California PUC Targets Doubling Renewable Energy by 2030

LCG, March 27, 2020--The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) yesterday unanimously approved a new emissions target for its electric sector that would double California's clean energy capacity through 2030 and effectively block new natural gas-fired electric generating facilities.

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Tennessee Valley Authority Issues RFP for 200 MW of Renewables

LCG, March 19, 2020--The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) issued a request for proposals (RFP) on March 13 to develop up to 200 MW of stand-alone renewable energy resources or renewable energy resources configured with battery energy storage systems (BESS). Solar resources must be tracking, and the projects must be commercially operational and providing power by September 29, 2023 or earlier.

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Industry News

EPA May Drop 'New Source Review' for Power Plants

LCG, July 27, 2001Christine Todd Whitman, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, told a U.S. Senate committee yesterday the need to subject utilities to the federal Clean Air Act's "new source review" program could be replaced by new emissions standards.

The new source review program requires utilities to install anti-pollution upgrades when power plants are modified to increase their output. Utilities have complained that the EPA often looks on routine maintenance as significant upgrades requiring the review.

Last year, the EPA sued several utilities for allegedly violating the rule, prompting some, including American Electric Power Inc. and Southern Co. to fight the lawsuits, saying that the "upgrades" were simply routine maintenance projects.

Whitman said the EPA is drafting an alternative to the rules which would require generating plants to stay below national targets for nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and mercury emissions.

"It's time to simplify the existing regulatory structure," Whitman told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "We believe there could be significant regulatory relief for the utilities."

Whitman said the agency's proposed legislation, which could be introduced this fall, could result in lower emissions than the existing regulations. "What we're looking for here is legislation that would significantly clean up the air beyond what any of our current regulatory targets call for," she said following the hearing.

Under the existing new source review program, as it has been administered, utilities making what they consider ordinary repairs to their power plants sometimes find themselves faced with a lawsuit filed by the EPA claiming they have increased the output of their plants without making expensive emission reduction upgrades.

The rule has actually deterred some companies from installing anti-pollution equipment because of uncertainty about the way the work would be greeted by the agency, some companies have said.

Some members of the Environment and Public Works Committee agreed. "Investment will not come as long as this regulatory uncertainty hangs out there," said Sen. Robert Smith of New Hampshire, the top Republican on the committee. "The current mandates discourage innovation."

Whitman said the EPA expected to complete its review of the new source regulations by mid-August.

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