Category: Energy & Utilities

1
Illinois District Court Rejects Federal Preemption Challenges to State Zero-Emissions Credit Program
2
K&L Gates Blockchain Energizer – Volume 8
3
K&L GATES BLOCKCHAIN ENERGIZER – VOLUME 6
4
Energy Department Seeks Input on Regulatory Reform
5
K&L Gates Blockchain Energizer – Volume 5
6
K&L Gates Blockchain Energizer – Volume 4
7
Massachusetts Utility Takes Novel Approach to Increased Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
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K&L Gates Blockchain Energizer – Volume 3
9
K&L Gates Blockchain Energizer – Volume 2
10
Trade Group Complains that PJM’s Frequency Regulation System Unduly Discriminates Against Energy Storage Resources

Illinois District Court Rejects Federal Preemption Challenges to State Zero-Emissions Credit Program

By Molly Suda, Donald A. Kaplan, William M. Keyser, John L. Longstreth, and Elizabeth P. Trinkle

UPDATE: On July 25, 2017, the New York court issued its decision, which also upheld New York’s ZEC program. We will have more analysis of that decision in a later post.

On July 14, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued an opinion dismissing challenges to the state of Illinois’ zero-emissions credit (“ZEC”) program. Illinois’ ZECs are tradable credits created by statute that, in the court’s words, put “money in the coffers of Exelon from the sale of ZECs that will give it a benefit when pricing its energy in the wholesale market relative to competing energy producers that do not receive ZEC payments.” The ZECs represent the zero-emissions attributes of nuclear power and would provide additional revenue for nuclear power plants, whose owners state they are unable to cover their costs in the current low-price wholesale energy and capacity markets.

In its decision in the companion cases Village of Old Mill Creek v. Star and Electric Power Supply Association v. Star upholding the ZEC program, the court rejected arguments that Illinois’ program is preempted by the Federal Power Act and further concluded that ZECs do not discriminate under the dormant commerce or equal protection clauses. If affirmed on appeal, the opinion could have important implications for the future of other states’ programs aimed at supporting at-risk nuclear power plants and may influence the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC”) outlook on its role in integrating state programs and policies into wholesale energy markets.

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

K&L Gates Blockchain Energizer – Volume 8

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

  • Investment in Energy Blockchain Applications is Heating Up
  • New Forms of Consensus Being Developed to Meet the Needs of Business Blockchains
  • Blockchain Being Deployed to Optimize Shipping Container Management

To view more information on theses topics in Volume 8 of the Blockchain Energizer, click here.

 

K&L GATES BLOCKCHAIN ENERGIZER – VOLUME 6

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

  • Blockchain-Based Energy Trading Pilot Project Looks to Expand
  • Over 20 Energy Trading Frims Will Participate in Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading Market

To view more information on these topics in Volume 6 of The Blockchain Energizer, click here.

Energy Department Seeks Input on Regulatory Reform

By Tim L. Peckinpaugh, David L. Wochner, David L. Benson and Kathleen L. Nicholas

On May 30, the Department of Energy (“DOE”) published a request for information (“RFI”) soliciting guidance on potential regulations that should be modified or repealed to reduce burdens and costs. This is part of a government-wide initiative to overhaul the federal government’s regulatory regime, set in motion with an executive order signed by President Trump just after his inauguration. This RFI also comes after President Trump signed an executive order, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” which seeks to review all regulatory actions that hamper the domestic production of fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

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

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.

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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.

 

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.

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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