas utilities in accordance with legislation enacted in the 2019 session. The measure amends rules addressing service standards for utilities, billing practices, record keeping, and customer complaints. Initial comments are due on September 26. READ MORE

Western Region

Wednesday,
September 25
WA UTC Cost of Service Workshop

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission will go over the details of cost of service studies for investor owned utilities. The regulator wants to discuss outstanding issues with the generation, transmission, and distribution mains classification and allocation methods as well as receive feedback on the electric cost of service template and gas cost of service template. UG-170003

Thursday,
September 26
CO PUC Xcel Energy Rate Bump Hearing

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to receive public comments on a proposal by Xcel Energy to increase its electric rates by a net $153.8 million. The company’s proposal would increase monthly bills for residential customers by about $4.46 a month on an annual basis, or about 6.5 percent. The main driver of the proposed rate increase, according to Xcel, is $4.1 billion of investment in grid modernization and resilience made over the last five years.

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