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week of Feb. 18, 2020

The EnerKnol Week Ahead is back to give you the key energy policy events happening next week, all powered by the EnerKnol Platform. Coming up next week, Pennsylvania examines draft regulations for a cap-and-trade program covering power plants, in order to join the regional carbon market; New York regulators assess NextEra’s Empire State Line project designed to enable greater utilization of renewable energy from the Niagara hydropower facility and imports from Ontario; Wyoming regulators investigate PacifiCorp's latest integrated resource plan that looks to close 20 coal plants.

Featured Entities


FERC

Michigan PSC

Minnesota PUC

New Mexico PRC

New York PSC

Pennsylvania DEP

Wyoming PSC

Federal Agencies

Thursday,
February 20
FERC Gulf South's Index 99 Pipeline Project Decision

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is scheduled to issue a decision on Gulf South Pipeline Company’s proposed Index 99 Expansion Project, which consists of about 22 miles of new pipeline and associated facilities in Texas and Louisiana to accommodate growing natural gas production in the Haynesville and Bossier areas of East Texas. The $75 million project would provide about 500 million cubic feet/per day of new firm transportation service to markets along the Gulf Coast region, as well as an additional 250 MMcf/d of capacity to Gulf South’s existing facilities in northern Louisiana, for a total of 750 MMcf/d. CP19-125-000

Thursday,
February 20
FERC Monthly Commission Meeting

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will discuss the New York grid operator’s buyer-side market power mitigation rules to energy storage, complaints related to the Southwest Power Pool’s transmission charges, and other matters related to reliability, security and market operations.

Eastern Region

Tuesday,
February 18
PA DEP Draft RGGI Rules Hearing

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Citizens Advisory Council will discuss draft regulations to allow the state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, a nine-state compact that established the nation’s first mandatory emissions trading program. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order in October, directing the department to develop regulations to join the initiative, which puts a limit on carbon emissions from the power sector. READ MORE

Friday,
February 21
NY PSC Empire State Transmission Project Briefs

The New York Public Service Commission is scheduled to receive initial briefs on NextEra Energy Transmission New York Inc.’s application for a permit to construct the Empire State Line Project. The 20-mile power line will enable delivery of 2,700 megawatts from the Niagara hydroelectric facility and allow for up to 1,000 megawatts of renewable imports from Ontario. The state’s grid operator selected the $180 million project in 2017 to address transmission needs in Western New York with an expected in-service date of June 1, 2022. The project was the first to be selected through the “Public Policy Transmission Planning Process,” required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. 18-E-0765

Western Region

Monday,
February 17
NM PRC Xcel Energy Rate Hike Hearing

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission will consider a stipulation on a rate hike requested by Southwestern Public Service Company, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy Inc. Last July, the company filed an application seeking a rate increase of about $51 million, or 18.7 percent, as well as approval to close its 1-gigawatt Tolk coal-fired generating station by 2032. The company recently reached an agreement with environmental advocates and the utility division staff to adjust its revenue hike to $31 million and conduct a study evaluating an earlier retirement scenario considering the plant’s dependence on a depleting source of groundwater. 19-00170-UT

Tuesday,
February 18
WY PSC Pacificorp's Coal Retirment Plan Hearing

The Wyoming Public Service Commission will hold a technical conference on Pacificorp’s coal study in connection with its 2019 integrated resource plan to ensure that the long-term resource decisions made by the company are consistent with commission rules and in the public interest. PacifiCorp’s long-term plan proposes to retire 20 of its 24 coal units by the end of the planning period in 2038, reducing coal-fired generation capacity by about 4.5 gigawatts. The company cites economic pressures on existing coal-fired generation coupled with falling costs for new renewable resources as a justification for retirements. READ MORE

Wednesday,
February 19
MI PSC MI Power Grid Stakeholder Session

The Michigan Public Service Commission will hold a stakeholder session to discuss the role of demand response under “MI Power Grid,” a multi-year stakeholder initiative aimed to maximize the benefits of the shift to clean and distributed energy resources. The measure, unveiled in October, seeks to engage utility customers and other stakeholders to help integrate new clean energy technologies and optimize grid investments for reliable, affordable electricity service. The initiative was spurred by transformational changes in the power sector, with about half of the state’s coal-fired generation expected to close by 2025, and more retirements planned thereafter. U-20645

Thursday,
February 20
MN PUC NexEra 110 MW Wind Farm Hearing

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will consider an application by Buffalo Ridge Wind LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc., for a site permit to build a 109.2-megawatt wind project. The facility, located primarily in Lincoln County with a small portion in Pipestone County, will include up to 40 wind turbines and associated facilities, and a meteorological tower. The company has a power purchase agreement with Great River Energy to sell the output of the project for a 25-year term. WS-19-394

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