Almost three years ago, I reported that the White House Council on Environmental Quality had issued the Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force. Since that time, the Nation Ocean Council, formed by President Obama in Executive Order 13547, has been working diligently to prepare an agency roadmap to put the new National Ocean Policy into action.
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber announced today that he has named Margi Hoffman to serve as his Energy Policy Advisor. She will join the Governor’s office on April 2.
Ms. Hoffman has served as Senior Vice President and Director of Oregon Operations with Strategies360, a strategic consulting firm, and has also worked closely with Renewable Northwest Project (RNP)…
The 2011 IEPR Committee Workshop on Energy Storage for Renewable Integration was held Thursday, April 28th at the California Energy Commission (CEC) offices in Sacramento. The Workshop was presented in a three panel format, with each panel addressing specific topics, including (1) the need for energy storage in light of California’s renewable portfolio standard, greenhouse…
California’s AB 2514 requires the CPUC and municipal utilities in California to open proceedings by March 1, 2012 to determine appropriate targets, if any, for the procurement of viable and cost-effective energy storage systems by load-serving entities. By October 1, 2013, the CPUC must (1) determine whether a procurement target for energy storage is appropriate…
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…
The Oklahoma legislature passed three bills (H.B. 2973, S.B. 1787, and H.B. 3028) in 2010 that affect the renewable energy industry. Two have already gone into effect and the third will go into effect on January 1, 2011. A summary of each bill is included below.
The Oklahoma Wind Energy Development Act (the “Act”), H.B. 2973, becomes effective on January 1, 2011 and will be codified in Okla. Stat. tit. 17 §§160.11-17 (2010). The Act includes the following:
- Decommissioning: Decommissioning requirements apply to any wind energy facility entering into or renewing a power purchase agreement (PPA) on or after January 1, 2011. If energy is not being sold under a PPA, the requirements apply to wind energy facilities which commence construction on or after January 1, 2011. The requirements include:
- Restoration: Owners of a wind energy facility must remove wind energy equipment (to a depth of 30”) and restore land surfaces to substantially the same pre-construction condition (excluding roads) within 12 months of abandonment of a project or the end of the useful life of the equipment.
- Cost Estimate and Posting of Financial Security: After the 15th year of operation, facility owners must file a professional estimate of the decommissioning costs together with a financial security (either a surety bond, collateral bond, parent guaranty or letter of credit) to cover such costs. Those failing to so file may incur an administrative penalty of up to $1,500/day.
- Payment Statements and Access to Records: Any owner or operator making payments to landowners based on the amount of electrical energy produced is required to deliver a statement to the landowner, within 10 business days of payment, explaining the payment calculation and a means for the landowner to confirm its accuracy. Landowners have the right to inspect owner/operator records to confirm the accuracy of payments for up to 24 months following payment. Records must be made available for review within the state of Oklahoma.
- Insurance: Owners or operators are required to obtain commercial general liability insurance policy with limits consistent with prevailing industry standards (or a combination of self insurance and excess liability insurance policy), which name the landowner as an additional insured and certificates of insurance must be delivered to landowner prior to commencing construction of the facility.
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 Legislature has tasked the Department of Commerce with updating the State Energy Strategy while taking account the following three goals and nine principles:…
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 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Opportunity for Comment issued by the Department of Energy ("DOE") on August 7, 2009. The comment period for the proposed amendments ended on September 22, 2009; the comments received by the DOE from the industry and other interested parties were largely supportive of the proposed amendments.
In a nutshell, the amendments to the regulations outlined in the final rule are designed to:
- provide flexibility in the determination of an appropriate collateral package to secure the guaranteed loan obligations;
- eliminate the requirement that the Secretary receive a first priority lien on all project assets as a condition for obtaining the loan guarantee;
- facilitate collateral sharing and related intercreditor arrangements with other project lenders; and
- provide a more workable interpretation of certain statutory provisions regarding DOE’s treatment of collateral that is more consistent with the intent and purposes of Title XVII.