Category: Smart Grid

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California Public Utility Commission to Reopen Rule 21 Working Group

A report from Stoel Rives attorney Jake Storms (Sacramento): The California Public Utility Commission (“CPUC”) recently announced that it will reopen the Rule 21 Working Group. Rule 21 governs the interconnection of distributed generation to a utility’s distribution system. Each of the three largest investor-owned utilities—Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego … Continue Reading

OPUC Circulates Straw Proposal for Utility Smart Grid Planning

From our colleague Sara Bergan: In late 2009 the Oregon Public Utilities Commission (OPUC) initiated Docket No. UM 1460 focused on Smart Grid (SG) planning. More recently in October, and after public input on the scope of the proceeding, OPUC staff circulated a Straw Proposal for Utility Smart Grid Planning. The proposal groups SG issues … Continue Reading

Smart Grid Oregon Announces Its First Policy Conference–November 9, 2010

Following on the heels of a September 2010 report by GTM Research forecasting that the smart grid market in the U.S. will grow more than 70%, from $5.6 billion in 2010 to $9.6 billion by 2015, Smart Grid Oregon today announced the new organization’s first conference to be held on November 9, 2010 at the … Continue Reading

Sen. Kerry’s Energy Tax Bill Would Help Energy Storage Technologies

On August 5, 2010, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) introduced S.3738—the Clean Energy Technology Leadership Act of 2010—which would have some impact on the growth of energy storage technologies in the United States.  Among other things, the bill would provide for an extension and modification of the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit (the “MTC”), a credit … Continue Reading

FERC Comments on Electric Storage Technologies Due August 9

Just a friendly reminder that the deadline to submit comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) on electric storage technologies is just around the corner. In its Request for Comments Regarding Rates, Accounting and Financial Reporting for New Electric Storage Technologies, FERC’s Office of Energy Policy and Innovation seeks comments on the following issues:  The … Continue Reading

CPUC Staff Issues White Paper on Electric Energy Storage (EES)

Energy Electricty Storage (EES) is likely to become more and more important as intermittent solar and wind energy resources penetrate the grid.   EES may be a very useful and perhaps essential way to manage the variability of intermittent renewable energy resources to allow developers to continue building wind and solar projects at an accelerating pace. On July … Continue Reading

New Tool for Renewable Energy Investors, Entrepreneurs, and Companies

On June 30, 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy ("DOE") launched its Technology Commercialization Portal (the "Portal").  The Portal is an online resource that provides a mechanism for investors, entrepreneurs and companies to identify new technologies coming out of DOE laboratories and other participating research institutions.  Relevant technologies include: Advanced Materials Biomass and Biofuels Building Energy Efficiency Electricity Transmission and … Continue Reading

Washington Revising its State Energy Strategy

The Washington State Department of Commerce (formerly the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development or CTED) has announced that it is attempting to revise Washington’s comprehensive energy plan (the “State Energy Strategy”).  The State Energy Strategy was last revised in 2003, and it does not serve current energy realities and forecasts. Therefore, the Washington State … Continue Reading

Treasury Creates Safe Harbor for Smart Grid Investment Grants

Yesterday, the Energy and Treasury Departments jointly issued guidance regarding the federal income tax treatment of Smart Grid Investment Grant payments received pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The guidance, which was issued as Revenue Procedure 2010-20, generally provides that a corporation receiving a specified grant will not recognize taxable income upon … Continue Reading

FERC Determines That Battery Storage Devices Qualify as Transmission Facilities. Is the Door Open for Other Energy Storage Devices?

In late January, FERC issued an order in response to a filing by Western Grid Development LLC that asked FERC to declare that Western Grid’s proposed battery storage devices are transmission facilities eligible for certain rate incentives.  Western Grid described its battery technology as 10 to 50 MW sodium sulfur batteries that would be installed at … Continue Reading

Stoel Rives Clients Receive Huge Tax Credit Awards

Stoel Rives would like to congratulate REC Silicon and SolarWorld on their awards of tax credits by the IRS and DOE. These two companies, combined, received over 10 percent of all the tax credits awarded nationwide under section 48C of the tax code. On Friday, January 8, the Department of Energy awarded to 183 companies … Continue Reading

ARRA SGIG Grants Taxable?

  Concern is mounting over whether the smart grid awards and project grants to be distributed by the Department of Energy (“DOE”) will be taxable in the hands of the recipients.  Certain grants administered by  federal, state, or local programs for renewable energy projects located in the US may be reportable by the recipient.  The 100 smart grid award recipients, who … Continue Reading

Zino Green Investment Forum

The ZINO Society, a Seattle-based angel investment group, announced last week that its annual “ZINO Green Investment Forum” would be held on March 4, 2010, at the McKinstry Innovation Center in Seattle.   Up to fifteen early-stage companies in “green tech, clean tech, and sustainable products or services” will be selected by the ZINO Green screening board to … Continue Reading

Come Visit Us at E3, The Midwest’s Premier Energy, Economic and Environmental Conference, on Nov. 17, 2009

As a proud Exhibit Hall sponsor of E3, the Midwest’s premier energy, economic and environmental conference, Stoel Rives LLP would like to encourage you to attend this annual event. Hosted by the University of Minnesota’s Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, E3 will focus this year on the intersection of innovative technologies and policies, … Continue Reading

Wed. 10/21/09: “Demystifying the Smart Grid”

The enthusiasm about smart grid continues to spread in the Pacific Northwest.  Tomorrow, Intel’s Ronler Acres Campus (just outside of Portland) will host "Demystifying the Smart Grid," a panel and dinner event from 6 to 9 PM that will bring together industry experts and capital providers to discuss smart grid opportunities and the direction of current … Continue Reading

Smart Grid Favored in FERC Strategic Plan

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) highlighted smart grid technologies in its strategic plan for fiscal years 2009-2014 (the “Strategic Plan”). FERC found that our nation could potentially reduce peak electricity demand by up to 20% through the deployment of new technologies, including smart grid and demand response technologies.   In the Strategic Plan, FERC is … Continue Reading

November 17: Energy, Economics and Environment (E3) Conference

The University of Minnesota’s annual conference on Energy, Economics and the Environment – E3 – will be held in St. Paul on November 17. Hosted annually by the University of Minnesota’s Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (IREE), this year’s conference will explore current technologies, environmental benefits and market opportunities in renewable energy. Stoel … Continue Reading

Show me the Money: $343 Million Deployed to Transmission Project in Washington and Oregon

The Department of Energy has announced that $343 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been provided to the Bonneville Power Administration’s ("BPA") McNary-John Day transmission project (the "McNary-John Day Line") in Washington and Oregon.  The McNary-John Day Line runs 79 miles from the McNary Substation in Oregon, through Washington, and ending at the … Continue Reading

Show me the Money: DOE Proposes Amendments to its Loan Guarantee Program

Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend 10 CFR Part 609, the rule regulating the loan guarantee program authorized by section 1703 of Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  The two principal goals of section 1703 of Title XVII are to encourage commercial use of new or … Continue Reading

Show me the Money: $11.8 Million Awarded for Solar Energy Grid Integration

Today, in recognition that solar energy is a critical factor in the President’s clean energy agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that $11.8 million ($5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) will be deployed to five projects related to the development of solar energy grid integration systems (SEGIS).  This follows our earlier client … Continue Reading

Energy Storage Developers Call for National Storage Portfolio Standard

On July 13-14, 2009, I attended Infocast’s Storage Summit in La Jolla, California. The conference attracted over 200 attendees. On day one, Jim Woolsey, Venture Partner and Senior Advisor for VantagePoint Venture Partners and Former Director of the CIA, delivered a keynote address that focused on the theme of the role of energy storage in achieving … Continue Reading

FERC Aims to Accelerate Smart Grid Deployment

On July 16, 2009, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Policy Statement on smart grid technologies, providing guidance on future smart grid interoperability standards and establishing an interim incentive rate policy that applies to near-term smart grid deployments (even those used in pilot or demonstration projects).  Notably, FERC identified four technologies as being … Continue Reading

Show me the Money: Applications Available for the Washington State Energy Program

Washington previously received $60.9 million in Recovery Act funding for its State Energy Program (“SEP”). The Washington Legislature later provided $38.5 million to the Washington State Community, Trade and Economic Development (“CTED”) agency to administer a loan and grant program for eligible projects in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean energy innovation (see … Continue Reading
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