PNM, New Mexico’s largest electric and gas utility, is seeking approval of a plan to expand on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) in its service territory. The two-pronged incentive program would pay project owners for "green" attributes and for excess electric generation.
Ontario’s Premier, Dalton McGuinty, has directed the Ontario Power Authority and the Ontario Energy Board to prepare a standard offer approach by the end of the year for distributed generation projects under 10MW. The new rules will be designed to encourage homeowners, farmers, schools and community co-ops to build renewable energy systems and sell excess clean electricity back to the grid at standardized prices.
The multi-year legislative effort to establish the nation’s most agressive solar power initiative was killed in committee on the last day of California’s legislative session. Early, broadbased support for 3,000 MW of new photovoltaic capacity and bi-partisan votes wasn’t enough to overcome some sensitive last-minute amendments to the original proposal.
Legislation in Texas has doubled the state’s commitment to renewable energy development and a report on California’s efforts indicates progress on meet its 20 percent renewable portfolio standard (RPS) years earlier than required.
Over three years, Klickitat County in southern Washington, studied the potential impacts of future energy projects within its borders and came up with a plan to direct those projects to the most appropriate areas. The county’s new "Energy Overlay Zone" is a zoning tool aimed at expediting renewable energy development. The Energy Overlay Zone covers more than 1,000 square miles, two-thirds of Klickitat County.
Preferring the term “gas-optional” vehicles rather than plug-in electric hybrids, Austin Energy has adopted a strategy to diversify and grow its electric utility operations and hopes to convince cities nationwide to follow their lead.
Roger Duncan at Austin Energy is traveling the country promoting the idea that the time is ripe for a convergence of municipally owned electrical operations with the transportation sector. The fit becomes natural through the increased use of gas-optional vehicles (GOVs).
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has adopted standard rules for interconnecting distributed generation (DG) projects of 20 MW or less with the electricity grid. These new rules will operate alongside FERC’s previously issued rules that govern interconnections of DG projects larger than 20 MW. FERC also has an ongoing proceeding that is developing special rules for interconnecting wind energy projects with the grid [see FERC’s Generation Interconnection web site].