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 …

10th Circuit Upholds Army Corps Approval of Colorado Water Storage Project

On November 5, 2018 the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ approval to store more water in Colorado’s Chatfield Reservoir. The Audubon Society had challenged the Corps’ decision under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act, arguing that the Corps decision was arbitrary and capricious.   …

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, …

Alternative Energy Production Leads to Unexpected Consequences

As wind and solar energy becomes more economical and states pass legislation requiring energy producing companies to have greater percentages of renewable energy as part of their portfolios, unexpected consequences are occurring.  In an article by Bloomberg LP on August 7, 2018, recent data shows that the amount of electricity being generated exceeds demand during …

Colorado Energy and Utilities Legislation

Winners and Losers in the 2018 Colorado General Assembly – The warm weather has returned, spring sports are in full swing, and the Colorado General Assembly has adjourned for 2018. That means it’s time to take a look at the scorecard and review the energy and utilities related issues that won and lost this legislative season. …