Tag Archives: avoided cost

FERC Reaffirms High Bar for Terminating PURPA Purchase Obligation for QFs under 20 MW

On October 17, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) ruled on an application from PPL Electric Utilities Corp. to relieve the utility of its mandatory purchase obligation, under Section 210(m) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (“PURPA”), with respect to IPS Power Engineer Inc.’s qualifying facility (“QF”). IPS Power’s QF, called the Souderton QF, is an 18.1 MW cogenerator. Because PPL Electric is in PJM Interconnection territory, FERC terminated its mandatory purchase obligation for QFs over 20 MW in 2009 under Section 210(m) of PURPA. This has been FERC’s general practice for utilities located in ISOs or RTOs, … Continue reading

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Petition to Enforce PURPA against Montana PSC Questions Auctions and Capacity

A group of qualifying facility (QF) renewable energy developers (Hydrodynamics Inc., et al) jointly petitioned FERC on June 14, 2013 for enforcement of PURPA against the Montana Public Service Commission (Montana PSC). The QF developers contend that the Montana PSC is denying large QFs the right to enter into long-term PPAs at NorthWestern Energy’s avoided cost. According to the petitioners, QFs over 10 MW in Montana have only two paths to a PURPA contract: win a competitive auction or enter into a “short-term” rate contract. The petitioners argue that the first option is illusory because only one such auction has … Continue reading

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Slides from Partner Ken Kaufmann’s EUCI presentation on PURPA

Ken Kaufmann, partner of Lovinger Kaufmann LLP, instructed in the June 5, 2012 presentation hosted by Electric Utility Consultants, Inc. (EUCI).  The webcast “Utilizing PURPA in Today’s Deregulated Wholesale Market” provided a brief history of the evolution of PURPA, described how PURPA can help states influence the type of electric utility resources purchased by investor owned utilities, looked at the benefits and risks of continued reliance on PURPA, and discussed ways PURPA might be reformed at the state level. Slides from the presentation are available here .

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FERC declares that RECs generated by QFs are not purchased by avoided cost payments

On April 24, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the latest in a string of declarations on the ownership of renewable energy credits (RECs).  Morgantown Energy Assoc., 139 FERC ¶ 61,066 (2012).  The dispute arose in West Virginia where the state utility commission (Public Service Commission of West Virginia) attempted to resolve ownership of RECs between PURPA qualifying facilities (QFs) and utilities purchasing output from the QFs. After a West Virginia law imposed a renewable portfolio standard on utilities, the utilities and QFs were left to argue over who got credit for RECs from pre-existing power purchase agreements that were … 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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