Outgoing Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff announced today that he will join Portland, Ore.-based law firm Stoel Rives LLP after he wraps up nearly seven years at the agency. Wellinghoff, a driving force behind the Obama administration’s efforts to green the electric grid, will work out of the firm’s offices in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., upon completing his work at the commission.
State utility regulators at the forefront of implementing upcoming federal rules to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants in the United States are concerned that a fast-tracked schedule could trigger reliability issues. Philip Jones, president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), said the most important question is how much time industry will have to carry out the new rules. “Even if you know [that] the end goal is clean energy sources, more demand response, more energy efficiency, more gas, how much time do you have to comply?” he asked.
The expected increased use of wind and solar on the electric grid will create a more than $10 billion global market for energy storage systems in 10 years, according to a new report from market analyst Navigant Research.
An Arkansas-based grid operator argued in federal court today that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission failed to adequately review all evidence before allowing a competitor to use its transmission lines.Southwest Power Pool told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that FERC simply disregarded the case it presented before siding […]
G.E.’s aviation, oil and gas, transportation and home and business solutions divisions all had profit of more than 10 percent. The company’s power and water division, which had been hurt earlier in the year by lower sales of wind turbines, posted a 9 percent rise in profit. Health care grew 7 percent, but profit at the company’s energy management division declined by 57 percent.
Xcel Energy is poised to move forward with plans to build four Upper Midwest wind farms, which would increase the company’s wind power capacity in the region by 42 percent.
California today became the first state in the country to require utilities to invest in energy storage, a move that policymakers say will pave the way for increasing amounts of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions. The California Public Utilities Commission unanimously voted to approve a proposal setting out biennial procurement targets for the state’s three major investor-owned utilities through 2020. In total, the three utilities — Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Southern California Edison Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. — will have to buy 1.325 gigawatts of storage by 2020, an amount that would increase energy storage capacity worldwide by 50 percent, not counting energy stored behind hydroelectric dams. The ruling has separate carve-outs for technologies that store energy from generation connected to transmission and distribution lines, as well as customer-owned generation.
The Omaha Public Power District Board approved an agreement Thursday to buy up to 400 megawatts generated by a proposed wind farm near O’Neill. Under the 20-year-agreement, OPPD will purchase all of the renewable energy generated at the Grande Prairie Wind Farm, which will be built by Geronimo Energy of Edina, Minn. “This will be the largest wind purchase for us that we have had to date,” said OPPD spokesman Mike Jones. The wind farm will be located northeast of O’Neill and will have 235 turbines.
Statoil ASA yesterday said it is pulling the plug on a planned offshore wind project off the coast of Maine. The move came after the state announced plans to reopen a competitive bidding process for offshore wind projects in the state’s waters, which Statoil had already completed. Gov. Paul LePage’s (R) administration opposed the project, and the governor signed legislation in July to allow the University of Maine to submit a bid for the project.
The Supreme Court today decided to review whether U.S. EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations for motor vehicles should have triggered permitting requirements for stationary sources of carbon pollution. Justices granted six of nine petitions asking the court to review a June 2012 appellate court ruling that upheld a suite of EPA greenhouse gas regulations. The court will not consider other issues, such as whether greenhouse gases endanger public health or the emissions standards for vehicles, instead limiting the case to EPA’s decision that its “tailpipe” rules triggered Prevention of Significant Deterioration, or PSD, permitting for stationary sources.