Oregon Commission Leaves Competitive Bidding up to PGE Management, But Promises to Scrutinize PGE’s Decisions During Cost Recovery

On August 13, 2018, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) adopted a Stipulation capping the size of each of PGE’s five proposed energy storage projects and resolving the one litigated issue—whether PGE should be required to allow third-party bidding during the request for proposals (RFP) for its utility- scale storage project at the Coffee Creek substation. While the OPUC declined to require PGE to allow third-party ownership options, it confirmed that PGE must address the ownership issues as part of its future filings on the Coffee Creek project and warned that it planned to review PGE’s decisions carefully in any future rate proceeding.   [Read more…]

Oregon Commission Denies Pre-Operational QF Capacity Changes

On August 2, 2018, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Commission) issued an order denying three qualifying facilities (QFs) under the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 (PURPA) the ability to change their nameplate capacity after contract execution but prior to commencing commercial operations. The Commission interpreted the language in Portland General Electric Company’s (PGE’s) standard power purchase agreement as prohibitive of either an increase or decrease to nameplate capacity prior to commercial operation.   [Read more…]

Montana Commission Issues Final Rule on Legally Enforceable Obligations

On July 10, 2018, the Montana Public Service Commission issued a final rule establishing the criteria for forming a legally enforceable obligation (LEO) under the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 (PURPA).   [Read more…]

Oregon and Idaho PUCs Issue Contradictory Orders on the Idaho Power Gas Price Forecasts

On May 16, 2018, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (Idaho Commission) rejected Idaho Power Company’s (Idaho Power) proposal to use a low natural gas forecast as the basis to set avoided cost rates paid to qualifying facilities (QFs). On May 23, 2018, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission) reached the opposite conclusion and allowed Idaho Power to use the same low natural gas price forecast. In Idaho, Idaho Power was required to use a more business as usual gas price forecast, which predicts higher natural gas prices and results in higher prices paid to QFs.   [Read more…]

FERC Reforms Large Generator Interconnection Rules; Parties Seek Rehearing

On April 19, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final rule amending the pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Procedures (LGIP) and the Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA). The new rules represent the most significant changes to FERC’s generator interconnection process since 2003; however, FERC may revise some of the new rules because a number of parties sought rehearing which FERC granted on June 18, 2018.   [Read more…]