Julia Pettit

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Projects & Money 2011

As we approach the beginning of a new year, financing options for energy projects (both conventional and renewable) under the current economic conditions continue to be a challenge and a focal point for the energy industry.  In order to gear up for financing opportunities in 2011,  I, along with my colleagues Marcus Wood, Graham Noyes and Adam … Continue Reading

Utah Energy Initiative Task Force Issues Draft Plan

On June 8, 2010, Utah Governor Gary Herbert launched a formal planning process for the Utah Energy Initiative.  Over the past several months the members of the Utah Energy Initiative Task Force and various subcommittees have conducted public hearings and a series of meetings to gather input for purposes of drafting a 10-year strategic energy plan.  … Continue Reading

Clean Energy Jobs Focus of New Manufacturing Solicitation Issued by the DOE

On August 12, 2010, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced a new loan guarantee solicitation for renewable energy manufacturing projects.  The Commercial Technology Renewable Energy Manufacturing Projects solicitation (the "Solicitation") is supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the "Recovery Act") through Section 1705 of the Loan Guarantee Program and is focused primarily on providing new … Continue Reading

Colorado Public Utilities Commission Proposes New Rules Governing Transmission Planning

On July 28, 2010, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (the "Commission") issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NOPR") regarding rules related to electric transmission facilities planning (the "Proposed Rules").  The Proposed Rules are based, in large part, on the input provided by all interested parties in the workshops and written comments in connection with Docket Nos. … Continue Reading

Geothermal Projects Recent Beneficiaries of DOE’s Loan Guarantee Programs

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently announced conditional commitments to provide loan guarantees in connection with two geothermal projects located in Oregon and Nevada.  Specifically, on June 10, 2010, Secretary Chu announced that the Department of Energy offered a $102 million conditional commitment for a loan guarantee to U.S. Geothermal, Inc. to construct a 22 megawatt geothermal … Continue Reading

Release of the “Western Wind and Solar Integration Study”

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory ("NREL") recently announced the release of the "Western Wind and Solar Integration Study"  (the "WWSIS"), which investigated the operational impact of up to 35% energy penetration of wind, photovoltaic, and concentrating solar power on the power system operated by the WestConnect group of utilities in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and … Continue Reading

Solar Development Guidelines Released by Arizona Game and Fish Department

On March 12, 2010, the Arizona Game and Fish Department ("AGFD") released finalized guidelines for solar development in Arizona ("Solar Guidelines"), the objective of which "is to assist energy developers in identifying potential impacts to wildlife and wildlife habitats from their proposed development and potential alternatives to avoid, minimize, and/or mitigate for these negative impacts."  The AGFD encourages … Continue Reading

Optimizing Tax Benefits in Financing Renewable Energy Projects

Federal tax benefits, such as the Section 1603 Grant, investment tax credits and production tax credits, continue to be an important driver in financing renewable energy projects.  Several of my colleagues will be discussing these tax benefits and other incentives related to project financing in a webinar hosted by Infocast on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 1:00 … Continue Reading

Colorado Division of Property Taxation Considers Proposed Tax Treatment of Transmission Lines

The Colorado Division of Property Taxation will hold an important open public meeting Thursday, January 14, 2010, to discuss the "tax treatment of transmission lines".  Details of the proposed options will be posted on the Division’s website under the "state assessed tab."  In the notice provided by the Division, the agenda for the meeting will … Continue Reading

Wyoming Game & Fish Department Extends Comment Period for Wind Energy Recommendations

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department ("WGFD") has extended the public comment period on a draft document:  "Wind Energy Issues:  Impacts and Mitigation for Wildlife in Wyoming" from December 18, 2009 to February 1, 2010.  The document provides recommendations for assessing impacts to wildlife from wind energy projects, for collecting data, and for mitigating effects on … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Energy Announces Final Rule Amending Regulations for Loan Guarantee Program

On December 7, 2009, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the issuance of a final rule amending the October, 2007 Final Regulations implementing the Loan Guarantee Program under Section 1703 of Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (the "Section 1703 Program").  The amendments implemented through the final rule were first identified in a … Continue Reading

Will Wyoming Tax Electricity Generated From Wind Energy Projects?

On November 18, 2009, the Wyoming interim Joint Revenue Committee (the "Committee") considered two bills, each of which proposed to tax wind generated electricity.  Neither bill passed the committee on tie votes of 6-6 (4-4 House members and 2-2 senate members).  One of the bills sponsored by Sen John Schiffer, R-Kaycee, chairman of the Committee (legisweb.state.wy.us/interimCommittee/2009/10LSO-0126w4.pdf) proposed a tax of $.0010 upon each … Continue Reading

Public Service Commission of Utah Investigates Third-Party Power Purchase Agreements For Renewable Energy Generation

On October 12, 2009, the Public Service Commission of Utah ("PSC") joined the ranks of several other states in the west, including  Oregon, when it established a docket to investigate whether, and the extent to which, certain third-party arrangements for renewable energy generation are subject to the PSC’s jurisdiction.   www.psc.utah.gov/utilities/misc/miscindx/0999912indx.html,  Pursuant to the notice, the PSC may … Continue Reading

Show Me the Money: State Energy Programs for Seven States and Territories Awarded $119 Million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“Recovery Act”)

On August 14, 2009, the Department of Energy ("DOE") State Energy Program ("SEP") announced that more than $119 million in funding from the Recovery Act to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects has been awarded to Alabama, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, North Dakota and Wyoming. Here is a summary of how the … Continue Reading

Show Me the Money: $304 Million Allocated to Three States for Weatherization Assistance Programs

On Friday, June 25, 2009, the Department of Energy ("DOE") announced more than $304 million in Recovery Act funding to three states for their weatherization assistance programs. The DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program will enable families making up to 200% of the federal poverty level – about $44,000 a year for a family of four – to save … Continue Reading

Show Me the Money: Minnesota, South Carolina, and South Dakota State Energy Programs Received $51.4 Million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

On June 24, 2009, the Department of Energy (“DOE”) announced more than $204 million in ARRA funding to ten states for their State Energy Programs (“SEPs”). Here is a summary of how the monies will be used in Minnesota, South Carolina and South Dakota: Minnesota has been awarded $21.7 million in federal stimulus funds for … Continue Reading

Western Governors Consider Regional and National Polices Regarding Global Climate Change

At the Western Governors’ Association Annual Meeting on June 15, 2009, the Western Governors heard a sobering  and candid report from Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, which, at its core, indicated that climate change is real and happening faster than scientists previously warned.  According to Secretary Chu, "the news is getting scary . . . … Continue Reading

Strategies for Tapping the West’s Renewable Energy Potential

The Western Governors’ Association ("WGA") gathered in Park City, Utah for its annual meeting, which was held on June 14-16, 2009.   Attendees at the meeting included Governors Bill Ritter (Colo.); C.L. "Butch" Otter (Idaho); Brian Schweitzer (Mont.); Dave Heineman (Neb.); Bill Richardson (N.M.); Benigno Fitial, Northern Mariana Islands; Ted Kulongoski (Ore.); Mike Rounds (S.D.); Dave Freudenthal (Wyo.); and Jon Huntsman, … Continue Reading

Annual Meeting of the Western Governors’ Association: June 14-16, 2009, Park City, Utah

The Western Governors’ Association ("WGA") will hold its annual meeting in Park City, Utah on June 14-16, 2009.  Based on a review of the Agenda posted to the WGA’s website, the focus of the meeting will be on developing regional and global strategies for addressing important issues related to energy resources, climate change and water.  I will be … Continue Reading
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