Supreme Court rejects energy pricing case

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Supreme Court yesterday refused to hear a case surrounding how much a utility is required to pay a family producing wind power.

In a customary short order, the high court rejected an appeal from Gregory and Beverly Swecker, owners of a small farm in Iowa with a wind generator.

The Sweckers sell surplus electric energy to Midland Power Cooperative and have been engaged in legal battles for more than a decade with the utility over the rate paid for their wind power.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requires utilities to purchase energy from small renewable energy generators known as “qualifying facilities.”

In this case, the Sweckers argued that Midland wasn’t paying enough for the “avoided cost” of the energy generated by their windmill.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year upheld a lower-court ruling dismissing the Sweckers’ claim.