With the inauguration of President Trump as the 45th President of the United States, stakeholders in various sectors of the energy industry have speculated about the future of energy policy in the new administration. While the early days of the administration have seen a clear commitment to the oil and gas sectors with action on the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, the question remains regarding the president’s anticipated support of the renewable energy sector. Continue Reading Renewable Energy Development Can Still Look to PURPA as New Administration Moves In

On December 15, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) in Docket No. RM17-3-000 regarding fast-start resources operating in markets run by independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission organizations (RTOs). Specifically, the NOPR addresses the manner in which ISOs and RTOs should incorporate offers from fast start-resources into their Day Ahead and Real Time energy prices. FERC claims that these efforts are another step to improve price formation in wholesale electricity markets. Continue Reading FERC Issues Fast-Start Resources NOPR

On August 3, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final version of the Existing Source Performance Standards (ESPS) component of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), setting the first-ever carbon dioxide emission reduction goals for States. Environmental Protection Agency, Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources, 40 CFR Part 60, Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602, RIN 2060-AR33 (April 3, 2015). When fully implemented by 2030, the CPP is expected to reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector by 32% over 2005 levels. The final version includes significant changes from the original proposal, 79 Fed. Reg. 34829 (June 18, 2014). Continue Reading Clean Power Plan: EPA Issues Final Carbon Reduction Rule for Existing Stationary Sources

On June 2, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) released the most sweeping component of President Obama’s Climate Change Action Plan.  USEPA’s 650-page proposed Clean Power Plan states that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels at existing power plants is the single largest category of stationary source Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions in the United States, accounting for about one-third of all GHGs emitted. Continue Reading USEPA’s Clean Power Plan: Proposed Rule For Existing Power Plants

During the March 20, 2014 Open Meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) took several actions regarding electric reliability requirements. It:

  • Approved five Generator Verification Reliability Standards submitted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC);
  • Granted in part the requests for clarification of Order No. 791, its order on the Version 5 Critical Infrastructure Protection Reliability Standards, and denied requests for rehearing of that order;
  • Proposed a new Generator Relay Loadability Reliability Standard and revisions to the existing Transmission Relay Loadability Reliability Standard; and
  • Approved the revised definition of Bulk Electric System.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced this week that it will hold a technical conference on centralized capacity markets in Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs). The purpose of the technical conference is to consider how current centralized capacity market rules and structures are supporting the procurement and retention of resources necessary to meet future reliability and operational needs. In its Notice, FERC pointed out that since their establishment, centralized capacity markets have continued to evolve. Meanwhile, the mix of resources is also evolving in response to changing market conditions, including low natural gas prices, state and federal policies encouraging the entry of renewable resources and other specific technologies, and the retirement of aging generation resources. This changing resource mix, according to FERC, may result in future reliability and operational needs that are different than those of the past. In addition, some states have pursued individual resource adequacy policies to ensure the development of new resources in particular areas or with particular characteristics, and questions have been raised as to how those individual policies can be accommodated in centralized capacity markets. Continue Reading FERC To Hold Technical Conference on Centralized Capacity Markets in RTOs and ISOs

Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia appeared on Friday, February 15, at an electricity restructuring roundtable that convened in Boston to explore the state of energy efficiency initiatives in New England.  In his presentation, Commissioner Sylvia reported on the progress to date that has been made pursuant to several ongoing initiatives in Massachusetts to acquire cost-effective energy efficiency resources.  These include:  the “Leading by Example” program, which sets aggressive targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions, energy conservation and efficiency, renewable energy, green buildings, and water conservation; the Green Communities Act; the Global Warming Solutions Act; and Governor Patrick’s renewable energy goals. Continue Reading Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia Speaks Regarding Commonwealth’s Energy Efficiency Initiatives

The Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) this week launched the Regional Energy Efficiency Database (REED).  REED currently includes 2011 energy efficiency data from the following jurisdictions: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maryland, and New York.  However, 2012 energy efficiency data will be added to REED from these states as well as from Delaware and the District of Columbia this fall.  (See http://www.neep-reed.org.) Continue Reading Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships Launches Regional Energy Efficiency Database