Offshore wind development off the California coast took another step closer to reality on August 10, 2022 with the California Energy Commission’s release of a report setting maximum feasible capacity and megawatt goals for 2030 and 2045. The report constitutes a milestone in the planning process prescribed by AB 525, which requires that the Commission “evaluate and quantify the maximum feasible capacity of offshore wind to achieve reliability, ratepayer, employment, and decarbonization benefits” for 2030 and 2045.
On January 12, 2022, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) issued its Final Sale Notice for the auction of six offshore wind lease areas in federal waters off the…
Continue Reading SheppardMullin Six: Groundbreaking BOEM Lease Sale in New York Bight Further Accelerates Offshore Wind Development in the Atlantic
Offshore Wind Goes West. On May 25, the Biden administration and the State of California announced an effort to develop areas off of the coast of California for up to 4.6 GW of offshore wind generation. While Northeastern states and project developers are poised to begin bringing commercial scale offshore projects to market, this announcement represents the first concrete step to open up the West coast to offshore wind development. Wind generation in the waters off the West coast will face some unique challenges (such as water depths that will force the use of floating wind turbines that are still in pre-commercial stages of development), but will also face some of the same challenges that we have been working through on the East coast (such as constrained transmission corridors, undeveloped onshore interconnection and transmission infrastructure and the need for Jones Act-qualified vessels). Here are six key things to be aware of in the development of floating offshore wind in California.
Continue Reading Six Key Things to be Aware of in the Development of Floating Offshore Wind in California
Through a Notice of Inquiry (“Notice”) approved at its January 19, 2021 open meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) asked whether its Uniform System of Accounts (individually, an “Account,” and for more than one, “Accounts”) should be modified to better reflect the circumstances of non-hydro renewable assets that rely on heat, or motion, of the earth or sun, such as facilities that rely on solar, wind, biomass and geothermal sources. The Notice describes how various Account categories currently do not readily correspond to renewable equipment. The Notice observes that certain types of renewable equipment (e.g., solar panels and photovoltaic (“PV”) inverters), and related maintenance expenditures (e.g., for solar panels, wind towers or their blades) do not fit well within existing descriptions of the Accounts.…
Continue Reading FERC Considers Whether to Modify Accounting System for Renewables
As Congress was completing final negotiations of the stimulus package dealing with the public health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, several key energy provisions made their way into the 5593-page omnibus spending bill passed by the House and Senate on December 21, 2020, particularly much needed extensions of several renewable energy and energy efficiency tax incentives. …
Continue Reading Congress Extends Renewable Energy Tax Credits in 2021 Omnibus Spending Bill
Momentum is growing quickly towards widespread construction of US offshore wind-powered electrical generation facilities. Several States along the northern part of the Atlantic coast have projects actively under development and RFPs for more projects to come. Recent regulatory guidance has been issued clarifying Jones Act implementation. Here are six key trends and developments for market participants to be aware of.
Continue Reading Six Key Items to be Aware of Today in U.S. Offshore Wind (“OSW”)
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 September 15, 2020, the Army Corps of Engineers published proposed revisions to a wide range of Nationwide Permits (NWP) issued under the Clean Water Act. The revisions respond to Executive Order 13783, directing heads of federal agencies to review existing regulations that potentially burden development or use of domestically produced energy resources. Accordingly, the proposed revisions affect NWPs commonly utilized by utility-scale wind and solar energy projects throughout the country. The Corps will accept comments on the proposed revisions until November 16, 2020. Here are highlights from the proposed revisions.
Continue Reading Army Corps of Engineers Proposes Revising Broad Range of Clean Water Act Nationwide Permits
On July 18, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued Order No. 860. The order requires entities with or seeking market-based rate authority (sellers) to submit certain data related to FERC’s market power analyses, including its indicative screens and asset appendices, into a “relational database” maintained by FERC. The order also requires the submission of information associated with long-term firm sales. When changes occur to data previously submitted, the relational database must be updated monthly by sellers. The database will be used to, among other things, develop asset appendices and indicative screens for FERC filings that require a market power analysis. Finally, Order No. 860 altered the deadline for “change in status” filings. Beginning on January 1, 2021, sellers will need to comply with the order by making a baseline submission and using the “relational database” to make future market-based applications.
Continue Reading FERC Order No. 860 Mandates New Market-Based Rate Filing and Reporting Requirements for Sellers of Electric Energy
On May 28, 2020, the IRS proposed long-awaited regulations that address key areas of uncertainty in existing guidance for Internal Revenue Code Section 45Q (45Q) carbon capture and sequestration tax credits. Although some questions remain unanswered, the regulations are a significant step towards reducing regulatory uncertainty and fostering a functional market for 45Q credits. This article will focus on the regulations’ key takeaways for transaction structuring, while also highlighting technical clarifications of significant import for this nascent industry.
Continue Reading IRS Proposes Key Section 45Q Carbon Capture and Sequestration Regulations
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