This update features policy, regulatory, legislative, and regional developments in Connecticut and New England. The policy updates are compiled by a team recently formed with support from CPES, known as the New Energy Professionals. If you are interested in learning more about the New Energy Professionals, the Policy Committee, or if you have ideas for future policy updates, we would welcome your input and feedback. Please send comments to Paul Brady, CPES Executive Director, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s features:
- U.S. Supreme Court Weighs In On Wholesale Energy Markets
- Kinder Morgan Halts Pipeline Expansion into the Region
- RESA Explains Why Comparing Retail Products to Standard Service Is Improper
- Long-Awaited NYGATS is Launched
- Five Energy Related Bills Progressing In the CT Legislature
Regional and Industry Developments
FERC has Exclusive Jurisdiction
In a unanimous decision Tuesday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down an 8-0 ruling which found that Maryland’s program to incentivize new in-state generation capacity intruded on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s exclusive jurisdiction over wholesale energy markets under the Federal Power Act. Maryland’s controversial program required Maryland’s utilities to enter into contracts-for-differences (CFDs) with new in-state power generation resources to ensure those resources cleared wholesale market auctions. The Court rejected the Maryland program, finding the contracts “intrude on FERC’s authority over interstate wholesale rates.” While the Court found the Maryland program impermissible, the justices appear to have left the door open for other state generation incentives more squarely aimed at environmental objectives. The Court’s ruling is available at the following link.
Kinder Morgan Suspends Further Work and Expenditures on Northeast Energy Direct Project
On April 20, 2016, Kinder Morgan issued the following statement on the Northeast Energy Direct project: “As a result of inadequate capacity commitments from prospective customers, Kinder Morgan, Inc., (NYSE: KMI) and its subsidiary, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company (TGP), have suspended further work and expenditures on the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) project.” The NED project was a proposed natural gas pipeline expansion project aimed at upgrading natural gas infrastructure in Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut to help meet increased demand for natural gas in the northeast. Kinder Morgan filed its certificate application for the NED project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on November 20, 2015. The project had a planned in-service date of 2018. For more information on the proposed project, see Kinder Morgan’s NED website.
Retail Energy Supply Association Is Critical of Report by CT Consumer Counsel
On April 20, 2016, the Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA) explained why Consumer Counsel’s comparison of utility Standard Service electric rates and the complex product offerings of competitive retail suppliers is an unfair comparison. RESA explains that there are various value-added products offered by suppliers that a consumer cannot obtain from the distribution electric utility company. http://resausa.org/news-events/resa-responds-connecticut-consumer-counsel%E2%80%99s-press-release. (Links: CT Office of Consumer Counsel Fact Sheet: Electric Supplier Market and OCC Press Release)
NYSERDA Launches NYGATS
The New York Generation Attribute Tracking System (NYGATS), a web-based tracking system that will record electricity generation attribute information within New York State, and process generation attribute information from energy imported and consumed within the state, as a basis for creating tradable generation attribute certificates. NYGATS is being launched in two phases; Phase 1 for Account Holder and Project Registration and Phase 2 for Certificate Creation. During Phase 1, all users of NYGATS are required to register their projects or accounts. During Phase 2, certificates will be created and available for generation back to January 1, 2016. Please refer to the NYGATS informational web site http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/NYGATS for access to the NYGATS registry, trainings and documents including the final NYGATS Operating Rules. Users may also register for a free NYGATS Account Registration and User Training Webinar on April 26 or May 2.
Information about the Energy and Technology Committee, including committee meetings and public hearings, is available at: https://www.cga.ct.gov/et/. The deadline to report bills out of the Energy and Technology Committee has passed.
On April 19, 2016, the Senate passed the following bill that may be of interest to you:
· S.B. No. 334: Senate passed. (AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO CERTAIN ENERGY PURCHASING POOL AND LIFE-CYCLE COST ANALYSES STATUTES).
On April 20, 2016, the Senate passed the following bill that may be of interest to you:
- S.B. No. 103: Senate passed as amended by Senate Amendment Schedule A. (AN ACT CONCERNING MINOR REVISIONS TO ENERGY-RELATED STATUTES).
On April 20, 2016, the House of Representatives passed the following bill that may be of interest to you:
- H.B. No. 5309: House passed as amended by House Amendment Schedule A. (AN ACT CONCERNING FACILITATION OF THE MUNICIPAL RESIDENTIAL SOLAR APPLICATION PROCESS).
On April 21, 2016, the House of Representatives passed the following bill that may be of interest to you:
- H.B. No. 5496: House passed as amended by House Amendment Schedule A. (AN ACT CONCERNING BIOMASS FACILITIES AND CERTAIN VIRTUAL NET METERING FACILITIES).
On April 22, 2016, the House of Representatives passed the following bill that may be of interest to you:
- H.B. No. 5427: House passed as amended by House Amendment Schedule A. (AN ACT CONCERNING THE SHARED CLEAN ENERGY FACILITY PILOT PROGRAM).