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…]

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…]

Montana District Court Reverses Public Service Commission on PURPA

On June 18, 2019, a Montana State District Court reversed the Montana Public Service Commission (Commission or MPSC), finding that MTSUN, a qualifying facility under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), was entitled to a 25-year contract to sell its energy and capacity to NorthWestern Energy. The case was heard before the same Judge that decided the QF-1 docket on April 2, 2019 and to a large degree the decision is the same.  [Read more…]

Ninth Circuit Rejects PURPA Implementation Claim as Moot in Unpublished Opinion

On June 3, 2019, the Ninth Circuit issued an unpublished Decision Memorandum in Bear Gulch, LLC et.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…]