Global Power Law & Policy

Legal and Policy Developments Affecting the Global Power Industry.

 

1
2014 Election Guide: A Guide to Changes in Congress
2
Australia: NSW State Government announces funding for community owned renewable energy projects
3
Emissions Reduction Fund passes Senate in Australia
4
California To Reduce Power Demand Through New Demand Response Program
5
K&L Gates to Host Deal Room at Energy Storage North America Conference
6
Blumenauer Introduces Energy Tax Extenders Bill, Includes a Sought-After Amendment for Solar
7
Phase I of CA 2030 Low Carbon Grid Study Completed: 50% GHG Reduction Feasible; Energy Storage to Play a Key Role
8
Release of Expert Panel Report on the Renewable Energy Target in Australia
9
Energy Storage RFPs May Spread to Oregon
10
DOE 2013 Wind Market Report – Lots of Wind Projects Coming!

2014 Election Guide: A Guide to Changes in Congress

Riding a wave of voter discontent, Republicans in the mid-term election took control of the U.S. Senate and increased their majority in the House.  The results offer an opportunity for collaboration between the Congress and the Obama Administration, and to restart the legislative process.

To help you assess yesterday’s election, K&L Gates has prepared a comprehensive guide that summarizes the results and their impact on the 114th Congress, which will convene in January. The Election Guide lists all new members elected to Congress, updates the congressional delegations for each state, and provides a starting point for assessing the coming changes to the House and Senate committees.

Please click here to download the most up-to-date version of the 130 page Election Guide, which will be updated on an ongoing basis as more of the close races are called and committees are finalized. For additional information regarding the effects of the recent elections, please contact Tim Peckinpaugh or any member of the Public Policy and Law practice.

To view the complete guide online, click here.

Additional Resources

Further insights on the implications of the mid-term elections can be found in two recent webinars featuring members of the K&L Gates policy team. See the links below.

Election 2014: Its Impact on Federal Policy-Making in 2015

Australia: NSW State Government announces funding for community owned renewable energy projects

In Australia, the New South Wales State Government recently announced that it would make funding available for community owned renewable energy projects by way of Government grants known as Growing Community Energy Grants. A total of up to $AUD700,000 has been allocated for these grants.

The Growing Community Energy Grants are designed to support and assist community renewable energy projects or community energy efficiency projects in their early stages by minimising the initial administrative costs often associated with such projects. Accordingly, any funding awarded to a project may be used only for the project development stage (including social and technical feasibility studies, planning, securing host sites and engaging with local communities) and not for capital expenditure, construction or operational costs.

Read More

Emissions Reduction Fund passes Senate in Australia

On 31 October 2014, the Australian Senate passed the Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Bill 2014 (Bill) which puts in place the Emissions Reduction Fund (Fund).  The Fund is the cornerstone of the Australian Government’s Direct Action Plan climate change policy for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.  It is comprised of $2.55 billion over four years to provide financial incentives for companies to voluntarily reduce emissions.  The Government says its Direct Action Plan climate change policy will mean that Australia will meet the 5 percent emissions reduction target by 2020.

As last minute amendments were made to the Bill before being passed, the Bill will now return to the House of Representatives for approval before it is presented to the Governor-General for assent. 

A White Paper on the Fund was released on 24 April 2014 with the intention of providing details and policy decisions regarding the Fund.  Please refer to our earlier Legal Insight dated 19 May 2014.

California To Reduce Power Demand Through New Demand Response Program

In late August 2014, the California Assembly and Senate unanimously voted in favor of Senate Bill 1414 (“SB 1414”), which was introduced by Senator Lois Wolk and co-authored by Assembly Members, Kevin Mullin and Das Williams[1].  On September 29, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1414 into law.  SB 1414 requires utilities to adjust their resource adequacy[2] plans and utilize cost-effective demand response (“DR”) programs to change their demand for electricity during key times.  In exchange for adjusting their electricity consumption, participating DR customers will receive incentives for providing a clean resource to the grid.  The reduced demand for electricity will require less generation, which in turn will reduce the need for new power plants and help integrate renewable sources of energy. Read More

K&L Gates to Host Deal Room at Energy Storage North America Conference

K&L Gates will once again be the Exclusive Deal Room and Gold Sponsor of the Energy Storage North America conference, September 30 – October 2 in San Jose, CA.  K&L Gates partners Bill Holmes and Charlie Schwenck will be moderating panels at ESNA. 

The K&L Gates Deal Room is an ideal place to hold your energy storage business meetings in a convenient and private atmosphere during the conference. Reservations are required — to make yours, click here.  In addition, discounts for the conference are available.  Please contact Bill Holmes for more information.

Blumenauer Introduces Energy Tax Extenders Bill, Includes a Sought-After Amendment for Solar

On Thursday, September 18, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) led a group of 18 House Democrats in introducing the Bridge to a Clean Energy Future Act of 2014 (H.R. 5559). The bill would extend several energy tax incentives—many of which Congress allowed to expire at the end of 2013—through the end of 2015. The bill would also extend the production tax credit (PTC), as well as the election to receive an investment tax credit (ITC) in lieu of the PTC, for facilities producing energy from renewable resources through the end of 2016. Read More

Phase I of CA 2030 Low Carbon Grid Study Completed: 50% GHG Reduction Feasible; Energy Storage to Play a Key Role

Last week, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) began releasing the results of Phase I of the California 2030 Low-Carbon Grid Study, which is designed to show how the electric sector can most cost-effectively support California’s ambitious GHG emissions goals.  The study is generally referred to as the “Low Carbon Grid Study” or “LCGS” by NREL and the approximately 30 companies, foundations and trade associations that participated in the study. Read More

Release of Expert Panel Report on the Renewable Energy Target in Australia

On 28 August 2014, the Expert Panel on the Renewable Energy Target (RET) released its long-awaited Report on the RET scheme in Australia, recommending that both the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme be modified through a number of proposed options. Under the more drastic of these proposals, the Panel recommended that the LRET be closed to new entrants, and that the SRES be abolished immediately.

To read the full alert, click here.

 

 

Energy Storage RFPs May Spread to Oregon

The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) recently announced that it is considering issuing a solicitation for demonstration electrical energy storage projects in late 2014.  To prepare for possible funding opportunities, ODOE seeks public comments about the “scope, number and priority” of proposals that use “electrical storage technology, specifically batteries” to provide resiliency and regulation.  ODOE noted that potential proposals may include, among others, projects that support transmission system devices such as static var compensators, projects that would be co-located with renewable energy generation where there are transmission constraints, projects that would provide stabilization to industrial facilities during outages, and projects that would co-locate renewable energy generation with distributed energy storage. 

ODOE also seeks comment on the selection criteria that it has preliminarily identified, which include the sponsor’s ability to secure adequate funding for project implementation, the project’s commercial viability, the sponsor’s willingness to allow multiple public entities to collect data from the project for a year after commissioning, “integrity benefits” to the distribution or transmission system, and “resiliency benefits” to emergency service providers or critical services.

ODOE also seeks comments on whether it should prioritize geographic areas in Oregon that would benefit from grid improvements, whether it should prefer certain parties (such as small utilities) as grant recipients, whether it should give preference to certain technologies, what kind of transparency and data requirements should be used, and how a pilot energy storage project could be used to support standards development.

ODOE’s “Comment Opportunity” can be found hereComments are due on August 29.

The agency’s request for comments is an outgrowth of an energy storage workshop co-hosted by ODOE and the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) in Portland in March 2014.  I attended the workshop, and found it very informative.  The morning session of the workshop featured panels that discussed a range of energy storage technologies and their potential applications. During the afternoon session, participants broke into groups for roundtable discussions on various topics.  ODOE and OPUC did a good job of reducing the proceedings to writing—you can find summaries of the Roundtable sessions and the presentations here.  These materials provide useful background on how ODOE and OPUC are thinking about the development of energy storage in Oregon.

ODOE’s ability to proceed with the solicitation appears to be conditioned on what the agency describes as a “potential partnership” with U.S. Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratories and the Clean Energy States Alliance.  Whether this particular solicitation materializes or not, Oregon is now among a number of states such as California, Hawaii  and New York that are recognizing the important role that energy storage will play in electric power supply, delivery, and security in the years ahead.

DOE 2013 Wind Market Report – Lots of Wind Projects Coming!

The US Department of Energy (DOE) recently released its 2013 Wind Technologies Market Report summarizing the accomplishments of the U.S. wind energy industry.  The full report can be found here. Compared to the record-setting 13 GW of new operating wind projects in 2012, 2013 was clearly an off-year, with only a little over 1 GW of new wind energy capacity added. One of the major reasons for this dramatic fall-off was the expiration of the federal income tax production tax credit (PTC) at the end of 2012, which created a land rush of projects being placed in service at end of year 2012, depleting the project pipeline for 2013. The revival of the PTC in 2013 was too late to stimulate significant project completion in 2013. The good news is that because projects that commenced construction by the end of 2013 will qualify for the PTC, a flood of wind projects will be placed in service in 2014 and 2015. The boom and bust cycle of PTC driven wind project development continues.

Read More

Copyright © 2018, K&L Gates LLP. All Rights Reserved.