The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) imposed the largest penalty it has ever assessed by ordering Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) shareholders to pay $1.6 billion for the unsafe operation of its gas transmission system, including the pipeline rupture in San Bruno, Calif., in 2010.
State Regulation & Policy News
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the launch of New York’s first energy management network operations center to provide public facilities across the state with real-time data on their energy use. Dubbed the NY Energy Manager (NYEM), the center is located at the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany.
GridCOM Technologies, a provider of quantum cyber security solutions for energy infrastructures, was awarded a grant from the state of California to help protect the country's electrical grid from the growing threat of cyber-attacks. GridCOM will receive $95,000, the maximum amount available, under the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program, specifically the energy innovations small grant (EISG) program.
Consumers Energy filed for approval of a certificate of necessity with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) for its new natural gas plant in Genesee County. The certificate of necessity filing, allowed for under Michigan's energy reform law, provides Consumers Energy's comprehensive analysis for the 700-MW natural gas plant planned for Thetford Township, about 20 miles northeast of Flint. The review process for the filing is expected to take nine months.
Upon review of a load profile study submitted by Xcel Energy, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) found that “it is clear … that solar PV facilities contribute to Xcel’s capacity requirements and that the existing Standby Service tariff does not reflect that contribution.” The commission ruled that $5.15 per kW per month would be a reasonable, conservative interim rate to be paid to sellers in the form of a capacity credit.
The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) authorized Detroit Edison to implement an AMI opt-out program. The commission approved the specifics of the opt-out proposal submitted by the utility, except that it reduced the associated charges recommended by the company, finding that the company’s forecasted participation rate was too low. For complete regulatory coverage, citations, and analysis, subscribe to Utility Regulatory News http://www.fortnightly.com/urn-subscribe
The District of Columbia Public Service Commission (PSC) has denied a request by the city’s public advocate, the Office of People’s Counsel (OPC), to reconsider an earlier decision in which the commission had rejected calls for it to require Potomac Electric Power Co. (Pepco) to offer its customers a chance to opt out of an ongoing AMI program. For complete regulatory coverage, citations, and analysis, subscribe to Utility Regulatory News http://www.fortnightly.com/urn-subscribe
The Arizona Corporation Commission has reopened the record in a pending docket on advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) to examine safety and health concerns regarding smart meters. In so doing, the commission said it was particularly interested in seeing any health studies that have been conducted since the evidentiary phase of the case had closed. The commission related that such submissions would help it determine if there was a compelling reason to continue the fact-gathering process before proceeding to the deliberations phase.
The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a proposal by Ameren Missouri to update a voluntary program which gives consumers the opportunity to finance the purchase renewable energy credits (REC). Ameren charges customers $15 per credit, including the ability to purchase amounts equal to their monthly usage or select a set number of RECs per month. The PSC said that price was about average for such programs in the United States.
The Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it believes proposed rules restricting greenhouse gas emissions for new power plants would make it impracticable to construct any new coal-fired electric generation plant in the United States. The commission urged withdrawal of the EPA’s proposed carbon pollution standards under the Clean Air Act, noting that the EPA had recently delayed issuance of its draft New Source Performance Standards, first proposed in March 2012.