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week of May. 6, 2019

Take a moment to fill out your calendar with the EnerKnol Week Ahead, the energy policy calendar powered by the EnerKnol Platform. Coming up, the Puerto Electric Power Authority submits a revised integrated resource plan as the island shifts to renewable energy; Massachusetts regulators look at transmission options for the 800-megawatt Vineyard offshore wind project; Minnesota regulators receive more input on their investigation of performance-based rates.

Featured Entities






Puerto Rico EC

Rhode Island PUC

U.S. Congress

Federal Agencies

May 7
U.S. Congress Interior Department Budget Hearing

The House Appropriations Committee will examine the Interior Department’s fiscal year 2020 budget request for an 8.5-percent hike in funding from the previous year to $12.6 billion. The department will devote about $830 million to energy development on federal lands and water for oil and gas, coal, and renewables, with almost $28 million dedicated to offshore renewable energy. The 70,000 strong Department of the Interior manages 500 million acres of public lands, subsurface rights, and offshore areas that produce approximately 19 percent of the nation’s energy.

May 7
EIA U.S. Energy Outlook

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will issue its Short-Term Energy Outlook report, providing a forecast of energy supply, demand, and prices. Energy consumption in the United States hit an all-time record last year of 101.3 quadrillion British thermal units, up 4 percent from 2017 and 0.3 percent more than the previous record set in 2007.

May 7
DOE Advanced Solar Technologies Funding

The U.S. Energy Department is due to receive a letter of intent from applicants seeking to submit proposals under the agency’s $130 million program to advance research and development of early-stage solar technologies. The department is looking to support up to 80 projects focused on photovoltaics, concentrating solar-thermal power, soft costs reduction, innovation in the solar manufacturing sector, and advanced grid integration technologies. Concept papers are due by May 14 and full applications by July 25.

Eastern Region

May 9
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 agency is slated to make a decision at a May 31 open meeting, followed by a June 7 deadline for a written order. 4929

May 9
MA DPU Vineyard Wind Transmission Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities will discuss transmission infrastructure needed to connect Vineyard Wind LLC’ planned 800-megawatt offshore wind farm. The project, located south of the island of Martha’s Vineyard, will be the first large-scale offshore wind farm in the U.S. and is scheduled to start by 2021. The state’s electric utilities are required to enter into contracts for 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind energy by the end of June 2027 as part of Massachusetts’ goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Vineyard Wind LLC is co-owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid is owned by Iberdrola SA. EFSB17-05

May 10
PR EC Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Plan Deadline

The Puerto Rico Energy Commission is due to receive a revised integrated resource plan from the Puerto Electric Power Authority, ahead of the March 2020 schedule, to reflect changes in demand and generation as a result of hurricanes Irma and Maria, which devastated the island’s power grid last year. The commission determined the need to update the 20-year resource plan before the mandatory three-year review date to assess any effects from the hurricanes on the island’s electric market. The U.S. territory recently passed legislation which among other energy reforms set a 100 percent renewable portfolio standard by 2050. CEPR-AP-2018-0001

Western Region

May 6
MN PUC Performance-Based Rates Investigation Deadline

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to receive comments on its investigation into performance metrics, standards and incentives for Xcel Energy Inc. In 2011, the state legislature authorized the regulator to approve multiyear rate plans, which opened the door for exploring more comprehensive PBR mechanisms. The commission set up a stakeholder consultation process with a focus on PBR mechanisms that ensure affordability, reliability, service quality, customer satisfaction and environmental performance, similar to other states that are also investigating these policies. The discussion is happening while Minnesota picks up the momentum in committing to a carbon-free future at state government and utility levels. CI-17-401

May 8
MI PSC Consumers Resource Plan Settlement Deadline

The Michigan Public Service Commission is scheduled to receive briefs on 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

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