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Category Archives: Energy regulatory

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SDG&E 2014 Energy Storage Systems Request for Offers Among the Largest to Date

By Michael J. Gergen, Marc T. Campopiano and Andrew H. Meyer On September 5, 2014, San Diego Gas & Electric (“SDG&E”) issued a 2014 Energy Storage System (“ESS”) Request for Offers (“RFO”) soliciting at least 25 MW—and up to 800 MW—of energy storage (the “2014 ES RFO”).  SDG&E’s 2014 ES RFO is among the largest … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Holds that Texas Public Utility Commission Can Limit Ability of Intermittent Wind Generators to Sell Their Power Under PURPA As “Firm Power,” Contrary to FERC and District Court

By Michael J. Gergen and Tyler Brown On September 8, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (“Fifth Circuit”), in a 2-1 decision, reversed an opinion by the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas (“District Court”) and held that the Public Utility Commission of Texas (“PUCT”) acted within … Continue Reading

CPUC Opens Rulemaking to Incorporate Distributed Energy Resources Into Grid Planning Process for California’s Investor-Owned Utilities

By Michael J. Gergen, Marc T. Campopiano, and Andrew H. Meyer On August 14, 2014, the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) issued an Order Instituting Rulemaking (“Order”) to establish policies, procedures, and rules to guide California investor-owned electric utilities (“IOUs”) in developing their Distribution Resources Plan Proposals (“DRPs”) in accordance with the requirements of Public … Continue Reading

CAISO Asks FERC to Approve Tariff Changes Establishing Flexible Resource Adequacy Capacity and Must-Offer Obligation Requirements

By Michael J. Gergen and Andrew H. Meyer On August 1, 2014, the California Independent System Operator (“CAISO”) filed proposed tariff changes at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) in FERC Docket No. ER14-2574 that would establish new flexible resource adequacy capacity (“FRAC”) and must-offer obligation (“MOO”) requirements aimed at ensuring that adequate flexible capacity … Continue Reading

CAISO Energy Storage Interconnection Initiative

By Michael J. Gergen, Eli Hopson, and Andrew H. Meyer The California Independent System Operator (“CAISO”) is moving forward with a stakeholder initiative to examine issues with connecting energy storage facilities to the CAISO controlled grid under the CAISO’s existing interconnection rules, and to develop new policies as needed to clarify and facilitate interconnection of energy … Continue Reading

DOE Announces New Renewable and Efficient Energy Loan Guarantee Solicitation

By Michael Gergen and Eli Hopson On July 3, 2014, the United States Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Programs Office issued a new “Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy” solicitation for loan guarantees. DOE issued the Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy solicitation under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and its implementing regulations … Continue Reading

FERC Conditionally Accepts CAISO and PacifiCorp Proposals to Implement a Regional Energy Imbalance Market in Western States

By Michael J. Gergen, Jared W. Johnson, and David E. Pettit On June 19, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) conditionally accepted revisions to the California Independent System Operator Corporation’s (“CAISO”) FERC Electric Tariff to implement the CAISO’s proposed Energy Imbalance Market (“EIM”) that will allow neighboring balancing area authorities (“BAAs”) in … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Allows to Stand Ruling That Sources of Air Pollutants are Subject to State Common Law Tort Claims

By Michael G. Romey, Aron Potash and Gregory Fuoco (summer clerk) On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would not review a decision by the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit allowing state common law tort claims against sources of air pollutants.  This spells uncertainty for emitters, who now must look … Continue Reading

CAISO Proposes Flexible Ramping Product

By Michael J. Gergen, Jared W. Johnson, and Andrew H. Meyer The California Independent System Operator (“CAISO”) has taken a significant step toward proposing a new ancillary service known as the “Flexible Ramping Product” as part of its market design.  With increasing levels of variable energy resources on the CAISO-controlled grid, maintaining power balance requires … Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court Vacates FERC Order No. 745 On Demand Response Compensation

By Michael J. Gergen and Miles B. Farmer On May 23, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court issued a decision in Electric Power Supply Association v. FERC (“EPSA”) vacating and remanding FERC’s Order No. 745, which provides compensation for demand response resources that participate in the energy markets administered by Regional … Continue Reading

New York Public Service Commission To Consider Fundamental Transformation of the Role and Regulation of Electric Distribution Utilities

By Michael J. Gergen, Benjamin M. Lawless, and Andrew H. Meyer On April 25, 2014, the New York Public Service Commission (“NYPSC”) instituted a proceeding it terms “Reforming the Energy Vision” (the “REV Proceeding”) to consider “fundamental changes in the manner in which [electric distribution] utilities provide service” along with related regulatory and ratemaking issues … Continue Reading

White House Announces Methane Reduction Strategy

By Joel Mack, Eli Hopson and Ben Lawless On March 28, 2014 the White House announced its Methane Reduction Strategy  (“MRS”) containing the broad outlines of a multi-agency strategy to reduce methane emissions  from four major sources: the oil and gas industry, cattle and dairy farming, coal mining, and  landfills. The MRS is part of … Continue Reading

Federal Approval of Tule Wind Project Upheld in District Court on NEPA, Migratory Bird Act, and Bald & Golden Eagle Act Claims

By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton and Taiga Takahashi On March 25, 2014, in The Protect Our Communities Foundation et al. v. Jewell et al. [Click here to view the opinion], the US District Court for the Southern District of California issued a decision on a challenge to the Tule Wind Project and found in … Continue Reading

California Public Utilities Commission Approves New Resources in Southern California

By Marc T. Campopiano and Benjamin D. Gibson On March 13, 2014, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted D.14-03-004, which authorized Southern California Edison (SCE) to procure 500-700 MW of additional resources and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to procure 500-800 MW of additional resources.  The CPUC will require the utilities to fulfill … Continue Reading

CAISO Announces New Stakeholder Process to Address Reliability, Including Possible Market-Based Capacity Backstop; First Meeting is February 4

By Michael Gergen, Jared Johnson and Andrew Meyer The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has announced that it is starting a new “Reliability Services” stakeholder process.  In a January 14, 2014, Market Notice the CAISO said that the new stakeholder process would address three related issues: (i) the development of a replacement proposal for the … Continue Reading

California Public Utilities Commission Approves Pioneering Energy Storage Mandate

By Marc Campopiano, Neeraj Arora, Jared Johnson and Benjamin Gibson The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will require the state’s three large investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to invest in a combined 1,325 MW of energy storage by the end of 2020, the first-such mandate in the United States.  The CPUC views increased deployment of energy storage … Continue Reading

Assembly Bill 327 Removes Upper Limit From California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard

By Michael J. Carroll and Marc T. Campopiano On October 7, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 327, removing the current ceiling on California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS).  As discussed previously, the RPS requires regulated sellers of electricity to obtain a percentage of their electricity from certified renewable resources. In 2011, … Continue Reading

EPA Issues 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard Limits, Hints at Blend Wall Reductions for 2014

By Ann Claassen and Eli Hopson Last week EPA finalized the Renewable Fuel Standard (“RFS”) levels for 2013.[1]  Although EPA missed the statutory deadline of November 30, 2012, for setting levels for the 2013 RFS, EPA notes that the statute does not provide any penalty for missing the deadline, nor does it remove the general … Continue Reading

EPA Finalizes Guidance Documents for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) Class VI Injection Wells

By Claudia M. O’Brien and Marc T. Campopiano The Environmental Protection Agency recently finalized two guidance documents for Class VI wells used for long-term carbon capture and sequestration (CCS): the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program Class VI Well Area of Review Evaluation and Corrective Action Guidance and the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program Class VI Well Site Characterization … Continue Reading

Air & Climate Forecast: July 2013

Latham & Watkins is pleased to present a complimentary 60-minute webcast on Wednesday, July 24 at 9:00 am pacific/12:00 pm eastern. The webcast is presented by the Air Quality and Climate Change Practice and will address the following current air quality and climate change regulatory and policy updates: The recent decision in the California Low Carbon Fuel … Continue Reading

9th Circuit Upholds Federal Housing Finance Authority Directive Barring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from Purchasing Mortgages on Properties Encumbered by Senior PACE Liens

By Michael Gergen and David Pettit On March 19, 2013, in County of Sonoma v. Federal Housing Finance Authority, the U.S Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit joined the 2nd and 11th Circuits in upholding a directive from the Federal Housing Finance Authority (“FHFA”) that restricts Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from purchasing mortgages … Continue Reading

California Energy Commission Releases Proposed Rules Allowing Biomethane to Qualify for the Renewables Portfolio Standards

By Marc Campopiano and Tim Henderson On March 11, 2013, the California Energy Commission (CEC) released a proposed Seventh Edition of the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Eligibility Guidebook (proposed Guidebook).  As we discussed in a previous blog entry, on March 28, 2012, the CEC suspended the RPS eligibility of power plants generating electricity using biomethane.  … Continue Reading

Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility Project Also Survives Challenge to the Project’s Scientific Studies

By Taiga Takahashi In previous commentary, we have noted the importance of a well-developed administrative record in project approval in risk management, controlling the potential for delay, and in project-related litigation. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California recently affirmed this general principle in rejecting a broad-based challenge by an environmental group … Continue Reading