Katherine A. Roek

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Nebraska Passes Legislation Governing Wind Leases

The Nebraska legislature recently passed a bill amending existing state law governing wind easements, wind options, or wind leases or lease options entered into in the state for the purpose of wind energy development.  Substantive terms of the legislation include a limitation on the initial term of the agreement of not more than 40 years, and an automatic … Continue Reading

President Creates Interagency Task Force to Develop Marine Policy and Spatial Planning Framework

President Obama has issued a memorandum calling for the creation of a temporary Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force led by the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to develop a unifying framework for responsible development and ecosystem management for the nation’s oceans, coasts and the Great Lakes. Specifically, within 90 days the Task … Continue Reading

Rhode Island Legislation Proposed to Move Offshore Wind Forward

Rhode Island has introduced legislation to encourage offshore wind development.  Under the draft bill, the state’s largest electricity supplier, National Grid, would be required to purchase the energy output from an offshore wind project proposed by the state’s selected preferred offshore wind developer, Deepwater Wind.  National Grid has said that it supports the proposal, under … Continue Reading

Vermont Passes Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff

Vermont has enacted into law legislation that establishes minimum rates to be paid by electric customers for certain renewable energy sources in long-term fixed-price contracts.  Key elements of the bill include a project size cap of 2.2 MW, for a total program cap of 50 MW, a specified contract term of 20 years (except solar contracts, which will be … Continue Reading

FERC and MMS Reach Agreement on Offshore Renewable Energy

Today, Department of Interior Secretary Salazar and FERC Chairman Wellinghoff signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) clarifying each agency’s jurisdictional responsibilities for siting renewable energy on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The MOA should clear the way for wind, wave, tidal, ocean current, and solar energy projects on the OCS. My colleagues, including Cherise Oram, … Continue Reading

Interior Highlights Opportunities for Renewable Energy Development on OCS

The U.S. Department of Interior recently published a report highlighting the information currently available regarding the nature and scope of energy resources on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), including renewable energy.  The report is a result of the new administration’s approach to developing energy resources on the OCS, and will serve as background information for … Continue Reading

Michigan Governor Creates Great Lakes Wind Council

On February 6, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed an executive order creating the Great Lakes Wind Council, an advisory body within the Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth that will provide citizens with a public forum to begin to identify where, in the Great Lakes, wind energy systems may be prudently sited.  Appointments to … Continue Reading

WOW – Wisconsin’s Wind on the Waters Report Finalized

The final report commissioned by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission on the feasibility of Great Lakes offshore wind development was published on January 15, 2009.  The final report reflects comments made from the draft report that was circulated for public comment in the fall of 2008.  As reported in a previous blog entry, the report … Continue Reading

Detroit Edison Issues RFP for Renewable Energy

Activity is underway in Michigan to implement the state’s recently-enacted renewable portfolio standard, which requires the state’s electric utilities to serve 10 percent of their retail sales from renewable energy resources by 2015.  In late December, Detroit Edison issued a Request for Proposals to purchase Michigan-based renewable energy credits that will help the utility meet the RPS requirements. The RFP specifies that … Continue Reading

Growing Green Jobs

Check out our recent client alert on President-elect Obama’s selection of California congresswoman Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary, which we believe highlights the significance the incoming administration is placing on clean renewable energy and the contributing role of green jobs.  Also highlighted in our client alert is the efforts of several states, including Minnesota, California … Continue Reading

ASTM Proposes Corporate Climate Change Disclosure Standard

ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) recently published a proposed voluntary standard entitled “Financial Disclosures Attributed to Climate Change,” intended to provide guidance on when public company disclosure of climate change matters is required.  While the standard itself isn’t available via the Internet, a summary is available from the Brattle Group, which helped craft the … Continue Reading

Deadline Approaching for Minnesota Biodiesel Grants

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has announced that it will be providing $300,000 in grants to qualified applicants to use for the addition of infrastructure that would allow for the blending of biodiesel in all types of weather, including cold conditions.  Facilities must offer biodiesel for a minimum of five years, contingent upon the availability … Continue Reading

Ohio Power Siting Board Adopts Wind Facility Rules

On October 28, 2008, the Ohio Power Siting Board adopted rules implementing certification requirements for wind generating facilities in the state.  The full text of the opinion and order approving the rules identifies the procedural background followed by the PSB and highlights comments received from all interested parties (including utilities, citizen groups, and AWEA).  The The rules … Continue Reading

New York Establishes Wind Industry Code of Ethics

On October 30th, the New York Attorney General announced a Wind Industry Ethics Code aimed at assuring the public that wind development in the state is done ethically and legally.  The Code is the result of an investigation launched by the Attorney General into allegations of improper actions by wind developers to influence landowners and public officials.  According … Continue Reading

WOW – Wind on the Water in Wisconsin?

In Spring 2008, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission opened a docket and created an external Study Group to complete a study to assist with examining the technical feasibility, economic potential, environmental impacts, and legal requirements associated with developing wind energy on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.  Last Friday, the Study Group released its draft report, with the final … Continue Reading

Michigan Passes Renewable Portfolio Standard

On September 18, 2008, the Michigan legislature sent the state’s first Renewable Portfolio Standard to the Governor’s desk for signature.  The package mandates "10 percent of the state’s energy come from renewable sources by 2015, regulatory reform that protects Michigan ratepayers and allows utility companies to build new electricity generation in Michigan, and a requirement … Continue Reading

Upper Midwest Transmission Development Initiative Created

On September 18, 2008, the Midwest states of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota announced creation of a regional transmission planning effort that will "promote regional electric transmission investment and cost sharing" among the states.  Several entities, including MISO (which is currently conducting transmission planning studies in the region) and ITC, have issued press releases in favor … Continue Reading

Article: The Implications of Ethanol Plant Optimization

A recent article co-authored by Boise partner John Eustermann in Ethanol Producer magazine highlights certain considerations that plant managers must keep in mind in the event of ethanol plant optimization.  These considerations include examination and re-evaluation of common project-related documents, such as technology licenses and permits/site control issues, when investigating optimization activities or technological modifications to the plant.… Continue Reading

Client Alert: FERC’s Conditional Approval of MISO Queue Reform

Check out our client alert on FERC’s recent conditional approval of MISO’s revised large generator interconnection process.  It provides highlights of the ruling and identifies next steps that MISO must take in order to flesh out some issues, including certain milestones that generators must meet in order to move towards getting their project interconnected. Beth Soholt, executive director of Wind … Continue Reading

FERC Rules on MISO Queue Reform Proposal

On August 25, FERC issued its ruling on the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) plan to reform the generator interconnection queue process – the method by which transmission requirements for generators wishing to connect new projects to the grid in the Midwest are reviewed and approved.  FERC conditionally accepted the proposed tariff revisions, with an effective date … Continue Reading

More Steps Towards Biofuels at the Pump

Legislation recently introduced by Representatives Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) would, if enacted, provide increased access to ethanol and biodiesel at the pump.  The bipartisan legislation would "enhance the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit. Currently, the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property credit allows gas station owners to claim a 30 percent … Continue Reading