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Power industry braces for change with new Congress; FERC approves ISO-NE plan

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Power industry braces for change with new Congress; FERC approves ISO-NE plan

Court lifts hold on Conn. renewables request for proposals

A federal appeals court has lifted an injunction against Connecticut's participation in a three-state renewable mandate for distribution utilities. In a Dec. 12 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd District threw out the temporary hold preventing Connecticut regulators from approving contracts pursuant to a request for proposals for renewables issued in 2015 for Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Power industry braces for change with new Congress, Trump

Electric power industry leaders Dec. 14 offered their views on the new GOP-controlled Congress and incoming Trump administration, including discussing the need for lawmakers to stay focused on resolving power market jurisdictional issues. Republicans also hope to take up broad tax reform in 2017 that could affect the energy sector.

Calif. PUC calls for San Onofre parties to bargain over more ratepayer benefits

California utility regulators directed Southern California Edison Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. to seek agreement with ratepayer advocates who want the companies, rather than customers, to bear more of the costs of their premature shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, or SONGS.

Duke Energy, solar developer open to re-evaluation of NC energy policy

Duke Energy Corp. and a large North Carolina solar developer appear to see eye to eye on the need for a comprehensive look at the state's energy policy. The North Carolina Energy Policy Council recently recommended that the General Assembly consider taking a closer look at energy policy, especially in regard to solar guidelines, after utilities raised concerns about numerous solar projects seeking to interconnect to the grid and the "tremendous growth" of distributed generation.

EPA calls for SO2 emissions upgrades at 14 Texas power plants

The U.S. EPA has proposed emissions cuts for 14 coal- and natural gas-fired power plants in Texas, which will now have to upgrade or install scrubbers to meet the regional haze rule for sulfur dioxide. Issued Dec. 9, the proposed rule is the latest development in a legal battle centering on the EPA's decision to partially deny a regional haze plan for Texas and impose a federal implementation plan, or FIP, on the state.

Seattle utility to join Western imbalance market

The Western energy imbalance market is continuing to grow, with Seattle City Light agreeing to join in April 2019. The municipal utility estimates that joining the market, or EIM, could save it $4 million to $23 million a year. As the EIM expands, its benefits grow with increased geographic and resource diversity.

No alternative: Vermont's Green Mountain Power goes traditional in rate case

Vermont's only investor-owned electric utility, Green Mountain Power Corp., plans to file a traditional base rate request after operating under the state's alternative regulation system for the past ten years. Green Mountain Power announced Dec. 12 that it intends to submit proposed electric rates by April 15, 2017, that will go into effect in 2018.

Utah suspends PacifiCorp move to end retail rate for new net metering customers

At PacifiCorp's request, Utah regulators suspended the utility's move to abolish its retail rate credit program for new residential net metered customers. PacifiCorp was on the verge of ending the program for new residential net metering customers in Utah with a Dec. 10 effective date of a new tariff.

FERC approves ISO-NE plan to make more resources subject to economic dispatch

FERC signed off on proposed rule changes that will broaden the range of resources subject to electronic economic dispatch by ISO New England Inc. In a joint filing, the ISO-NE and New England Power Pool said resources that agree to be dispatchable when submitting offers into the energy market must be capable of increasing or decreasing output at a moment's notice in order to maintain system reliability.

Ohio's governor must decide fate of clean energy mandates

Ohio lawmakers, along with clean energy advocates, are waiting to see if Gov. John Kasich was bluffing when he vowed to veto legislation that threatens the state's renewable energy standards. The Ohio Senate voted late Dec. 8 to amend and approve a bill that will make compliance with Ohio's clean energy benchmarks voluntary for the next two years. The Ohio House of Representatives agreed to the changes Dec. 9.

NY regulators, joined by Exelon, move to dismiss generators' subsidy lawsuit

Counsel to the New York Public Service Commission moved to dismiss a lawsuit lodged by a group of New York power generators in federal court against the state's recently approved nuclear subsidies. With support from Exelon Corp. and the Environmental Defense Fund, NYPSC counsel shot back at the lawsuit filed in October by a coalition of power generators that includes NRG Energy Inc. and Dynegy Inc.