Category Archives: News

BPA Offers Compromise to Wind Developers on Excess Generation Costs

For the past year the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and Northwest Wind developers have been in conflict over how to resolve seasonal electricity oversupply. Oversupply usually occurs in the spring when melting snow causes high river flows and BPA’s hydroelectric facilities must generate above normal levels to safely send the water downstream. Because BPA is generating more electricity than normal during this time, a reduction in output must occur to balance the system out and prevent possible overloads to the transmission system. During the spring of 2011, BPA managed this oversupply by replacing thermal and wind generation on the system … Continue reading

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Supreme Court to Rule on EPA’s Clean Water Act Authority

On January 9, 2012 the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Sackett v. EPA case. The case may have a long lasting impact on the EPA’s right to enforce certain provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA). There are two issues presented in this Sackett proceeding: (1) whether petitioners may seek pre-enforcement judicial review of the administrative compliance order pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 704; and, if not, (2) whether petitioner’s inability to seek pre-enforcement judicial review of the administrative compliance order violates their rights under the Due Process Clause? The case arose … Continue reading

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Separate Avoided Cost for Renewable Qualifying Facilities in Oregon

Qualifying facilities (QFs) sell power to Oregon utilities at a per-megawatt-hour rate equal to the purchasing utility’s generic avoided cost.  The Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) recently declared in Order No. 11-505 that Oregon’s two largest electric utilities, Pacific Power and Portland General Electric, must create a new renewable avoided cost rate.  The utility’s renewable avoided cost rate will be available to renewable QFs selling in Oregon and will be based on the cost to satisfy the state’s renewable portfolio standard. This change benefits renewable QFs by giving them the right to choose between the old generic rate and the new … Continue reading

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Condit Dam Tunneled and Blasted

At noon on October 26, 2011, the Condit Dam on the White Salmon River, Washington was breached by a blast of explosives.  The final charge of dynamite released water and sediment from the reservoir in a dramatic jet.  The breaching of the dam, which had no fish passage, will restore miles of river habitat to migratory fish. Pacific Power, the dam owner, prepared this background video explaining some of the history and preparation leading up to the breach.  The National Geographic published an article with a high-quality video on the event. As counsel for Pacific Power on the Condit Dam removal, Lovinger Kaufmann LLP has … Continue reading

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