The Lewis Roca Rothgerber Renewable Energy Blog

February 10, 2014 2:17 PM | Posted by McGimpsey, David | Permalink

Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo), a subsidiary of Xcel Energy, awaits final ruling by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on whether its proposed future test year will be adopted in its gas rate case, Docket No. 12AL-1268G. It doesn’t look good for PSCo. The ALJ’s recommended decision rejected the proposed future test year and adopted a historic test year. The CPUC upheld the ALJ’s ruling in December 2013. The CPUC then denied applications for rehearing, reargument and reconsideration on January 29, 2014 and mailed the decision on February 10, 2014.

The fight for a future test year provides an interesting and topical subject given the state of the utility industry. Multiple articles have been written about the need for infrastructure investment and development and the “utility death spiral”.

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January 31, 2014 9:32 AM | Posted by Campbell, Tom | Permalink
On November 4, 2013, the Arizona Corporation Commission opened a docket entitled "Inquiry into potential impacts to the current utility model resulting from innovation and technological developments in generation and delivery of energy." (ACC Docket No. E-00000J-13-0375, available here.) This docket was initiated at the request of Commissioner Bob Burns who is concerned that new innovation and technology will force regulators to change the way they supervise utilities including how rates are set. read more
January 8, 2014 12:43 PM | Posted by Nelson, Eric | Permalink
Wyoming has once again taken the lead in the regulation of hydraulic fracturing, or as it is commonly referred to as "fracking". In response to Governor Matt Mead's Energy Strategy, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (Commission) adopted rules on November 14, 2013, with an effective date of March 1, 2014, requiring companies to perform baseline water testing before and after spudding a well. This testing must be performed within 12 months prior to spudding a well and twice after setting production casing or liner, once between 12 and 24 months and once between 36 and 48 months. The testing must be performed on wells within a 1/2 mile radius as approved by the Commission. read more
January 6, 2014 11:13 PM | Posted by McGimpsey, David | Permalink
Municipal leaders, both first-termers and seasoned incumbents, are reviewing energy usage by and within their municipalities. The buck often starts and stops with using CFL light bulbs, installing LED traffic lights, and adding insulation. Here’s one idea that more municipal leaders need to consider. read more
December 9, 2013 10:36 AM | Posted by Consoli, Carla | Permalink
EPA answered the question in 2006 when it outlined All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI)‎‎ in response to ‎CERCLA revisions that made new defenses available to some categories of landowners. In its AAI Rule, ‎EPA accepted ASTM Standard 1527-05 – “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase ‎I Site Assessment Process” – as the manner by which due diligence was to be done. Standard 1527 ‎was updated in late 2013 and EPA sought to accept both the 2013 version and the previous 2005 ‎version as acceptable practice for AAI. Stakeholders concerned by having competing practices ‎interposed public comments stating that by so doing EPA was causing confusion in the ‎marketplace. As a result, EPA withdrew the proposed rule, leaving the 2006 AAI rule in effect. ‎Prospective purchasers, lenders, investors and others perform Phase I Environmental Site ‎Assessments for a variety of reasons, only one of which is to comply with the AAI rule. So what ‎diligence is due today with both an EPA accepted standard and a more rigorous one available? read more
December 4, 2013 11:18 PM | Posted by Tom Campbell and Tom Dougherty | Permalink
The ongoing discussion between solar energy stakeholders and utilities concerning the merits of net metering and the best approach to ensure that ratepayers with installed solar power systems contribute appropriately to overall electric transmission and distribution costs spans the nation, with state utility commissions from Georgia to California considering this issue. However, nowhere is that discussion presently more heated and more closely watched than in Arizona and Colorado. read more