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Category Archives: Finance and project development

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Legislative Update: California Passes Groundbreaking Legislation Increasing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Mandates, But Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Measures Fail

By Marc T. Campopiano, Joshua T. Bledsoe, Douglas Porter, Danny Aleshire, Jennifer Roy and Andrew Yancey The end of the California State Legislature’s regular session for the year culminated in a frenzy of action, with Assembly members scrambling to pass dozens of bills before midnight on September 12, 2015. The California Legislature voted on a package … Continue Reading

Court Limits Migratory Bird Treaty Act Applicability to Incidental Take

By Sara Orr and Jennifer Roy On September 4, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling in United States v. CITGO that a “taking” subject to prosecution under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) does not include the unintentional take of migratory birds. Reversing a district court decision and … Continue Reading

RETI 2.0: CEC and CPUC Plan for New Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative to Meet California’s Increasing Clean Energy Commitments

By Joshua T. Bledsoe, Marc T. Campopiano, and Max Friedman As California begins to turn the page on the first chapter of its efforts to combat climate change through AB 32 and to prepare for greater emissions reductions over the coming decades, the California Energy Commission (CEC) and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) are considering … Continue Reading

President Obama Announces Increased Support for Distributed Energy Projects and Eligibility of State Green Banks to Apply for DOE Loan Guarantees

By Michael J. Gergen, Joshua T. Bledsoe, David E. Pettit and Tara L. Rice President Obama recently announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Program Office (LPO) is expanding support for innovative “distributed energy projects” by adding $1 billion in available loan guarantees to support the deployment of these projects through the existing solicitations for … Continue Reading

California Energy Commission Report Projects Local Electric Reliability Deficits By 2021, Potentially Triggering The Need For New Natural Gas Power Generation

By Michael Carroll, Marc Campopiano and Max Friedman The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released an August 2015 report projecting local reliability shortfalls in the Los Angeles basin planning area as early as 2021. The deficits may require new natural gas power generation to maintain grid reliability. This finding is part of the Integrated Energy … Continue Reading

Court Rejects 30 Year Eagle Permit Rule on NEPA Grounds

Authors: Sara Orr and Jennifer Roy On August 11, 2015, the US District Court for the Northern District of California remanded a US Fish & Wildlife Service’s (FWS) 2013 final rule that had extended the maximum duration of eagle take programmatic permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act) from 5 years … Continue Reading

CAISO Takes Step to Allow Distributed Energy Resources to Compete in Wholesale Energy Markets

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Douglas K. Porter On June 10, 2015, the California Independent System Operator (“CAISO”) released a draft final proposal (the “Expanded Metering and Telemetry Options Phase 2, Distributed Energy Resource Provider”) that, if finalized, would represent an initial  step towards a regulatory structure that would result in distributed energy resources (“DERs”) … Continue Reading

DRECP Agencies Announce Phase I Updates

By Marc Campopiano, Joshua Bledsoe, Jennifer Roy, James Erselius Phase I of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (“DRECP”) is underway on the 9.8 million acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”). As discussed in our previous post, the four lead agencies responsible for the plan introduced a phased approach to … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Upholds City of San Jose Inclusionary Housing Set-Aside Ordinance

By Chris Garrett, Cindy Starrett and John Morris Today, the California Supreme Court unanimously upheld the City of San Jose’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, rejecting a facial constitutional challenge brought in California Building Industry Association (CBIA) v. City of San Jose (Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County et al.), S212072. The Court determined that, contrary to … Continue Reading

Bill to Streamline Federal Permitting for Major Energy and Infrastructure Projects Advances in the US Senate

By Andrea Hogan and Joshua Marnitz On May 6, 2015, the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted 12-1 in favor of a bill designed to streamline the Federal permitting process for major energy and infrastructure projects. The bill, first introduced in January 2015 by Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Claire McCaskill … Continue Reading

California’s Strict New Health Risk Assessment Guidelines May Increase Regulatory Burden on Industrial Uses and Development Projects

By Marc Campopiano and Max Friedman On March 6, 2015, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) updated its Guidance Manual for Preparation of Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) for the purpose of better characterizing exposure risks to children from air toxics.  Using the new Guidance Manual, HRAs are expected to estimate risks that … Continue Reading

Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan to Streamline Permitting for 20,000 Megawatts of Renewable Energy

By Jennifer Roy, Marc Campopiano and Joshua T. Bledsoe On September 23, 2014, the California Energy Commission (“CEC”), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (“CDFW”), US Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”), and US Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS”) for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan … Continue Reading

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

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

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

FERC Issues Policy Statement Providing New Guidance on Rate Incentives for Transmission Investment

By Michael J. Gergen and Jared W. Johnson On November 15, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a Policy Statement to provide new guidance for applicants seeking rate incentives for new transmission infrastructure projects.  FERC’s transmission rate incentives policy stems from a package of amendments to the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) enacted by … Continue Reading

New Brookings Report Puts Spotlight on State Clean Energy Funds as Future Source for Clean Energy Finance and Economic Development

By Daniel Scripps A new report (pdf) from the Brookings Institution discusses the nearly two dozen  state-level clean energy funds (CEFs) that have invested in clean energy projects and concludes that CEFs hold out great promise for the continued design and implementation of “bottom up,” decentralized clean energy finance solutions and economic development.  The report … Continue Reading

Proposed Reforms to Bureau of Indian Affairs Surface Leasing Regulations Could Encourage Wind and Solar Resource Development on Indian Land

By Janice Schneider and Stacey VanBelleghem The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has proposed significant reforms to its current regulations for non-agricultural surface leases on Indian land.  76 Fed. Reg. 73784 (Nov. 29, 2011).  The proposed regulations include new provisions expressly governing Wind Energy Evaluation Leases (WELs) and Wind and Solar Resource (WSR) Leases and … Continue Reading

Federal Government Seeks to Establish a Competitive Process for Leasing Public Lands for Solar and Wind Energy Development

By Janice Schneider and Joshua Marnitz Last week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published in the Federal Register an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking outlining a competitive process for leasing public lands for solar and wind energy development.  76 Fed. Reg. 81906 (December 29, 2011).  BLM believes that a competitive process will better enable … Continue Reading

Roadblock to California Greenhouse Gas Cap and Trade Program Removed, but Others Remain

By Michael Feeley and Aron Potash A lawsuit which delayed and once threatened to dismantle California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) cap and trade scheme was largely resolved last week, removing one roadblock to California’s plan to be the first state to impose an economy-wide GHG trading program.  Under modified regulations adopted by the California Air Resources … Continue Reading

Financing Renewable Energy Projects in California: Forget About California’s One Action Rule At Your Peril!

By John H. Kenney, James I. Mann, John B. Sherrell, and Haim Zaltzman With Governor Jerry Brown recently signing into law Senate Bill 2, which increases California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 33 percent by 2020, the push to develop and finance renewable energy projects in California is likely to gain further momentum.  Financing renewable energy projects … Continue Reading

US Chamber of Commerce study: regulatory and legal barriers to energy projects delay cleantech efforts and prevent economic growth

Clean energy projects have tremendous potential to create jobs and grow the economy and help the nation meet its energy needs in a more sustainable way, but regulatory and legal barriers to energy projects have substantially reduced job creation and economic growth while impeding efforts to bring new energy generation facilities on line, according to … Continue Reading
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