Executive Order Will Impact Clean Water Act Permitting Process

On April 10, 2019, President Trump signed an executive order that alters how Section 401 review is performed under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).  Currently, applicants must seek State authorization of a project pursuant to Section 401 of the CWA from the State in which the project is located. Section 401 delegates federal authority to the …

New Mexico Public Regulation Commission Approves PNM Joining Western Energy Imbalance Market

On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission in a 5-0 vote approved PNM’s application to join the Western Energy Imbalance Market.  The vote granted PNM’s request for joining the EIM to be treated as a regulatory asset which will allow PNM cost recovery.  Under the operation of CAISO, it is anticipated …

“Not-So-Green-Roofs” in Denver

In 2017, voters in Denver approved the so-called “Green Roofs” initiative, which called for buildings over 25,000 ft. sq. to dedicate a certain portion (between 20% and 60% depending on building size) of the rooftop to green space. However, just yesterday the Denver City Council unanimously voted to repeal green roof requirement and passed a …

The Buzz About Utility Scale Solar

There’s a new “buzz” in the solar energy industry and it has nothing to do with declining solar energy prices, the efficiency of solar panels, or tax credits.  The “buzz” is about bees and other pollinators.  A report from Argonne National Laboratory released earlier this year highlighted the potentially beneficial relationship between utility-scale solar energy (USSE) …

Governor Brown Signs Renewable Energy Initiative SB100

Governor Brown just signed a renewable energy initiative passed by the California legislature and known as SB100 that sets a goal of phasing out fossil fuels from the state’s energy portfolio by 2045.  That initiative requires California’s utilities to utilize specific renewable resources to generate 60 percent of their portfolio by 2030, 10 percent higher …

New Mexico Public Regulation Commission Denies SunZia’s Proposed $2 Billion High-voltage Transmission Project

On September 5, 2018, by a 4-0 vote, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission denied SunZia’s proposed $2 billion high-voltage transmission project through seven counties in southern New Mexico.  The Commission relied heavily on the hearing examiner’s recommended decision which found that the location and route for the transmission line lacked sufficient specificity and did …

Is Colorado the Next Front in the PURPA Wars?

In 1978, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) was signed into law with the overall goals of promoting energy conservation and encouraging the development of domestic renewable energy resources.  Among other mechanisms, PURPA sought to accomplish these goals through the recognition of a new class of generating facilities – Qualifying Facilities (QF).  In general, …