Brian Orion

Brian Orion

Brian Orion is an attorney in Stoel Rives’ Energy Development group. He assists clients in the wind, solar, energy storage, electric vehicle, and similar industries. His services involve preparation of project development agreements, handling mergers and acquisitions, assisting with equity and debt financings, and other transactional matters. He serves as Strategic Advisor to the Smart Energy Enterprise Development Zone (SEEDZ) Initiative, a project of Joint Venture Silicon Valley. In 2009, he co-founded the UC Hastings Cleantech Roundtable, a forum for discussing hot topics in the area of renewable energy and clean technology law, held annually at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

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California Approves $768 Million for EV Infrastructure

The California Public Utilities Commission (“Commission”) voted recently to approve $768 million in expenditures for electric vehicle infrastructure programs proposed by the state’s three investor-owned utilities (“IOUs”). The programs are part of a directive of SB 350 that requires utilities to undertake transportation electrification activities. Here is a brief overview of the approved programs: Approved … Continue Reading

Energy Storage Is Coming to New Jersey

The New Jersey legislature recently passed a bill (the “Bill”) that would set a goal of reaching 600 megawatts of energy storage capacity by 2021 and 2 gigawatts by 2030.[1] This represents one of the largest energy storage implementation goals in the country and likely signals the coming of a large new market for energy storage. The Bill requires the … Continue Reading

5 Key Takeaways from FERC’s Recent Energy Storage Order

In February, FERC issued Order 841, Electric Storage Participation in Markets Operated by Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators (the “Order”), requiring RTOs and ISOs to establish new market participation rules for energy storage that recognize the physical and operational characteristics of these resources. While the Order set forth some minimal requirements that each … Continue Reading

California May Need up to 2,000 MW of New Battery Energy Storage Resources by 2030, Commission Finds

On February 8, 2018, the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) adopted a new procurement process in a decision which suggested that 2,000 MW of new battery energy storage resources may be needed in California by 2030. This means an additional 2,000 MW of storage on top of the existing 1,325 MW that is already required. … Continue Reading

House Bill Would Extend the ITC to Standalone Energy Storage Systems

The investment tax credit (“ITC”) plays a major role in driving investment in the U.S. solar energy market. Earlier this month, two members of Congress introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to provide a similar ITC for energy storage systems. The bill, called the Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act of … Continue Reading

California IOUs Request Approval of 175 MW of New Energy Storage Resources

On December 1, 2017, two of the three major California investor-owned utilities (“IOUs”), Pacific Gas & Electricity (“PG&E”) and Southern California Edison (“SCE”), submitted applications for approval of the results of their 2016-2017 energy storage request for offers. Background on the Energy Storage Mandate in California In September 2010, the Governor of California signed AB … Continue Reading

The Western States’ Plan for EV Charging Infrastructure – Lessons Learned and Things to Watch

Introduction On October 4, 2017, the Governors of a number of western states signed a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) to lay the foundation for work on a regional electric vehicle (“EV”) infrastructure development plan called the Regional Electric Vehicle Plan for the West (“REV West Plan”). The MOU was initially entered by Colorado, Utah, Nevada, … Continue Reading

Behind the Meter Energy Storage Gets a Boost in California

On April 6th, the energy storage market received a boost in California when state regulators authorized $196 million in new rebates for customers who install onsite (behind the meter) energy storage systems. Background The change occurs under the California Self Generation Incentive Program (“SGIP”). SGIP provides a financial rebate to energy customers who install new … Continue Reading

California Community Solar Forum Points to Need for Reforms

The community solar program in California is off to a slow start. The reasons for this slow start were discussed at a solar developer’s forum held by the state’s major utilities and policymakers on April 5, 2017. Background on Community Solar in California California’s community solar program is formally known as the Enhanced Community Renewables … Continue Reading

CPUC and CEC Announce Joint Policy Forum on Future of Retail Electricity in California

Today the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and California Energy Commission (CEC) announced that they will hold a joint forum on May 19, 2017 to discuss the future of retail electricity in California. According to the announcement, by around 2025, over 80% of all electricity customers of the state’s three main investor-owned utilities (IOUs) will … Continue Reading

California Lawmakers Introduce Clean Peak Standard Legislation

Two new bills, similar in concept but differing in approach, seek to align renewable energy output with peak electricity demand. Currently, the California Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires investor-owned utilities to procure 50% of total retail sales of electricity from renewable energy resources by 2030. If enacted, the bills would expand the RPS from a … Continue Reading

Results from California’s First Community Solar RFO

The first round of procurement under California’s community solar program is nearly complete, and the early results suggest that no power purchase agreements (“PPAs”) will be awarded. Background on the RFO California’s community solar program is formally known as the Enhanced Community Renewables (“ECR”) program. The ECR program is part of the larger Green Tariff … Continue Reading

New Report Identifies Cleantech Market Opportunities in Southern California

If you’re looking for a new cleantech startup idea, the San Diego Regional Energy Innovation Network (SD-REIN) recently released a report that identifies cleantech market opportunities in the Southern California region. The report, entitled “Regional Energy Technology Priorities and Needs,” was presented at an SD-REIN meeting on March 9, 2017. It will be used to … Continue Reading
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