Category: Energy & Utilities

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FERC Moves Forward on Transmission Planning/Cost Allocation Reform
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FERC Enforcement In 2021: A Year Of Change
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Infocast Virtual Master Class: Negotiating & Documenting Corporate PPAs
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We Have ESG Down to the Letter
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K&L Gates’ Energy Storage Handbook: Volume 6
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Join Us for a Webinar: The Promise of Fusion Energy May Be Closer Than You Think
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Join Us at Solar Power International
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Join Us: PV Magazine Webinar – Is your company capturing the 2020 safe harbor?
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U.S. ENERGY STORAGE ASSOCIATION RECOGNIZES K&L GATES WITH BRAD ROBERTS OUTSTANDING INDUSTRY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
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To Kill a Mockingbird: Federal Court invalidates Department of Interior’s MBTA Opinion Letter

FERC Moves Forward on Transmission Planning/Cost Allocation Reform

U.S. Energy, Infrastructure, and Resources Alert

By: Ruta K. SkucasKimberly B. FrankJennifer L. Mersing

At its open meeting on 21 April 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) in response to its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Building for the Future Through Electric Regional Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation and Generator Interconnection (Docket No. RM21-17). Commissioner Mark Christie and Commissioner Willie Phillips entered separate concurrences, while Commissioner James Danly dissented. According to the open meeting, the NOPR proposes to reform, pursuant to Federal Power Act Section 206, FERC’s electric regional transmission planning and cost allocation requirements. If enacted, the NOPR’s reforms would require public utility transmission providers to…

For more information, please contact our Energy, Infrastructure, and Resources lawyers or visit our practice page.

FERC Enforcement In 2021: A Year Of Change

By:  Ruta Skučas, Kimberly Frank, and Maeve Tibbetts

Originally posted on Law360 on January 3, 2022

2021 was a pivotal year for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission‘s Office of Enforcement. Under the direction of Chairman Richard Glick, the office gained a new director, Janel Burdick, added threats to infrastructure as a new priority, and increased its pace of opening and closing investigations and reaching settlements.

Most significantly, Glick asserted at the presentation of the 2021 enforcement report that “the cop is back on the street,” and that he intends to ensure “vigorous oversight and enforcement” of jurisdictional markets.

Increased Investigations Under Chairman Glick

During the commission’s November 2020 open meeting, when the Office of Enforcement presented its 2020 annual report, then-Commissioner Glick criticized the commission’s enforcement efforts, which he perceived as lacking. In 2020, the commission opened only six new investigations, and reached three settlements totaling $553,376.

Infocast Virtual Master Class: Negotiating & Documenting Corporate PPAs

CO-HOSTED WITH K&L GATES

29-30 July 2021

Over the last decade, corporate buyers and renewable energy suppliers have developed a variety of innovative structures to enable corporations to purchase renewable energy.

In the Negotiating & Documenting Corporate PPAs Master Class, expert instructors will provide an overview of the types of agreements that are commonly used to facilitate corporate renewable energy procurement, as well as when best to use them.

Attend to expand your knowledge and gain expert insights for real-world applications:

  • Background: Utility Monopolies and Exclusive Service Territories
  • REC Agreements
  • Green Tariffs 1.0
  • Green Tariffs 2.0
  • On-site solar PPAs
  • Physical PPAs (including direct access)
  • Community Solar PPAs
  • Virtual PPAs (VPPAs/contracts for differences)
  • Portfolio Aggregation PPAs
  • Block Delivery PPAs

Instructors will include: William H. Holmes, Lana Le Hir, Elizabeth Crouse, James Douglass, Tariq Fedda, Kenneth Gish, and Teresa Hill.

We Have ESG Down to the Letter

Our integrated environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) approach is designed to help our clients navigate ever-evolving standards and add value to their companies. We’ve structured our broad scope of ESG services within coordinated and collaborative areas of focus, including corporate governance, investing, energy, and agriculture. These global teams span regions and industries to address an array of issues, from legislative, regulatory, and policy matters, to fund launches and environmentally responsible corporate initiatives.

We can evaluate and advise your business from E to S to G.

For more on our ESG practice, please click here.

K&L Gates’ Energy Storage Handbook: Volume 6

Now Available Online!

As a courtesy to our clients and friends, the K&L Gates Power practice has updated the Energy Storage Handbook.

This Energy Storage Handbook is designed to be a basic primer on what energy storage is, how federal and state governments regulate it, and what sorts of issues are encountered when such projects are financed and developed. While this Handbook is not meant to be a definitive catalog of every energy storage law and issue existing in today’s marketplace, we have endeavored to highlight the most common development and regulatory matters our clients face and the industries we serve. We will continue to update this Handbook periodically as additional states and stakeholders continue to address the implementation of energy storage resources in the marketplace.

We hope you find it useful and welcome your feedback.

New in Volume 6:

  • Completely refreshed FERC and ISO/RTO sections, including FERC Order 2222.
  • Hydrogen storage? It’s getting close.
  • Avoiding disputes in battery supply agreements.
  • New states, including Virginia and South Carolina.
  • The latest with PJM’s capacity rules.

To view the full Handbook, please follow the link below:

Join Us for a Webinar: The Promise of Fusion Energy May Be Closer Than You Think

Join us on 1 October 2020 for a webinar on fusion energy.

For nearly 100 years, scientists and engineers, as well as science fiction authors and fans, have dreamt of harnessing fusion reactions to power our economy. Despite daunting technical challenges, fusion energy may become a technically viable and economic energy source in the coming years, as an attractive carbon-free baseload alternative to conventional energy sources.

As the energy sector progresses towards commercial fusion, governmental regulators around the world are considering how they should treat fusion facilities. Two of the most active jurisdictions for commercial fusion development are the United States and the United Kingdom. Along with Fire Energy and Prospect Law, members of our K&L Gates fusion energy team will provide an update on the regulatory approaches to fusion that the US and UK are taking, the prospects for differentiating regulations for future fusion facilities from those applicable to existing fission-powered nuclear plants, next steps in developing regulatory certainty for the emerging fusion power sectors in these nations, and include a section on risk and the management of risk through insurance.

For more information and to register, please click here.

Join Us at Solar Power International

Please join K&L Gates Energy, Infrastructure and Resources Practice Area Leader, David Benson, at Solar Power International as he moderates the panel, “The Evolution of Finance in a Changing Offtake Market,” on Friday, September 25, 2020, at 3:05pm EDT.

This panel will discuss new revenue models, such as merchant projects, hedging strategies, and VPPAs, are changing how renewable energy projects are being financed. Topics will include how panelists view projects with these evolving offtake approaches and how they view risk in these markets, taking the audience through transaction structures and what it takes to execute renewable energy deals.

For more information on Solar Power International, please click here.

Join Us: PV Magazine Webinar – Is your company capturing the 2020 safe harbor?

Join K&L Gates partner, Elias Hinckley, as he participates on a webinar with PV Magazine, “Is Your Company Capturing the 2020 Safe Harbor?”

­This webinar will discuss the current 26% solar investment tax credit that will be reduced by to 22% on January 1, 2021 and steps to take to ensure your project captures the full credit.

The webinar will take place on Wednesday, 23 September, 2020, at 11:00 AM EDT.

For more information and to register, please click here.

U.S. ENERGY STORAGE ASSOCIATION RECOGNIZES K&L GATES WITH BRAD ROBERTS OUTSTANDING INDUSTRY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

The U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA), the national trade association for the American energy storage industry, will recognize K&L Gates with the Brad Roberts Outstanding Industry Achievement Award at the 2020 ESA Annual Awards taking place during the association’s virtual conference next week.

The award recognizes K&L Gates for “its tremendous contributions that have advanced the industry forward including nurturing early storage developers, hosting an annual conference, and developing the widely circulated Energy Storage Handbook.” The ESA determines this award by surveying its members and past award recipients each year to identify a member organization that has made significant contributions in the storage industry.  

Read more about the award in the ESA press release

To Kill a Mockingbird: Federal Court invalidates Department of Interior’s MBTA Opinion Letter

Authors: Ankur K. Tohan and Gabrielle E. Thompson

In her opening statement to an August 11 opinion, United States District Court Judge Valerie Caproni writes:

“It is not only a sin to kill a mockingbird, it is also a crime.”

Judge Caproni’s literary reference is the launching point for addressing the matter at hand: the validity of the Department of Interior’s December 22, 2017, Memorandum M-37050, which concludes that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) prohibition on the “taking” or “killing” of migratory birds applies only to deliberate acts intended to take a migratory bird. The M-Opinion announced the Trump administration’s view of the take prohibition in the MBTA, and states that the Trump administration will not seek criminal penalties against individuals and industries —such as oil and gas, as well as renewable energy— for incidentally taking migratory birds. The M-Opinion significantly limited the scope of the take prohibition in the MBTA, reducing the potential liability for development of infrastructure and renewable energy projects.

Judge Caproni writes that Interior’s opinion violates the letter of the law for the past century and contradicts Interior’s long held position that even incidental take or kill of a migratory bird violated the MBTA “irrespective of whether the activities targeted birds or were intended to take or kill birds.” Now, Judge Caproni stated,

“[I]f the Department of the Interior has its way, many mockingbirds and other migratory birds that delight people and support ecosystems throughout the country will be killed without legal consequence.”

Judge Caproni devotes the remainder of her ruling explaining why the M-Opinion violates the Administrative Procedures Act as contrary to law. Judge Caproni rejected Interior’s narrow reading of the statute as lacking support in the plain language of the MBTA. As Judge Caproni explained,

“There is nothing in the text of the MBTA that suggests that in order to fall within its prohibition, activity must be directed specifically at birds. Nor does the statute prohibit only intentionally killing migratory birds. And it certainly does not say that only ‘some’ kills are prohibited.”

While Judge Caproni acknowledged that in drafting the MBTA Congress may have been “principally concerned” about over-hunting, Congress chose not to narrowly draw the prohibition in the statute to intentional take or kill of birds.

The August 11 order vacates the M-Opinion.

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