Oregon Commission Determines It Lacks Authority to Allow Utilities to Defer Costs Associated With Capital Projects

On October 29, 2018, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission or OPUC) issued an order finding that it lacks the legal authority to allow utilities to defer, for later ratemaking consideration, the costs associated with their capital projects. The Oregon Commission’s decision represents a departure from its past practice, and also marked an instance of the Oregon Commission reaching a conclusion that was not advanced by any party to the proceeding.   [Read more…]

Oregon Public Utility Commission Codifies PURPA Policies

On October 29, 2018, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission) issued modifications to its rules governing a utility’s purchase of power from qualifying facilities (QFs) under Oregon’s implementation of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA).  These rules were codified in the Oregon Commission’s rules after they were published by the Oregon Secretary of State on November 2, 2018.  The final rules are the culmination of a three-year old Petition for Rulemaking filed by Obsidian Renewables, LLC in November 2015.    [Read more…]

Oregon PUC Approves PGE Storage Pilot

On August 13, 2018, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission) adopted a stipulation outlining an agreed approach to the development of five energy storage projects by Portland General Electric Company (PGE). The Oregon Commission concluded that PGE’s proposed structure for PGE’s Coffee Creek Request for Proposal (RFP) is reasonable; however, the Commission stated that it would require PGE to review ownership issues as part of future filings on the Coffee Creek project.   [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…]