New Oregon Avoided Cost Rates and Contracts

The Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission) has approved new standard contracts and rates for qualifying facilities (QFs) that sell their power to Portland General Electric Company (PGE), PacifiCorp, and Idaho Power Company (Idaho Power).  These new rates and contracts are only available to QFs that have the right to sell power to utilities under the Oregon and federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) and that have a maximum output of 10 megawatts (MW) or lower.  PGE’s new contracts and rates were approved on December 16, 2014, while PacifiCorp’s and Idaho Power’s were allowed to go into effect in August 2014.  PGE’s and PacifiCorp’s avoided cost rates and contracts provide new options for eligible renewable energy QFs to sell their electricity to these utilities.   [Read more…]

New Idaho Power Solar Contracts

Idaho Power Company (Idaho Power) has entered into contracts to purchase over 450 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity in Oregon and Idaho.  The solar projects, if developed, would significantly increase Idaho Power’s supply of green power and make Idaho Power a regional leader in the acquisition of solar energy.   [Read more…]

FERC Approves BPA Oversupply Management Protocol and Rates

On October 16, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued two orders accepting Bonneville Power Administration’s (BPA) controversial oversupply management protocol and oversupply rates. FERC accepted BPA’s filings as temporary solutions to address the problem of high levels of generation that exceeded the available end use consumer loads on BPA’s system. This is called “oversupply” because BPA has too much generation. FERC found that BPA’s policy to displace and compensate wind generators during oversupply events is equitable and results in comparability in the provision of transmission service.   [Read more…]

Oregon Supreme Court Affirms OPUC Decision on Trojan Refunds

On October 4, 2014, the Oregon Supreme Court issued a decision that affirmed an order by the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission) requiring Portland General Electric Company (PGE) to refund amounts to its customers.  Some of PGE’s customers and ratepayer advocates challenged the Oregon Commission’s decision on the grounds that the refunds to customers were insufficient.  [Read more…]

Ninth Circuit Remands DSI Lookback to BPA

On September 18, 2014, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Bonneville Power Administration’s (BPA) decision not to seek a refund of some of the amounts unlawfully paid to Alcoa could be arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion.  In a 2-1 decision, the appellate court remanded the matter back to BPA to more carefully consider whether BPA should seek a partial refund from Alcoa.  The Ninth Circuit also concluded that BPA has no general constitutional or statutory duty to seek a refund any time it makes an unlawful payment, and that BPA reasonably explained why it did not seek a refund from Port Townsend Paper.  A third judge concurred with most of the ruling, but would have directed BPA to consider seeking larger refunds from Alcoa.  [Read more…]