Jason Johns

Jason Johns

Jason Johns is a partner in the Portland energy group. Jason focuses his practice on regional energy market issues–from NYISO to CAISO–as well as issues of national importance at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In addition to his independent power and utility practice, Jason also represents industrial customers in negotiating power and gas supply agreements, interstate transportation and local distribution agreements, and agreements for on-site energy services. This scope of practice helps Jason bring a broad perspective to any matter he faces.

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Maryland Passes Bill to Allow 30% State Income Tax Credit for Energy Storage

In what some commentators are calling the first of its kind, Maryland’s legislature has passed a bill that would allow taxpayers to claim a state income tax credit equal to 30% of the installed cost of an energy storage system.  The bill would cap the credit amount at $75,000 for a commercial installation or $5,000 … Continue Reading

FERC Revises Delegation Authority While It Lacks a Quorum

Today is Commissioner Norman Bay’s last day on the job at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which means that on Monday, FERC will no longer have the quorum of 3 commissioners that is necessary for it to do much of its business.  (Two other vacancies have gone unfilled for months.)  Earlier today, Acting Chairman … Continue Reading

Wyoming: Partying Like It’s 1899

Wyoming has one of the nation’s best wind resources.  But if a contingent of state senators and representatives there have their way, electric utilities located in the state will be slapped on the wrist for using it (or other renewables, for that matter).  Senate File 71, which has been introduced in the Wyoming State Senate and … Continue Reading

While Washington DC Wrestles with Ratings, Massachusetts Proposes 100% Renewables by 2035/2050

Amidst all the focus in Washington DC over inauguration crowd sizes, at least one state is instead focusing on matters affecting jobs, security, and quality of life–renewable energy!  A bill (SD.1932) introduced in Massachusetts would require the state to use 100% renewable energy for electricity by 2035 and also seeks to deeply cut fossil fuels … Continue Reading

New Report Ranks Power Utilities by Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency Performance

In a first-of-its-kind report announced this morning, Ceres and Clean Edge ranked the nation’s largest electric utilities and local subsidiaries on their renewable energy sales and energy efficiency savings. The report focused on three clean energy indicators: renewable energy sales; cumulative annual energy efficiency; and incremental annual energy efficiency.… Continue Reading

Jon Wellinghoff Talks Grid Security, FERC, Smart Grid and Renewables

We wanted to invite our readers to listen in on a one-on-one conversation between our colleague Jon Wellinghoff and Marty Rosenberg, EnergyBiz editor-in-chief, July 15, noon-1 p.m. Eastern. You can register here.  Jon, the immediate past chair of FERC, helped initiate a national debate about grid security when he raised concerns in a Wall Street … Continue Reading

The Price of Developing Power Projects in Kern County Just Went UP

The East Kern Wind Resource Area (EKWRA)–it’s a mouthful–and it’s also a hotbed for renewable energy development and the location of a fight over millions of dollars among Southern California Edison (SCE), the California ISO, and independent power developers (IPPs).  Late last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) scored that fight in favor of … Continue Reading

California’s Utilities Must Lower Barriers to Energy Storage Systems

In a proposed decision issued yesterday from the California Public Utilities Commission, an administrative law judge (ALJ) determined that energy storage devices (i) that are paired with net energy metering- (NEM) eligible generation facilities, and (ii) that meet the Renewables Portfolio Standard Eligibility Guidebook requirements to be considered an "addition or enhancement" to NEM-eligible systems are "exempt from interconnection application … Continue Reading

Ameren Should LOSE the Latest Battle Over Option 1 Network Upgrade Funding in the Midcontinent ISO Region

Ameren is dusting off a discriminatory method for interconnection customers to fund network upgrades in the Midcontinent ISO region, using two past victories in support of its campaign. But there are key differences between this dispute and those before it, and FERC should deny Ameren's latest attempt to breathe life into the Option 1 funding that met its fate years ago.… Continue Reading

Negotiating a Liquidated Damages Clause in Texas? Get Out Your Crystal Ball.

If you are drafting a liquidated damages clause that applies Texas law, a decision today by the Supreme Court of Texas might encourage you to hire an oracle. Because if you negotiate a liquidated damages provision in a "second-look" state without using the power of divination, you may be surprised when a once-reasonable estimate of damages becomes unenforceable because of subsequent changes in the market.… Continue Reading

DEADLINE For Generators on Bonneville Power’s System

 For those companies owning generation on the Bonneville Power Administration system, mark your calendars for March 15, 2014.  That’s the day by which you must submit your facility displacement costs for Bonneville’s implementation of its Oversupply Management Protocol (aka Environmental Redispatch) that provides compensation for certain generator curtailments.  The failure to submit facility displacement costs … Continue Reading

Raising the Bar For Interconnection In the Southwest Power Pool

Like other Independent System Operators have done before it, the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) is back at the drawing board in an effort to further refine its generator interconnection procedures and improve on queue reforms initially put in place in 2009.  And also like other ISOs that have continued to tinker with queue reform, SPP … Continue Reading

Rate Schedules Galore! FERC’s Decision in Chehalis Power Generating, LP

Interconnection customers:  be on notice.  Your interconnection agreement may not be just a transmission provider service agreement that allows your project to interconnect with the transmission system.  It may also be a rate schedule–your rate schedule–that you must file with FERC or suffer the consequences for violating the Federal Power Act.     At last … Continue Reading

MATL Dispute Headed Back to District Court

The Montana Supreme Court has reversed a December 2010 district court decision that found that the developers of the Montana-Alberta Tie Line merchant transmission project do not possess eminent domain authority under Montana law and therefore could not take private land from a nonconsenting landowner.  In its reversal, the state Supreme Court cited House Bill … Continue Reading

Stoel Rives Energy Regulation Report

FERC Clarifies Qualifying Facility Restrictions in Sale/Resale Transactions On May 19, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") issued an order in Idaho Wind Partners I, LLC, a docket in which wind farm owners in Idaho petitioned FERC for approval of a unique transaction that would both provide eligible Renewable Energy Credits ("RECs") to a utility … Continue Reading

FERC Seeks Comments on Regulatory Reforms for Merchant Transmission and Generator Interconnection Capacity

  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") is seeking comments from energy industry participants on regulatory reforms that address how FERC should regulate merchant transmission development and generator interconnection (or lead) lines. Specifically, FERC desires comments on how it should balance the requirements of open access transmission and the needs of project developers. Merchant transmission … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Decision Further Dismantles an Already Weakened Federal Transmission Siting Authority

Congress’ experiment with establishing federal siting authority for transmission lines suffered another setback after a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision issued yesterday, February 1, 2011, vacated the Department of Energy’s (“DOE”) 2007 Transmission Congestion Study that had designated national interest electric transmission corridors in mid-Atlantic and Southwestern states. This ruling is the latest of … Continue Reading

Stoel Rives Energy Regulation Report

IN THIS EDITION: FERC opens a rulemaking on variable energy resources. FERC extends the comment deadline in the appeals by wind farms registered for transmission reliability functions. FERC denies a petition to protect priority to interconnection capacity rights. FERC Opens Rulemaking on Intra-Hour Scheduling, Forecasting Requirements, and Integration Services for Variable Energy Resources The Federal … Continue Reading

Idaho PUC Issues Proposal to Revise Prices Paid to QF Wind Generators Under PURPA

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has issued a straw man proposal that lays out plans to revise the surrogate avoided resource (SAR) methodology used to calculate avoided cost rates for wind generators.  The "avoided cost" is the price paid to Qualifying Facilities that are selling power to Idaho utilities under the Public Utility Regulatory … Continue Reading

A National Renewable Energy Standard Bill Surfaces in DC

Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Sam Brownback (R-KS), with Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Udall (D-CO) and others joining, announced today that they will introduce a stand-alone Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) bill.  The bill will require sellers of electricity to obtain the following milestones in adding renewable energy resources … Continue Reading
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