In February 2022, ILSR filed comments to FERC on utility rate recovery and industry association dues. These comments argue that monopoly utilities must prove they are not spending ratepayer dollars on advocacy for anti-competitive, anti-consumer policies.… Read More
For this episode of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, host John Farrell and guest Ari Peskoe discuss how utilities have gained outsized market power by owning transmission infrastructure and how federal regulators could reintroduce competition through targeted regulation.… Read More
In November 2015, Jon Wellinghoff, former chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, spoke to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission about the grid of the future. In particular, he addressed the issue of giving customers meaningful choices within a monopoly grid model, present in Minnesota and 34 other states. In the following video, he outlines the … Read More
The neighbors of the proposed Badger-Coulee high-voltage line in Wisconsin are like those in many other parts of the country, upset that their utility will construct 200-foot steel towers across their region and through their property (they have some other cogent arguments, too). Update January 12, 2015: removed inaccurate reference to transmission company control over regional … Read More
There’s been much discussion of whether state-based feed-in tariff policies comply with federal energy law, including PURPA and the Federal Power Act. Fortunately, the brilliant folks at NREL released a report earlier this year providing feed-in tariff policy design options for state policy makers [pdf]. Furthermore, the state of Vermont recently affirmed that their feed-in tariff policy conforms to federal law.
The PSB, the regulatory authority, ruled that no challenger, including DPS, had “demonstrated that the standard offer program is invalid”. Under Vermont law, the PSB has the “obligation to implement statutes passed by the legislature,” it said, and, thus, it was their duty to do so if the law is valid.
Some challengers suggested that the PSB suspend the program while it seeks clarification from FERC. The PSB ruled definitively saying that to seek clarification from FERC; the PSB would be making a determination that the program is invalid. The program is valid, says the PSB, therefore there’s no need to seek clarification.
Good news for a policy that delivers strong support for distributed renewable energy generation.