Latham's Clean Energy Law Report

Tag Archives: Solar

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

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

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 Government Approves Designation of Renewable Energy Development Areas in Arizona

By Anne B. Beaumont  On January 18, 2013, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the approval of Arizona’s Restoration Design Energy Project (RDEP), a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) initiative to identify public lands in Arizona that may be suitable for renewable energy development. The RDEP Record of Decision (ROD)[1] establishes 192,100 acres of … 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

California Air Resources Board Attempts to Clarify Resource Shuffling Ahead of First Cap-and-Trade Auction

By Joshua T. Bledsoe, Tim B. Henderson, and Jared W. Johnson Seeking to quell uncertainty surrounding the definition of resource shuffling ahead of the first cap-and-trade auction on November 14, 2012, the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) passed a Resolution on October 18, 2012, requiring the Executive Officer to redefine resource shuffling and provide concrete examples.  … Continue Reading

Federal Government Issues Record of Decision Approving Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States

By Laura A. Godfrey, Janice M. Schneider and Anne B. Beaumont Latham & Watkins has issued a Client Alert regarding the Record of Decision approving the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States.” With the signing of the Record of Decision on October 12, 2012, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) … Continue Reading

California Energy Commission Clarifies Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Eligibility Requirements

By Marc T. Campopiano and Tim B. Henderson On August 9, 2012, the California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted a revised Sixth Edition of the Renewables Portfolio Standard Eligibility Guidebook (RPS Guidebook) to clarify changes to the RPS Guidebook Fifth Edition, which was recently adopted on May 9, 2012, as described in our prior blog discussion.  … Continue Reading

California Air Resources Board Suspends Cap and Trade Program Electricity Importer Rule

By Joshua T. Bledsoe, Tim B. Henderson, and Jared W. Johnson With the first auction in California’s cap and trade program fast-approaching on November 14, 2012, the California Air Resources Board (“ARB”) recently suspended a much-discussed aspect of the program that requires first deliverers of electricity to attest that they have not engaged in “resource … Continue Reading

Federal Government Finalizes Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States

By Laura Godfrey, Joshua Marnitz and Janice Schneider On July 27, 2012, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as joint lead agencies announced the availability of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States (Final Solar PEIS).  77 Fed. Reg. 44267 (July … Continue Reading

California Energy Commission Updates Renewables Portfolio Standard Eligibility Guidebook

By Marc Campopiano and Tim Henderson On May 9, 2012, the California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted a revised Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Eligibility Guidebook.  The update implements several key modifications to the RPS eligibility criteria, including but not limited to:  Incorporating changes required by Senate Bill X1-2, which raised the RPS to 33 percent by … Continue Reading

The California Energy Commission Abruptly Suspends Eligibility of Biomethane Under California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard

By: Marc T. Campopiano On March 28, 2012, the California Energy Commission voted unanimously to suspend the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) eligibility guidelines for certification of power plants generating electricity using biomethane.   In 2011, California’s Legislature passed Senate Bill X1-2 that raised the RPS to 33% by 2020, one of the most aggressive renewable energy … Continue Reading

Farmers’ Advocacy Group Enters Foray Against Solar Energy Siting

By Taiga Takahashi On October 31, 2011, the California Farm Bureau Federation petitioned the Superior Court in Fresno County for a peremptory writ of mandate and filed a complaint for injunctive relief to force the County to reverse its recent cancellation of a Williamson Act contract. The County had canceled the contract to facilitate the … 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

Governor Brown Signs Landmark Bill Raising California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 33% by 2020

By David B. Amerikaner, Marc T. Campopiano, Michael J. Gergen, Laura Godfrey, David A. Goldberg and Jared W. Johnson On April 12, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 2 to increase California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 33% by 2020, among the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the United States.  Originally enacted in … Continue Reading

BLM extends public comment period for Draft Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

David A. Goldberg and Daniel S. Feinberg The Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) has extended the public comment period for the Draft Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (“Draft Solar PEIS”) by thirty days to April 16, 2011.  The Draft Solar PEIS should be of interest to any developer seeking to build utility-scale solar energy projects … Continue Reading

Woodward Park case holds CEQA contains no presumption that solar panels are necessary for development project with air quality impacts

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires government agencies in California to analyze and, when feasible, mitigate the environmental impacts of projects before approving them.  In Woodward Park Homeowners Association v. City of Fresno (PDF), the Court of Appeal recently held that CEQA does not automatically require projects with significant air quality or greenhouse gas impacts … 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

California Senate seeks to raise renewable energy requirements to higher level

By David B. Amerikaner, Marc T. Campopiano, and David A. Goldberg  In a legislative effort that could impose a significant new requirement on electric utilities that sell in California and have important ramifications on power producers, electrical infrastructure, and energy markets throughout western states, the California Senate voted on February 24, 2011 to approve Senate Bill … Continue Reading

Army Corps of Engineers seeks comments on new nationwide permits (NWPs) for renewable energy projects

The Army Corps of Engineers recently proposed to reissue the existing NWPs (PDF) authorizing the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States for specified projects.  For those projects, NWPs can take the place of individual permits (PDF) under section 404 of the Clean Water Act.  Obtaining permit coverage through an … Continue Reading
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