Permitting

Complying with 111(d)

Exploring the cap-and-invest option.

EPA is expected to provide states with latitude in meeting Clean Air Act GHG standards. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) demonstrates an effective and economical approach: “cap and invest.”

Catching Fire

Climate policy heats up after the Great Recession.

GHG rules are coming soon. What happens next will depend on how states react.

Siting for Success

Using a trial-based approach to improve a project’s chances before state siting boards.

Project development isn’t getting any easier. Using a trial-based approach can improve a project’s chances before state siting boards. And time-tested principles of planning, discovery, and argument lay the groundwork for an effective appeal.

Multi-pollutant Emissions Control

MATS compliance now, with flexibility for the future.

Conflicting demands for complying with EPA’s MATS rule favor a single control technology to deal with multiple types of power plant emissions.

Defying the Odds

Virginia brings a new coal-fired plant online.

Reports of coal’s demise are exaggerated. This summer, Dominion cleared the regulatory gauntlet to start up a new coal plant. Whether the example can be replicated might hinge on state incentives—and the forward price of natural gas.

Least-Risk Planning

The Homer City decision increases uncertainty—but rewards forward thinking.

The D.C. Circuit’s CSAPR ruling reinforces the benefits of planning ahead and keeping options open. A diverse portfolio strategy reduces risks and costs.

The NOPR Was Late

But transmission planning, as we know it, may never be the same.

The recent landmark ruling on transmission planning cost allocation, known as “Order 1000,” and issued by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in late July 2011, could well produce an unintended side effect — the formation of regional compacts among states to identify needs and plan for development of new power plant projects.

Solar Hype and Hope

Utility-scale projects suffer growing pains.

Anyone who’s been watching the solar power industry for more than a few years can’t help but be impressed by the recent explosion of large-scale projects. It seems akin to the rapid scale-up of wind in the late 1990s and early 2000s—when megawatt-scale turbines became standard-issue, and the definition of a “large” wind farm changed from a capacity of 20 MW to something more like 200 MW.

Repowering with Biomass

Waste fuels struggle despite coal’s decline.

Fuel supply might be the biggest barrier to scaling-up biomass power generation, but it’s by no means the only problem. Utility projects to repower coal-fired plants face permitting challenges, ballooning technology costs and strained economics. Some owners are giving up the fight.