Washington UTC Approves Multiparty Settlement in Avista Rate Case

On March 25, 2020, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (“UTC”) approved a multiparty settlement in Avista’s rate case. The decision will ultimately result in a rate increase, yet the Commission approved a number of refunds that will keep electric rates down this year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  [Read more…]

Oregon PUC Supports Competitive Markets in Revamping PGE’s New Load Direct Access Program

On January 7, 2020, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission) ordered the Portland General Electric Company (PGE) to submit new tariffs that implement its Large New Load Direct Access (NLDA) program (Order No. 20-002). The new tariffs will go into effect on February 6, 2020.  [Read more…]

Sanger Thompson PC is Now Sanger Law PC, Reflecting Mark Thompson’s Appointment to Serve as OPUC Commissioner

Sanger Thompson PC is now Sanger Law PC. The name change reflects that Mark Thompson, prior partner at the firm, has been appointed by Governor Kate Brown as a Commissioner at the Public Utility Commission of Oregon (OPUC). Mark joined the firm (previously also Sanger Law PC) in 2018, and advised clients on transactional and litigation matters on a variety of energy-related topics. With Mark’s departure to the OPUC, the firm is changing its name back to Sanger Law PC, and continues to provide the same breadth of services to clients on energy, regulation, and utility matters.

Although Sanger Law regrets not having Mark as a resource at the firm, we are excited that he will continue to serve the state and the various interests in the energy and utilities industry as a Commissioner.

Ninth Circuit Reaffirms PURPA’s Must-Purchase and Fixed Contract Price Requirements

On July 29, 2019, the Ninth Circuit released an opinion in Winding Creek Solar, LLC v. California Public Utility Commission (California Commission or CPUC), finding that the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (“PURPA”) preempted the CPUC’s “Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff” (Re-Mat) and “Standard Offer Contract” programs. Under PURPA, utilities are required to purchase any energy and capacity made available from a qualifying facility (QF) at the utility’s avoided cost, and the QF has the option to have the price it is paid for that energy and capacity determined either at the time of contracting or at the time of delivery. [Read more…]

Oregon Court of Appeals Reverses OPUC on PacifiCorp’s Direct Access Charge

On June 19, 2019, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Calpine Energy Solutions, LLC v. Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission or OPUC), reversing the OPUC’s approval of PacifiCorp’s Transition Adjustment Mechanism (TAM). The core decision by the Court is that a state regulatory agency, like the Oregon Commission, must make its decision based on the evidence brought before it and not information or decisions from prior cases.  [Read more…]