Environmental Study Proposes Increased Wind Energy Development on Public Lands

Wind energy developers may obtain greater access to many promising wind energy sites on federal lands in the Western U.S. based on the proposals of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management ("BLM"). BLM has released a final programmatic environmental impact statement ("EIS") addressing the environmental, social and economic impacts associated with developing wind energy on public lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Cumulatively, these western states have great wind power potential. The EIS...

FERC Investigates Oklahoma Gas & Electric for Market Power; Oklahoma Regulator Proposes Competitive Bidding

Both Oklahoma state regulators and FERC recently indicated that changes in the way Oklahoma utilities get power be in order. At a June 6 hearing, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission ("OCC") directed its staff to put together a notice of proposed rulemaking ("NOPR"), which would direct the state's utilities to procure power through a competitive bidding process, and convene a prudence review of the 2003 costs of the state's two largest electric utilities, Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. ("OG&E") and American Electric Power-Public Service Co. of Oklahoma ("PSO"). The NOPR would explore a...

Wind Interconnection Standards Final

In June FERC took further steps to aid wind energy development. It finalized technical specifications in a new rule for interconnecting wind energy generators to the transmission grid. The new specifications supplement FERC's earlier creation of a standard interconnection agreement and standard procedures for generator interconnections, which jurisdictional transmission providers must follow. Because of the unique operating characteristics of wind energy generators, FERC exempted wind energy interconnections from certain requirements of the interconnection rule. T he new rule is intended to...

Harsh Admonition for Over 200 Late Filers of Market Power Updates

FERC on May 25 issued a stern warning to over 200 companies possessing market-pricing authority, but who had become delinquent in filing their triennial updated or revised market power analysis. File the update within 60 days, FERC admonished, or risk losing market-pricing authority. All power sellers dependent on market-pricing authority need to heed this warning with care. FERC also instituted a section 206 investigation to determine whether the rates charged by these companies remain just and reasonable. By cracking down on late filers, FERC hopes to see more companies file the triennial...

Proposed Rule Would Allow e-Filing of Interlocking Directorates, 20 Largest Utility Purchasers Information

Amid a flurry of rulemaking activity at the end of May, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) on May 27, 2005, seeking comments on whether it should provide for the electronic filing of required information on interlocking positions (FERC Form 520 and Form 561) and a public utility's annual report of its twenty largest energy purchasers (FERC Form 566). Without advance FERC approval, Federal Power Act (FPA) § 305(b) prohibits individuals from holding positions as an officer or director at more than one public utility, or from holding officer or director positions simultaneously...

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