Power Lines Blog

Key senators seek GAO review of capacity markets


The Government Accountability Office is being asked by Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., to report back to the lawmakers on a wide variety of issues related to the operation of capacity markets run by regional grid operators.

Among other things, Murkowski and Cantwell said that they are "concerned about the relationship of the increments of new capacity cleared in an auction and the increments of new capacity actually installed."

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Shame on Washington: Municipal Bond Payment Cuts


Next year, as it did this year, and the year before, Washington will renege on roughly $300 million in payments promised through the Build America Bond program. As part of the Fiscal Year 2016 budget deal, Congress and the Administration have extended the indiscriminate cuts of budget sequestration for BAB credit payments. BAB payment cuts will last through 2025. These cuts are costing Americans real dollars.

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Who Will Distribute Distributed Energy Resources?


The electric utility industry often experiences episodes of marked change, during which operating practices and market structures are challenged, reconsidered, and sometimes transformed into fundamentally different business and regulatory models. We’re in the middle of such an episode now. The current change is driven largely by the growth of distributed energy resources — solar, wind, energy storage, etc. — as environmental concerns increase and as consumers want more of a say in how their energy needs are met.

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Energy Storage Projects Highlight Diversity in Public Power


When Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, stepped on to a stage in Los Angeles earlier this year to unveil the company's Powerwall energy storage device for residential customers, the public's reaction was nothing short of giddy. It was as if energy storage was a brand new technology that was poised to be the Holy Grail for the energy industry.

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Urge Energy & Commerce Members to Support McMorris Rodgers Amendment to House Energy Bill


Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA) have agreed upon language for a hydropower amendment (attached) to H.R. 8, the “North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015”, or the “House Energy Bill.” Please contact members of House Energy & Commerce committee and ask them to support the McMorris Rodgers hydropower amendment.

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Countering Costly Capacity Market Proposal with Renewed Push for Self-Supply


The American Public Power Association in September took an all-hands-on-deck approach to drum up opposition to a legislative proposal — known as “performance requirements” — that would lock in high electricity rates that consumers pay in mandatory capacity markets operated by regional transmission organizations. At the same time, APPA continued to advocate for a proposal on Capitol Hill that would ensure public power utilities’ right to self-supply.

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Urge Your Congressman to Oppose Costly “Performance Requirements” Provision Being Considered in Energy Bill


We urge you to contact Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (list below) to oppose the inclusion of a costly “performance requirements” amendment to the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015, under consideration by the full committee this week (mark-up starts tonight).

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