On December 1, 2017, FERC concluded that it has exclusive jurisdiction over the participation of energy efficiency resources (“EERs”) in wholesale electricity markets. FERC also found that: (1) state or local regulators may not bar or restrict EER participation in wholesale electricity markets, unless given express authority to do so by FERC; and (2) FERC’s previous Order No. 719 on demand response may not be interpreted to permit a state or local regulator to exercise an opt-out and bar or restrict the participation of EERs. Continue Reading FERC Claims Exclusive Jurisdiction Over Energy Efficiency Resources in Wholesale Electricity Markets
On June 30, 2017, the North Carolina General Assembly ratified compromise legislation that modernizes the state’s solar energy rules but also includes an 18-month moratorium on wind energy projects in the state. The bill now awaits Governor Roy Cooper’s signature or veto. Continue Reading North Carolina Passes Solar Reform Bill with an 18-Month Wind Moratorium
On June 28, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (“Second Circuit”) affirmed a district court’s dismissal of challenges to Connecticut’s renewable energy solicitation program and Renewable Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) law. The Second Circuit rejected arguments from the plaintiff-appellant, Allco Finance Limited (“Allco”), that the solicitation program was preempted by the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) and the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (“PURPA”) and that the RPS law unduly burdens interstate commerce, in violation of the “dormant commerce clause.” Continue Reading Second Circuit Upholds Connecticut’s Renewables Solicitation Program and RPS Against Preemption, Dormant Commerce Clause Challenges
On June 20, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit” or “the court”) rejected petitions for review challenging FERC’s approval of capacity market rules set by the PJM Interconnection, LLC (“PJM”) in 2014. The D.C. Circuit held that FERC’s approval of the rules was adequately explained and within its statutory authority under the Federal Power Act. In particular, the D.C. Circuit rejected assertions from various environmental, clean energy, and public utility petitioners that the new capacity market rules unduly discriminated against variable energy resources. Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenges to PJM’s Capacity Market Rules, Including Year-Round Requirement Impacting Renewable Energy Generators
On April 8, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), on voluntary remand from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“DC Circuit”), reaffirmed its approval of an exemption of up to 200 MW of renewable resources from ISO New England Inc’s (“ISO-NE”) minimum offer pricing rule (“MOPR”) in ISO-NE’s Forward Capacity Market (“FCM”). Barring further legal challenges, the renewables exemption will remain effective as of June 1, 2014.
On May 22, 2012, FERC issued an order allowing Rock Island Clean Line LLC (“Rock Island”), a subsidiary of Clean Line Energy LLC, to allocate up to 75 percent of its planned capacity on a proposed transmission line to anchor customers before conducting an open season for the remaining capacity. However, in the same order, the Commission denied Rock Island’s request to favor renewable energy projects for the remaining quarter of transmission capacity on the proposed line. Continue Reading FERC Approves Anchor Tenant Proposal, Denies Preference for Renewables