Yesterday, the Executive Director of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Mary Nichols, announced that CARB is proposing to delay full implementation of California’s cap-and-trade program for a year. In testimony before the California Senate Select Committee on the Environment, the Economy, and Climate Change, Nichols stated that CARB is proposing to “initiate” the cap-and-trade

On April 11, 2011, FPL Energy, LLC, et al., filed with the Texas Supreme Court a petition for review of the Texas Court of Appeals’ decision FPL Energy, LLC, v. TXU Portfolio Management Company, L.P. The case illustrates the significant economic impact that curtailment can have on variable energy resources. For a detailed description of the case and its implications, see our Renewable + Law Blog entry on the Court of Appeals’ decision here.

The petition for review focuses on the question of whether the Court of Appeals was correct in enforcing the liquidated damages provisions contained in three wind energy power purchase agreements. The pertinent provisions in each PPA required the petitioners to pay $50 for every MWh that the plants fell short of achieving the their minimum REC output guarantees—the Court of Appeals’ holding meant that the petitioners owed TXU roughly $29 million in shortfall damages for a four year period of curtailment imposed by the transmission provider (ERCOT), on top of the pain of losing the contract price and the production tax credit on each MWh of energy curtailed.Continue Reading Petition for Review Filed in TXU v. FPL Curtailment Case

From our colleagues Beverly Pearman and Jeremy Sacks:

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Inc. v. General Electric Company

On May 20, 2010, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (“MHI”) and Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Inc. (“MPSA”) (collectively “Mitsubishi”) filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas contending that General Electric Company (“GE”) is engaged in a scheme to monopolize the sale of variable speed wind turbines in the United States in violation of state and federal statutes. They seek a compensatory damages award in excess of $100 million, an award of treble damages, punitive damages, and a permanent injunction prohibiting further litigation by GE for infringement of specified patents that GE claims to own. Mitsubishi’s claims are brought pursuant to Section 2 of the Sherman Act, Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, and a state law claim of tortious interference with contractual and prospective business relationships.Continue Reading Mitsubishi Alleges that General Electric, Co. Is Engaging in Anti-Competitive Behavior in the Variable Speed Wind Turbine Market

Stoel Rives litigation partners Beverly Pearman and Jeremy Sacks have prepared the following report on TransCanada’s recent challenge to the Massachusetts RPS:

On April 16, 2010, TransCanada Power Marketing, Ltd. (“TransCanda”) filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Massachusetts arguing that Massachusetts is unconstitutionally discriminating against out-of-state renewable energy producers. TransCanada purchases energy from generators and resells it to distribution companies and retail customers in the northeast United States. It is a U.S.-based subsidiary of TransCanada Corporation, a Canadian entity that, among other things, owns significant pieces of energy infrastructure in Canada and the United States, including power generation facilities. TransCanada’s suit challenges two Massachusetts programs that it claims benefit in-state economic interests while burdening out-of-state interests in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause. It is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief as well as damages under 42 USC § 1983.Continue Reading TransCanada challenges Massachusetts RPS