Archive: 2017

1
K&L Gates Blockchain Energizer – Volume 5
2
K&L Gates Blockchain Energizer – Volume 4
3
Massachusetts Utility Takes Novel Approach to Increased Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
4
Teresa Hill To Speak at AWEA WINDPOWER 2017
5
Senate Finance Committee Releases New technology-neutral Energy Credits Legislation
6
K&L Gates Blockchain Energizer – Volume 3
7
CPUC Requires Additional 500 MW of Energy Storage from California IOUs
8
K&L Gates Blockchain Energizer – Volume 2
9
The Business of of Wind in the Northwest – Presented by The Seminar Group
10
Trade Group Complains that PJM’s Frequency Regulation System Unduly Discriminates Against Energy Storage Resources

K&L Gates Blockchain Energizer – Volume 5

By Molly Suda, Buck B. Endemann, and Ben Tejblum

There is a lot of buzz around blockchain technology and its potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries from finance and healthcare to real estate and supply chain management. Reports estimate that over $1.4 billion was invested in blockchain startups in 2016 alone, and many institutions and companies are forming partnerships to explore how blockchain ledgers and smart contracts can be deployed to manage and share data, create transactional efficiencies, and reduce costs.

While virtual currencies and blockchain technology in the financial services industry have been the subject of significant debate and discussion, blockchain applications that could transform the energy industry have received comparatively less attention. Every other week, the K&L Gates’ Blockchain Energizer will highlight emerging issues or stories relating to the use of blockchain technology in the energy space.

IN THIS ISSUE

  • Canada’s TMX Natural Gas Exchange to Test Blockchain
  • Banks and Traders Begin to Consider the Implications of a Shift to Blockchain-Powered Networks
  • CFTC Launches FinTech Initiative

To view more information on theses topics in Volume 5 of The Blockchain Energizer, click here.

K&L Gates Blockchain Energizer – Volume 4

By Molly Suda, Buck B. Endemann, and Ben Tejblum

There is a lot of buzz around blockchain technology and its potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries from finance and healthcare to real estate and supply chain management. Reports estimate that over $1.4 billion was invested in blockchain startups in 2016 alone, and many institutions and companies are forming partnerships to explore how blockchain ledgers and smart contracts can be deployed to manage and share data, create transactional efficiencies, and reduce costs.

While virtual currencies and blockchain technology in the financial services industry have been the subject of significant debate and discussion, blockchain applications that could transform the energy industry have received comparatively less attention. Every other week, the K&L Gates’ Blockchain Energizer will highlight emerging issues or stories relating to the use of blockchain technology in the energy space.

IN THIS ISSUE

  • Energy Companies Come Together to Fund a Blockchain Initiative for Energy
  • Blockchain-Powered Distributed Energy Projects Launch in the Netherlands and Germany
  • Blockchain as the Key to Platform-Based Electric Grids?

To view more information on theses topics in Volume 4 of The Blockchain Energizer, click here.

Massachusetts Utility Takes Novel Approach to Increased Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

By William M. Keyser, Molly Suda, Michael L. O’Neill

Offering a new approach on electric vehicles (EV) integration in the power grid, Massachusetts utility National Grid has proposed a “make ready” solution for EV charging stations in its service territory.  In essence, the utility proposes to prepare the infrastructure to support the development of EV charging stations but does not propose to own the charging infrastructure itself.  This approach may appease some of the opposition mounted in other states where utilities have sought to own both the infrastructure necessary to support EV charging stations and the charging stations themselves.  National Grid’s proposal is pending before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU).

If the DPU approves National Grid’s EV charging proposal, National Grid may take important steps in developing the infrastructure necessary to support Massachusetts’ planned expansion of the Commonwealth’s EV fleet.  And, if approved, this program allows the company to position itself as a leader in the race to integrate EVs into the electricity grid.

Read More

Teresa Hill To Speak at AWEA WINDPOWER 2017

Teresa Hill, Partner in K&L Gates’ Portland office, will be speaking at the AWEA WINDPOWER 2017 post-conference seminar The Evolving World of Corporate Wind Investment in Anaheim, California, on Thursday, May 25th at 1:30 p.m. PST at the Anaheim Convention Center. Teresa will speak on the panel Sealing the C&I Deal: Innovations, Challenges, and Opportunities in conjunction with Ted Romaine, Director of Origination, Invenergy LLC and Vanessa Miler-Fels, Energy Strategy & Research – Renewable Energy Strategist, Microsoft.  Teresa will focus on how to structure renewable agreements that satisfy both the non-utility buyer’s renewable goals and other organizational needs, and provide the developer a financeable revenue stream to support the renewable project.  

Senate Finance Committee Releases New technology-neutral Energy Credits Legislation

By Elizabeth C. Crouse and Mary Burke Baker

On Thursday, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, released new technology-neutral energy credits legislation that would revolutionize the existing Investment Tax Credit and Production Tax Credit provisions. The legislation features a graduated credit rate schedule based on the level of carbon emissions as compared to a carbon emissions baseline (keyed to “current” national average carbon emissions) that would be available without regard to technology or energy input. In a move that is consistent with cutting-edge energy innovations and responsive to the needs and concerns of many large power consumers and utilities, the credits would expressly be available for energy storage and carbon capture technology installed at power plants placed in service before January 1, 2019. Energy storage would include hydroelectric pumped storage, thermal storage, fuel cells, and–crucially–batteries, among others. Under Wyden’s legislation, the maximum credit rates would be 30% for the ITC and, for the PTC, 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity produced. In addition, the PATH Act “sunset” provisions on the PTC and ITC would be repealed and the proposal would temporarily extend other energy provisions during a transition period.

The proposed legislation would also create a technology-neutral clean fuel production credit, homeowner versions of the ITC, performance-based incentives for energy efficiency improvements to residential and commercial buildings, and clean energy bonds generally based on existing government bonds frameworks.

Although there are differences of opinion in the Congress on whether the tax code should offer energy incentives, Sen. Wyden’s proposal could come into play this year either as part of tax reform or the infrastructure debate.  Senate Democrats recently released a blueprint for infrastructure that includes technology neutral energy reform.

Members of the K&L Gates LLP policy group are closely monitoring this and other tax and energy regulatory reform matters.

 

K&L Gates Blockchain Energizer – Volume 3

A bi-weekly update on applications of blockchain technology in the energy industry

By Molly Suda, Buck B. Endemann, and Benjamin L. Tejblum                   

There is a lot of buzz around blockchain technology and its potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries from finance and healthcare to real estate and supply chain management. Reports estimate that over $1.4 billion was invested in blockchain startups in 2016 alone, and many institutions and companies are forming partnerships to explore how blockchain ledgers and smart contracts can be deployed to manage and share data, create transactional efficiencies, and reduce costs.

While virtual currencies and blockchain technology in the financial services industry have been the subject of significant debate and discussion, blockchain applications that could transform the energy industry have received comparatively less attention.  Every other week, the K&L Gates’ Blockchain Energizer will highlight emerging issues or stories relating to the use of blockchain technology in the energy space.

IN THIS ISSUE

  • Blockchain-Powered Crowdfunding Brings Solar Energy to Africa
  • Illinois Considering Blockchain Technology to Streamline Government Programs
  • Arizona Paves the Way for Smart Contracts

To view more information on theses topics in Volume 3 of The Blockchain Energizer, click here.

 

CPUC Requires Additional 500 MW of Energy Storage from California IOUs

By Buck Endemann, William Holmes, Andrea Lucan

Under AB 2514, California’s landmark energy storage law passed in 2013, California’s three Investor-Owned Utilities (“IOUs”) (Southern California Edison (“SCE”), Pacific Gas & Electric (“PG&E”), and San Diego Gas & Electric (“SDG&E”)) are required to install 1,325 MW of energy storage by 2024.[1]  Recent California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) decisionmaking under a later-passed energy storage law, however, has added an additional 500 MW to the IOUs’ procurement obligations. Read More

K&L Gates Blockchain Energizer – Volume 2

By Molly Suda, Buck B. Endemann, and Benjamin L. Tejblum

A bi-weekly update on applications of blockchain technology in the energy industry

There is a lot of buzz around blockchain technology and its potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries from finance and healthcare to real estate and supply chain management. Reports estimate that over $1.4 billion was invested in blockchain startups in 2016 alone, and many institutions and companies are forming partnerships to explore how blockchain ledgers and smart contracts can be deployed to manage and share data, create transactional efficiencies, and reduce costs.

While virtual currencies and blockchain technology in the financial services industry have been the subject of significant debate and discussion, blockchain applications that could transform the energy industry have received comparatively less attention. Every other week, the K&L Gates’ Blockchain Energizer will highlight emerging issues or stories relating to the use of blockchain technology in the energy space.

IN THIS ISSUE

  • Blockchain Technology – A Possible Solution to China’s Air Pollution Problems?
  • Blockchain Technology Deployed to Optimize Crude Oil Trading
  • Blockchain Technology Gaining Ground in the Energy Industry

To view more information on theses topics in Volume 2 of The Blockchain Energizer, click here.

The Business of of Wind in the Northwest – Presented by The Seminar Group

How is big business putting wind to work? Why does it make financial sense? This event, presented by The Seminar Group, will explore answers to these questions and discuss the status of wind power development in the west, wind power siting, utility perspectives of renewables, Cal ISO expansion, and equity financial structures and tax considerations.

Portland partner Bill Holmes is serving as Program Chair for this progrm Thursday, May 4 at the World Trade Center in Portland, Oregon.

In addition, Seattle partner David Benson will serve as a faculty member for the program.

Bill will present on the Status of Wind Power Development in the West and David will speak on a panel covering Equity, Financial Structures and Tax Considerations.

To learn more about this event and register, click here.

Trade Group Complains that PJM’s Frequency Regulation System Unduly Discriminates Against Energy Storage Resources

By William M. Keyser, Molly Suda, and Michael L. O’Neill                     

The Energy Storage Association (ESA) filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) alleging that PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM) has adjusted its system operations to unduly discriminate against certain market participants.  ESA argues that PJM changed the rules of its frequency regulation market, without prior FERC approval, and that those rule changes unduly discriminate against limited energy resource participants, such as energy storage providers.

FERC has set May 15, 2017, as the deadline for parties to comment, intervene, or protest ESA’s complaint.  Commenting and/or intervention are important procedural tools that allow interested parties to protect and advocate for their interests.  Given the potentially broad impact of this complaint on PJM’s energy and frequency regulation market design, numerous entities may seek to participate in this proceeding.  K&L Gates will continue to follow this proceeding closely.

To read the full alert on K&L Gates HUB, click here.

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