Wind Powers Texas. What Does That Say About the Future of Coal?

According to Bloomberg BNA (subscription required), last week, for the first time ever, more than 50% of the load in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas service area was supplied by wind power. This is the state that consumes more coal than any other.  Installed wind capacity is now more than 18,000 megawatts and is projected to be as high as 28,000 MW by 2020.… More

DOER Finalizes SREC Factors for Projects that Receive “Good Cause” Extensions

Earlier this week, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) finalized the details of the Solar Carve-out II extension, which seeks to facilitate the transition between that program and DOER’s proposed Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program. The extension program helps bridge the gap between the Solar Carve-out II incentive program, which went into effect in April 2014 and was designed to support the market until 1,600 MW of PV capacity had been installed,… More

Investors Don’t Think That Climate Change Is A Hoax: BlackRock Is Losing Its Patience

This post, written by Seth Jaffe, a Partner in firm’s Environmental practice, was originally posted on the firm’s Law and the Environment blog.

BlackRock, which manages more than $5 trillion in assets, has released a statement on how it “engages with climate risk.”  The statement has three main elements.  

  • Support for the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosures
  • Engagement with companies over assessment on climate risks
  • An indication of potential support for shareholder resolutions on climate risk, where such resolutions “address a gap in investment-decision and stewardship”, and “management’s response to our prior engagement has been inadequate.”

The statement emphasizes BlackRock’s long-term approach to investing, which is the source of the best line in the statement.  In summarizing letters from BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, to CEOs, BlackRock notes that:

While we are patient investors, we are not infinitely patient.

I’m picturing James Earl Jones as Darth Vader saying that.  I wonder what energy executives are hearing.

Wind Power Is Now the Largest Installed Renewable: 82,000 MW And Counting

According to the American Wind Energy Association blog, installed wind capacity in the United States has reached 82,000 MW.  That puts it past the 80,000 MW of installed hydropower capacity and makes wind the largest installed renewable energy resource.

While the overall number represents a significant milestone, some of the details are interesting as well.  Wind represents 5.5% of US generation.  Moreover,… More

Climate Change Will Increase Peak Energy Demand By More Than We Thought: More Storage, Perhaps?

In an interesting study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the authors predict that climate change will have a more significant impact on peak energy demand than had previously been understood.  They conclude that, in a business as usual case, peak demand will increase 18%, leading to a need to spend $180B (in current dollars) to meet that increased peak demand.… More

DOER Presents Final Program Design for Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (“SMART”) Anticipated for January 2018 and Extension of SREC II Program for Approximately One Year

On January 31, 2017, DOER Commissioner Judith Judson and Mike Judge, Director of the Renewable and Alternative Energy Division at DOER, presented the agency’s final proposal for design of its successor to the successful Solar Carve-out and Solar Carve-out II programs in a 3-hour public meeting.

It’s called SMART and lest you doubt that it is, DOER included the following equation in its presentation to prove it:

(Helpfully,… More

Update: Massachusetts DPU Sets a February 24th Intervention Deadline in Eversource Rate Case

According to a Notice issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) on January 30, 2017, parties who desire to participate in the evidentiary phase of the D.P.U. 17-05 proceeding, which will review Eversource’s recently-filed petition to increase its rates, have until February 24, 2017 to file a written petition for leave to intervene in the case.  See our recent blog post for a summary of some of the key components of the company’s filing.… More

Eversource Proposes Rate Increases and $400 Million in Grid Modernization Investments

On January 17, 2017, Eversource Energy filed a petition with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) that would increase base distribution rates for its 1.4 million electricity customers across the Commonwealth.  The company’s proposal states that it would increase a typical residential customer’s total monthly bill by approximately seven percent in eastern Massachusetts and approximately ten percent in the western part of the state.  According to the petition, the rate increase is necessary to alleviate revenue deficiencies of Eversource’s subsidiaries,… More

Massachusetts DOER to Propose Successor to SREC II Program

In a letter circulated on January 24, 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced it will present a final proposed design of a new solar incentive program at a meeting on January 31, 2017.

DOER has worked with stakeholders over the last several months to develop a successor program to the Solar Carve Out II Program (SREC II). Final details are not yet available,… More