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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 6, 2013

Wyden: Northwest Needs Flexibility in FERC Transmission Rules

Sen. Wyden News Release  •    •  Posted 2013-03-06 13:08:05

Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., called for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to allow the Northwest to maintain control over its power future, by providing flexibility regarding compliance with FERC’s Order No. 1000 on transmission planning and cost allocations, in a letter sent today. “As you know, the majority of the Northwest power system is composed of utilities that generally are not subject to FERC jurisdiction and that are the creation of, and subject to, state or federal statutes,” Wyden wrote. “This makes the Order No. 1000 process akin to trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole for the Bonneville Power Administration and other governmental utilities.” [ read more … ]

Transmission rule puts Northwestern providers in legal limbo — Wyden

Hannah Northey, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2013-03-06 13:08:23

The chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee yesterday warned that a landmark federal ruling to revamp the country’s transmission planning process could force utilities in the Pacific Northwest to illegally surrender their authority for distributing the costs of new power lines. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) took issue with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Order 1000, a far-reaching rule the agency approved two years ago to revamp the country’s process for planning, siting and allocating costs for new power lines (Greenwire, July 21, 2011). Wyden told FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff in a letter yesterday that the rule is “akin to trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole” for federally owned entities like the Bonneville Power Administration and Columbia Grid, which don’t traditionally fall under FERC’s jurisdiction. [ read more … ]

Senators ask IRS to quickly clarify tax credit rules

Nick Juliano, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2013-03-06 13:08:41

A bipartisan group of senators today urged the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department to quickly clarify how they will determine when companies become eligible for an expanded renewable tax credit. As part of January’s “fiscal cliff” deal, Congress agreed to apply the production or investment tax credits to wind, geothermal and other projects that begin construction by the end of this year, a more generous application than the previous requirement that projects be in service by the deadline. But industry officials are awaiting guidance from Treasury and IRS on how the begin-construction requirement will be implemented. [ read more … ]

Pace of Transmission Investment Soars at Private Utilities

By Peter Gardett, EEI  •    •  Posted 2013-03-06 13:08:57

Shareholder owned utilities are set to invest more than $1 billion each month in transmission projects in the US in 2013, with a planned total of $15.1 billion this year up from already-impressive $11 billion in total in 2011. Transmission infrastructure shortfalls have been widely forecast for the entire US power sector, which last saw comprehensive buildouts decades ago. Since then, successive attempts to reform power markets have often been blamed for failing to create sufficient incentives for companies to invest in new needed power line upgrades. [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.