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Offshore Wind Projects Receive Boost from Massachusetts and Biden Administration

LCG, March 31, 2021--The Governor of Massachusetts signed legislation last Friday that authorizes the state to direct utilities to purchase an additional 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy by 2027.

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NV Energy's Greenlink Nevada Transmission Project Approved by PUCN

LCG, March 25, 2021--The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) on Monday approved proceeding with NV Energy's Greenlink Nevada transmission and renewable energy initiative. NV Energy's planned investment in Greenlink is over $2.5 billion.

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Industry News

California PUC Limits Fees for Some Grid Users

LCG, Apr. 4, 2003--A decision by the California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday showed unanimous support for limiting fees charged to installers of solar panels for use of the power grid, while another showed sharp divisions on similar exemptions for builders of small gas turbines.

The fees are put toward the cost of state electricity purchase bonds, issued to reimburse California for emergency purchases made on behalf of California's major utilities. They also contribute to the costs of long-term electricity contracts. Recent arguments for the solar exemption put forth were that the charges would be a disincentive to further solar installation, and that the benefits of increased supplies and reduced demand on the grid from new power sources should be rewarded. By providing subsidies not only to solar users but also those installing gas turbines, the commission is causing costs to be borne more heavily by other users, some commissioners noted.

The PUC president, Michael Peevey, was in favor of the small number of "entities who are willing to put up capital for investment in generation, transmission or distribution" being given encouragement in a market lacking in investment. Commissioner Carl Wood and former commission president Loretta Lynch expressed opposition to giving subsidies to those using microturbines and cogeneration, with Lynch saying "I think that will reduce in the long term the ability of the renewable and ultra-clean vendors to increase their market share." Wood said the policy vote would benefit large businesses and industrial facilities most, and said he would not go along with "an inclination ... to promote cost shift for the benefeit of these large customers."

The subsidy given to smaller non-renewable generation was at a lower rate than that given to renewables. Nonetheless, a lawyer for the Utility Reform Network, Matt Freedman, told the Sacramento Bee, "Every dollar we exempt these customers from paying, somebody else has to eat."
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