The United States is broadening the scope and diversity of its energy mix at a rate and to an extent not seen in a century, if ever. The changes underway provide both important opportunities and critical challenges for owners seeking to repurpose existing assets in a market governed by overlapping federal, state and local regulations.Continue Reading Six Key Considerations for Transitioning Existing Fossil Fuel Transport, Storage and Electricity Generation Assets to New Uses
Last week, the Biden Administration through the Department of Energy, took actions regarding Executive Order 13920 (the “Bulk Power Order”). Such actions effectively established a clean slate for how the…
Continue Reading A Clean Slate for Executive Order 13920: The Bulk Power Order
Recently, the New York Independent System Operator (“NYISO”) implemented new rules to integrate storage resources, including battery resources, into wholesale electricity markets. NYISO’s rules come in response to FERC Order No. 841. Here are six key regulatory and transactional items from the new rules.
Continue Reading NYISO Battery Storage Rules
Blockchain technology and smart contracts continue to show their potential for disrupting the electric energy industry. Through the use of blockchain, electricity markets could become more decentralized, efficient, transparent and automated. However, blockchain users must have a good understanding of the regulatory landscape in which they will be operating to ensure compliance with applicable laws, and traditional utilities should be aware of the opportunities and pitfalls the technology could pose. Please see attached the latest Sheppard Mullin Six Items to Consider concerning blockchain in the electric industry.
Continue Reading Blockchain in the Electricity Industry: Six Items to Consider
A September 17, 2020 Final Rule adopted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“Commission”) removes barriers to the participation of distributed energy resource aggregators in Regional Transmission Organization (“RTO”) and Independent System Operator (“ISO”) markets. The Commission’s modified regulations require each RTO/ISO to revise its tariff to ensure that its market rules facilitate the participation of distributed energy resource aggregators. Order No. 2222 is a positive development for distributed energy resources that would like to participate in wholesale electric markets but are unable to do so, and should encourage greater renewable energy resource development in the coming years. However, the scope and implementation of each RTO’s/ISO’s participation model remains to be seen: distributed energy resources will need to keep an eye on RTOs’/ISOs’ proposed tariff revisions. Moreover, maximizing the opportunity for distributed energy resources to contribute to markets will be affected by whether the Commission continues to reform Commission-jurisdictional markets to broaden participation of emerging technologies as it did in Order No. 2222, or adopt measures that bolster the viability of fossil and nuclear resources at the expense of emerging technologies as it has done in other proceedings.
Continue Reading Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Gives Distributed Energy Resource Aggregators a Boost; Implementation Will Present Challenges
The changes brought about by evolutions in renewable energy technologies, and in some cases aggravated by the impacts of COVID-19, are likely to up-end traditional relationships between different forms of energy and the customers that use them. These changes are significantly impacting not just competitors, but their contract counter-parties, the risks they face, their credit-worthiness and their customers.
Continue Reading How will Energy Market Participants Protect Themselves from Ongoing Shifts in the Sources of Energy?
On May 1, 2020, President Trump issued Executive Order 13920 (“Executive Order”), which prohibited certain transactions involving bulk-power system electric equipment manufactured or supplied by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction of a foreign adversary that poses an undue risk of catastrophic effects on the security or resiliency of U.S. critical infrastructure or the national security of the U.S. The Executive Order poses several potential problems for electric industry participants, particularly renewable generation owners, developers and investors, which will likely cause uncertainty in equipment procurement decisions. The Executive Order and its potential issues are discussed below.
Continue Reading Securing the U.S. Bulk Power System: An Assessment of Executive Order 13920
A Washington state federal court recently addressed claims relating to rates that cryptocurrency mining companies pay for electricity in Grant County, Washington. The court rejected all of the miner’s legal claims. The dispute focused on the rate classification that this utility applied to crypto miners as explained below. Due to various risks, the electric utility assigned the miners to a newly created rate class referred to as “Evolving Industries,” resulting in a higher rate class for the miners. The miners were I-“rate” with this decision.
Continue Reading Cryptocurrency Miners I“rate” At Energy Rate Decision