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…]

WUTC Requires PSE to Credit Proceeds from Jefferson PUD Sale to Customers

On September 11, 2014, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (Washington Commission) ordered Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to credit ratepayers about $53 million.  This credit was related to the proceeds of the sale of PSE’s assets to the Public Utility District No. 1 of Jefferson County (Jefferson PUD).  [Read more…]

Fifth Circuit Limits PURPA Wind Sales

On September 8, 2014, the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion that may make it more difficult for certain qualifying facilities (QFs) to sell power to electric utilities.  The two-judge majority concluded that wind generation facilities owned by Exelon could not sell power pursuant to a “legally enforceable obligation” to Southwestern Public Service Corp.  A legally enforceable obligation essentially means that the utility has a legal obligation to purchase power from the QF.  The third judge issued a strongly worded dissent disagreeing with the majority’s holding and reasoning.  [Read more…]

OPUC Partially Acknowledges PacifiCorp IRP

On July 8, 2014, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission) issued an order regarding PacifiCorp’s long-term plan for its generation and transmission resources.  [Read more…]

Washington Superior Court Reverses Part of PSE’s Energy Rate Plan

On July 25, 2014, Washington Superior Court Judge Carol Murphy issued a decision affirming most, but reversing a key part, of Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) multi-year rate plan.  [Read more…]