Global Power Law & Policy

Global Power Law & Policy

Legal and policy developments affecting the global power industry

K&L Gates Distinguished Speaker Program – featuring A. Stanley Meiburg, Acting Deputy Administrator, EPA

Posted in Public Policy, Regulation and Legislation, U.S.A.

K&L Gates is pleased to invite you to our September 20th Distinguished Speaker Program breakfast featuring A. Stanley Meiburg, Acting Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Stan Meiburg serves as the Acting Deputy Administrator of EPA, continuing a career spanning over 39 years at EPA in locations around the country. He has broad experience in the management of the agency across the spectrum of EPA’s activities, and has received numerous awards, including recognition as a Distinguished Federal Executive in 2012 and as a Meritorious Federal Executive in 1997. He received EPA’s Gold Medal in 1990 for his work on the Clean Air Act Amendments, and Silver Medal in 1983 for work on state-federal relations.

Meiburg spent 18 years as Deputy Regional Administrator of EPA’s Region 4 office in Atlanta, Georgia, following service as Deputy Regional Administrator in EPA’s Region 6 office in Dallas, Texas. He is the second person in EPA history to serve as Deputy Regional Administrator in more than one region.

From 1990 to 1995, Meiburg was Director of Region 6’s Air, Pesticides and Toxics Division. From 1985 to 1990, he was Director of the Planning and Management Staff of EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards in Durham, North Carolina, leading work on the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments as well as planning and budgeting for the air program.

Meiburg joined EPA in 1977, serving in a variety of positions in Washington, D.C., Research Triangle Park, N.C., and Dallas, Texas, before coming to Atlanta. Meiburg holds a B.A. degree from Wake Forest University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from The Johns Hopkins University.

RSVP:
To attend, please email Kristen Hughes or call +1.202.661.3795 by 5:00 p.m. EDT, Monday, September 19.

This event is not a fundraiser. To maintain the informality of this event, it is strictly off the record.

Building Bridges IV Bridging the Public-Private Divide: Financing Infrastructure Through Pooled Investment Platforms

Posted in Finance, U.S.A.

K&L Gates, SovereigNET, The Fletcher School’s Network for Sovereign Wealth and Global Capital, and the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds are pleased to announce our fourth symposium on global infrastructure.

The central theme of the symposium will be Bridging the Public-Private Divide through Pooled Investment Platforms. The discussion will focus on the design of innovative financing platforms to narrow the global infrastructure investment gap.

Gathering representatives from the World Bank and the institutional investor community together with policy makers, development banks, service providers, academics, and public sector partners, the symposium will explore the role of investment fund structures – sovereign, multilateral and private – in mobilizing capital in scale to finance critical infrastructure needs in both developed and emerging economies.

The symposium will be organized into four discussion panels and several interactive lunch breakouts. All sessions will feature speakers who are actively involved in sponsoring, funding, managing, and governing global infrastructure and strategic investment funds.

Keynote Speaker:  Adrian Orr, Chief Executive Officer, New Zealand Superannuation Fund; Chair of International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds 

To RSVP for this program, please click here. Continue Reading

Event: Infocast’s Corporate Renewables 2016, K&L Gates Platinum Sponsor

Posted in Renewables, U.S.A.

We invite you to join us for Infocast’s Corporate Renewables 2016 program on September26-28, 2016 in Washington, D.C. Portland partners Teresa A. Hill and William H. Holmes will be co-sponsors, along with faculty from Renewable Choice Energy, of a one-day, interactive Corporate Renewables 101 workshop on Monday, September 26.  Topics discussed will include developing a procurement strategy, offsite renewable energy options, and executing on your renewable energy strategy.  The workshop will help corporations, universities, non-profits and other non-utility purchasers of renewable energy build a strong foundation in renewable energy procurement.

In addition, K&L Gates is a Platinum Sponsor for the three-day program which will feature panels focusing on corporations that seek to take advantage of the various opportunities in renewable energy and their need to develop a nuanced understanding of the renewables procurement process. There are a variety of options available to buyers, and the process for acquiring renewables can be complex. The good news is that Corporate Renewables 2016 is a place where corporate renewable energy buyers can come to stay abreast of the latest market developments, to tap into the experience of their corporate peers, to boost their renewable procurement skills and capabilities and to search for renewables deals.  On the morning of September 28, Teresa Hill will be moderating a panel on “Lessons from the Frontline: What Corporates are Learning About Renewable Procurement”, which will take advantage of her experience closing several large corporate renewable energy power purchase transactions and the expertise of a distinguished panel of corporate buyers and renewable energy developers who have completed corporate renewables deals.

As platinum sponsors, we are able to offer our clients and contacts at 15% discount on the standard registration fee. For information on how to utilize this discount, please contact Bill Holmes or Teresa Hill.

We hope you can join us!

Women in Power: Networking, Exploring and Fueling the Energy Economy

Posted in Public Policy, Renewables, U.S.A.

We invite you to join the women of K&L Gates LLP and other women in the energy industry on Thursday, September 29th for a day of engaging discussion on hot topic issues. The tentative agenda can be found below.

We also invite the women attending this program to join us in the evening for K&L Gates LLP’s annual networking reception celebrating women in business and law. This year’s event will feature several leading female chefs and mixologists in the D.C. area who will showcase their culinary work ranging from savory dishes to delectable pastries and cocktails. The chefs will be available for discussions regarding their work as well as their businesses’ challenges and successes. The event also features a live painting exhibition by D.C.-based artist Maggie O’Neill, co-founder of SwatchRoom. The painting will be raffled off at the event, with all proceeds going to a local charity.

Tentative Agenda

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
CYBERSECURITY: UNDERSTANDING AND MITIGATING RISK IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY

The seamless communication that our digital world offers creates tremendous opportunities for growth, but also presents significant risks as users entrust companies with personal data that must be protected and critical infrastructure relies on potentially vulnerable communication networks and supply chains. This panel will explore cyber law developments, the cybersecurity challenges that companies in the energy space are facing, and ways that companies can mitigate and manage risks inherent in our nation’s cyber systems.
Speakers:
Roberta D. Anderson, K&L Gates LLP
Melanie Seader, Edison Electric Institute, Director, Reliability Policy

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
LUNCH AND KEYNOTE SPEAKER

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
SMALL GROUP POLICY DISCUSSIONS
Discussion Leaders:
Laurie B. Purpuro and Karishma Shah Page, K&L Gates LLP

1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
BREAK

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY STORAGE: TRENDS, CHALLENGES, AND OPPORTUNITIES

New regulations, shifting market forces, government incentives, and technological advances continue to shape the way in which U.S. energy companies generate electricity, impact corporate sustainability programs, and offer the potential for energy storage solutions. This panel will explore the challenges U.S. companies must navigate and the opportunities that are presented in the context of these evolving renewable and energy storage trends.
Speakers:
Andrea W. Lucan, K&L Gates LLP
Teresa A. Hill, K&L Gates LLP
Delia D. Patterson, American Public Power Association, General Counsel and VP, Human Resources & Administration

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
BREAK

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
THE CHANGING U.S. ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE LANDSCAPE: BANKRUPTCIES, DIVESTITURES, AND NEW FOREIGN INVESTMENT
Fossil fuel gluts and movements in global demand profiles have had significant impacts on the U.S. energy industry over the last several years, pushing some towards and into bankruptcy and creating opportunities for investment for others. This panel will explore how these trends have impacted U.S. energy infrastructure and interest from foreign investors.
Speakers:
Mackenzie L. Shea, K&L Gates LLP
Lindsey A. Greer, K&L Gates LLP
Katie Bays, Energy Analyst, Height Securities

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
WOMEN IN THE PROFESSION NETWORKING EVENT
(At Long View Gallery) – To register to attend this networking event, please RSVP here.
We look forward to seeing you!

To register to attend Women in Power: Networking, Exploring and Fueling the Energy Economy, please click here. 

Please contact WA Events or call 202.778.9388 if you have any questions.

Another Step Toward North Carolina Offshore Wind: Proposed Offshore Wind Farm Lease Announced

Posted in Electricity, Energy Storage, U.S.A., Wind

The U.S. Department of the Interior has just announced the next step in the years-long process toward the development of wind energy facilities off the coast of North Carolina.  In a notice published in the Federal Register on August 16, 2016, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) proposed the sale of commercial lease rights to develop wind energy facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of northeastern North Carolina.  The notice can be found at: https://federalregister.gov/a/2016-19552.  The area proposed for lease encompasses approximately 122,400 acres, begins about 24 nautical miles off the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and contains 21.5 Outer Continental Shelf blocks.  This area is known as the Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area (“WEA”) and is situated in rough proximity to the Virginia WEA that was leased by BOEM pursuant to an auction process in 2013.  A map of the proposed Kitty Hawk lease area can be found at: http://www.boem.gov/Map-Standard-Background/.  Public comments to BOEM’s notice, as well as expressions of interest in the proposed lease for the Kitty Hawk WEA, may be submitted during the 60-day comment period that ends on October 17, 2016.

To read the full alert, click here.

Regulation on Wholesale Energy Markets Integrity and Transparency – Are you REMIT Compliant?

Posted in Electricity, Europe

The regulatory and enforcement landscape of the European natural gas and electricity markets is changing considerably following the last stage in the implementation of the Regulation on Wholesale Energy Markets Integrity and Transparency (EU) No 1227/2011 (REMIT). REMIT is a European Union Regulation designed to deter market abuse in natural gas and electricity markets. It came into force on 28 December 2011, but full implementation in Member States has been phased in over the years since then. Crucial regulator enforcement powers and sanctions were introduced in the UK in 2013 and 2015, and rules relating to data reporting have become fully operational in 2016.

REMIT has introduced an EU-wide monitoring regime to detect and deter market manipulation and insider trading which may distort wholesale energy prices, potentially resulting in higher retail prices. To that end, it requires disclosure of price-sensitive information regarding energy generation, storage and transmission. REMIT provides for a shared compliance responsibility between the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and applicable National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs). The applicable NRA in the UK is the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem).

ACER and Ofgem have sent strong signals that they are primed to increase the number of investigations into suspected misconduct in Europe’s natural gas and power markets. The effect of the new reporting regime is that the regulators will have access to more data to detect market abuse, resulting in an increased likelihood of civil and/or criminal sanctions for individuals as well as corporates.

Ofgem has already engaged with some market participants about certain issues, identified through monitoring and investigation, and is cautioning companies to review their approach to compliance with REMIT.

So, who is caught by REMIT and how can a market participant protect itself from civil or criminal liability?

To read the full alert, click here.

CFTC Proposes to Permit Private Rights of Action Against RTOs and ISOs and Persons Transacting Thereon

Posted in Electricity, Regulation and Legislation

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has proposed to amend its previous Order exempting specified electric energy transactions from certain provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations and to permit a private right of action against regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) and persons transacting thereon for alleged fraud and manipulation.  81 Fed. Reg. 30245 (May 16, 2016).  The CFTC stated that it did not intend in the original RTO/ISO Order, issued in 2013 (78 Fed. Reg. 19880 (April 2, 2013)), to grant exemption from the private right of action provided in CEA Section 22, but the Fifth Circuit held that this was the effect of the RTO/ISO Order in Aspire Commodities, L.P. v. GDF Suez Energy N.Am., Inc., No. 15-20125, 2016 WL 758689 (5th Cir. Feb. 25, 2016).  Therefore, were the CFTC to adopt the amendment to the RTO/ISO Order, it would in effect be overruling Aspire.  The types of transactions covered by the RTO/ISO Order include financial transmission rights, energy transactions, forward capacity transactions, and reserve or regulation transactions, and the RTO/ISO Order applies to any person or class of persons offering, entering into, rendering advice, or rendering other services with respect to these transactions. Continue Reading

CEQ Issues Final Greenhouse Gas Guidance Directing Federal Agencies to Consider Climate Change in their NEPA Reviews

Posted in Climate Change, Emissions, Regulation and Legislation, U.S.A.

On August 2, 2016, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published a final version of its guidance to federal agencies requiring the consideration of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and effects on climate change when evaluating potential impacts of a federal action under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). CEQ explains that it does not expect the Final Guidance to be applied to federal actions for which a NEPA review has been concluded or actions for which a final environmental impact statement or environmental assessment has been issued. As discussed in greater detail below, although the Final Guidance is not legally binding on federal agencies, various aspects of the document have the potential to delay permitting timelines as agencies determine whether and how to incorporate the Final Guidance into their reviews and very likely will add to the level of review that agencies undertake.

To read the full alert, click here.

Puget Sound Energy Reports to the Washington UTC on the Progress of its Efforts to Join the CAISO Energy Imbalance Market; CAISO Releases Study Chronicling Benefits of a Regional Energy Market

Posted in Electricity, Public Policy, Regulation and Legislation, Renewables, Sustainability

Puget Sound Energy (“PSE”) recently presented to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (“WUTC”) regarding the steps it is taking to join the California-based Energy Imbalance Market (“EIM”) this coming fall. WUTC Docket No. 151425 (July 20, 2016).  The EIM is a new energy market overseen by the California state energy balancing authority – the California Independent System Operator (“CAISO”) – that came online in November 2014.  It is intended to increase reliability and other benefits for affected costumers by coordinating the dispatch of energy generation and transmission from utilities across an expanded geographic footprint that is expected to encompass significant portions of eight western states by the end 2018. As of the end of the second quarter this year, CAISO estimates that the EIM has resulted in a $65 million gross benefit for its participants to-date.

On October 1st, PSE is scheduled to become the third out-of-state utility to join the EIM, benefiting from the earlier integration efforts of PacifiCorp (November 2014) and NV Energy (December 2015). It will then soon be followed by Arizona Public Services (2016), Portland General Electric (2017), and Idaho Power (2018), which are each at various stages along an EIM integration process that can take from 18-24 months to complete. As PSE reported at the July 20th WUTC hearing, the process requires working toward 34 separate readiness criteria that must be evidenced in a “Readiness Certification” delivered to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) at least 30 days prior to the scheduled “Go Live Date.”

PSE spent the majority of the presentation outlining the breadth of system integration activities that it has been working on for the last 12 months, particularly with its principal vendor, Power Costs, Inc. (PCI). PCI is providing the cloud-based software platform that PSE will use to bridge the numerous differences in network protocols and data management between its own systems and those used by the EIM. By PSE’s estimate, a total of 28 different management systems and operating protocols  have been impacted by the integration efforts, ranging from new systems for outage management and the scheduling of energy demand to increasing the modeling accuracy of resource capabilities and reprogramming the real-time meters installed at each generator on its system.

PSE is now in the “Market Simulation” phase of the integration process, where PSE is running its new system through 16 simulations designed by CAISO to test for bugs and ensure transmission reliability in various market scenarios. This phase is expected to wrap up by early August, after which PSE will begin to dispatch resources into the EIM on a small scale basis without relinquishing full control over the system (“Parallel Operations”) for the two months prior to launch. In the interim, PSE says it will continue focusing heavily on employee training to ensure a smooth transition on October 1st.  It has also launched a suite of customer education programs to answer any questions that they may have about the new system.

At the end of the presentation, the WUTC expressed its appreciation for the opportunity to learn more about this process and indicated that it would keep the docket number open for PSE to post future notices regarding any change in its plans or expectations while completing the prescribed readiness criteria. The WUTC also requested a follow-up presentation to be scheduled for sometime after the Go Live Date for a post-integration debriefing. As more utilities in Washington State weigh the costs and benefits of joining the ever expanding EIM, this will likely not be the last time this issue comes before them.

What happens next? A region-wide energy market?

While utilities around the West consider joining the EIM, CAISO is beginning to promote its vision for the next step in the evolution of the western energy markets. On July 12, CAISO released a study quantifying the potential effects of creating a multi-state, regional electric market in addition to an existing region-wide EIM. The new energy market would go beyond the real time balancing activities of the EIM to integrate the remaining market functions managed by ISO’s across the region – such as day-ahead unit commitment, day-ahead market dispatch, intra-day adjustments, and coordinated transmission planning and generator interconnections.

The CAISO study assumed the existence of a region-wide EIM market and focused exclusively on the additional benefits of implementing the integrated region-wide energy market. Based on a model that assumed a large regional footprint that includes all of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council without the federal power marketing authorities (BPA and WAPA), the study revealed the following west-wide benefits:

  • Reduction of California’s carbon dioxide emissions in 2030 by 4 to 5 million metric tons, or 8 to 10 percent of the state’s total electricity sector emissions. The western region would see a decrease of 10 to 11 million metric tons, or about 3.5 percent, in 2030.
  • The creation of 9,900 to 19,400 new jobs in California by 2030, primarily as a result of lower energy rates.
  • Lower impacts on land, water and biological resources, as more strategic planning reduces the number of transmission projects needed for reliability.
  • Lower energy costs due to smaller operating reserves.
  • Better real-time visibility of system conditions in the larger geographic footprint and enhanced management of regional power flows.
  • Increased integration of renewables and reduced need for curtailment of renewable resources by offering excess energy across the West.

Moreover, by expanding the energy grid, CAISO estimates that California would reach its 50 percent renewable energy goal while saving consumers up to $1.5 billion by 2030, lowering greenhouse gas emissions and adding jobs in California.

This comprehensive benefits study comes three months after PacifiCorp’s announcement in April that it had entered into an agreement with CAISO to explore the feasibility of PacifiCorp becoming a full participant in the CAISO market, a step that would require a full stakeholder and regulatory review in each of PacifiCorp’s jurisdictions of operation (CA, ID, OR, UT, WA, and WY). If PacifiCorp now chooses to go forward with its integration plans, state regulatory proceedings can be expected to begin as early as the fourth quarter of 2016.

FERC Issues Rule Requiring Wind Generators to Provide Reactive Power as a Condition of Interconnection

Posted in Electricity, Regulation and Legislation, U.S.A., Utilities, Wind

On June 16, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the “Commission”) issued Order No. 827, which establishes reactive power requirements for all new non-synchronous generation (the “Rule”).[1]  Specifically, the Rule revises the Commission’s pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (“LGIA”) and pro forma  Small Generator Interconnection Agreement (“SGIA”) to require that newly interconnecting non-synchronous generators, including wind generators, provide dynamic reactive power pursuant to the terms of their interconnection agreements.  The Rule is the result of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing reactive power requirements that was issued by the Commission last November.

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