Ninth Circuit Rejects PURPA Implementation Claim as Moot in Unpublished Opinion

On June 3, 2019, the Ninth Circuit issued an unpublished Decision Memorandum in Bear Gulch, LLC et. al. v. Montana Public Service Commission, in which it found that the federal district court erred by not finding that certain arguments related to Montana’s generally applicable legally enforceable obligation (LEO) standard was moot. The Ninth Circuit found that the arguments raised by Bear Gulch Solar, LLC and other qualifying facilities developed by Cypress Creek Renewables (QFs) were mooted because the Montana Commission subsequently enacted a new LEO rule.  [Read more…]

Ninth Circuit Rules in Favor of Renewable QFs

On April 24, 2019, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Ninth Circuit) issued an opinion regarding the California Public Utilities Commission’s (“California Commission”) failure to properly implement the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA). Specifically, the Ninth Circuit held that the avoided cost price paid to a qualifying facility (QF) cannot be based on energy sources that do not meet California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), if the state has an RPS and the utility is using the QF’s energy to meet the RPS.  [Read more…]

Montana District Court Finds that Public Service Commission Acted Arbitrarily and Unreasonably

On April 3, 2019, a Montana District Court Judge, Judge Manley, issued an order reversing the Montana Public Service Commission’s (“Montana Commission”) orders 7500c and 7500d that cut Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (“PURPA”) standard avoided cost prices and contract lengths for qualifying facilities (“QFs”) offered by Montana utility NorthWestern Energy (“NorthWestern”).  [Read more…]

Oregon Commission Provides Large Customers New Option to Purchase Green Energy

On March 5, 2019, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission) issued Order No. 19-075 approving the implementation of a voluntary renewable energy tariff (VRET) by Portland General Electric Company (PGE). PGE’s proposed VRET allows ratepayers to purchase additional or all renewable energy from either their utility or an independent power producer.    [Read more…]

PGE Direct Access Status Quo Retained

On December 18, 2018, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission) issued its final order resolving Portland General Electric Company’s (PGE’s) most recent general rate case. The Oregon Commission resolved numerous issues related to PGE’s overall customer rates, and adopted several different stipulations that the rate case parties had reached on various topics, allowing PGE a rate increase of 1.8 percent, rather than the 4.8 percent PGE originally requested. Importantly, the Oregon Commission maintained the status quo for PGE’s modestly successful direct access program.   [Read more…]