Arizona’s Clean Energy Rules Are Back on Track – But Derailment Is Still a Danger

Posted by Shelby Stults on Jun 16, 2021 11:30:00 AM

ACC rules revived

On May 6, the clean energy train slid off the tracks in Arizona, taking with it the hope for the timely passage of the proposed Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) Energy Rules to reach 100% clean energy by 2050. More than three years after the rulemaking train left the station, the ACC rejected the proposed rules in a surprise 3-to-2 vote. That decision came after nearly three years of official stakeholder engagement, bipartisan cooperation, and extensive participation of utilities, consumer advocates, and communities of faith in the robust process, with all of those groups ultimately supporting the proposed rules package. But it turns out this was not the end of the line for the proposed rules. They are now back on track, in a new form, although the journey is far from over.

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Topics: State Policy, PUCs, Arizona

In Indiana Battle Over Self-Commitment, Did Money-Losing Plants Win This Round? Not Entirely

Posted by Sarah Steinberg on Mar 25, 2021 11:00:00 AM

IURC Makes Self-Scheduling Bit Harder

Last week, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) issued its final order in a proceeding to examine Duke Energy Indiana’s coal-fired unit commitment decisions during the Fall of 2019. While the IURC ultimately declined to order Duke to refund customers for the financial losses it knowingly incurred, the Commission rightly acknowledged that today’s changing energy landscape has complicated the way coal plants should operate. AEE had hoped that the IURC would go further to protect customers from the financial harm caused by Duke’s uneconomic operating practices, but the Commission did push Duke to move toward a better decision-making process for future commitment decisions. With those now under a bit more scrutiny, we look forward to working with Duke on the alternatives we proposed to help the utility give up its costly coal addiction in its 2021 Integrated Resource Plan.

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Topics: PUCs, Regulatory, Wholesale Markets

Virginia Clean Economy Act Faces Critical Test in Dominion RPS Filing

Posted by Harry Godfrey on Feb 18, 2021 11:30:00 AM

VA Dominion Renewable Procurement

A little less than a year ago, Virginia made history by passing the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) and becoming the first Southern state to establish a 100% clean energy standard. Today, the VCEA faces one of its first critical tests, as the State Corporation Commission (SCC) considers Dominion’s 2020 Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) filing – the utility’s first under the law’s new binding standard. Will the Commission find in favor of the utility, ruling only on the basis of the projects Dominion proposes to build and contract for? Or will the Commission consider the utility’s proposal within the broader context of the law, which pushes utilities to meet their RPS requirements through a variety of means to ensure lowest cost, as AEE and a number of other intervenors propose? It is our hope that the Commission will look at the forest, not just the trees – and set Dominion on the right clean-energy course for Virginia’s families and businesses.

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Topics: State Policy, PUCs, Virginia

In Arizona, an All-Out Assault on the ACC’s Clean Energy Rules

Posted by Shelby Stults on Feb 8, 2021 6:00:00 PM

ACC under assault over 100% clean rules

This post was updated Feb. 17, 2021 at 6:31 PM to reflect updated action on another bill, HB2737, that intends to add duplicative ACC oversight. See last section.

Arizona Legislators have the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) in the crosshairs this legislative session with a series of bills aimed directly at stripping commission  authority. HB2248 and SB1175 revoke the authority of the ACC to adopt or enforce policy related to electrical generation resources made after June 30, 2020. The bills purport to clarify the constitutional authority of the commission to regulate utilities, in the process stripping the commission of its  authority to create and enforce energy policy. Indeed the real purpose of these bills seems to be squashing the 100% clean energy rules the ACC gave initial approval to last fall and are now in the process of finalizing.

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Topics: State Policy, PUCs, Arizona

Time to Stop Sticking Hoosiers with the Bill for Running Coal Plants at a Loss

Posted by Sarah Steinberg on Jan 13, 2021 11:23:50 AM

IN Self-Scheduling proposed order-745

Over the past several months, our Indiana team has been intervening in a proceeding before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to examine Duke Energy Indiana’s coal self-commitment practices. Self-commitment refers to a process by which a utility instructs the regional market within which it operates – in this case, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) – to dispatch the utility’s own resource unit regardless of whether or not it is the cheapest available at the time. Many vertically integrated utilities have been using this mechanism to run their expensive coal plants more frequently than economics would otherwise dictate. They do this because it is not their shareholders who suffer financial losses, but rather their captive ratepayers: When the cost to operate these units exceeds the market clearing price, utilities pass along the difference to customers, in part through fuel adjustment clause proceedings. AEE is working to curb this self-serving utility practice.

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Topics: PUCs, Regulatory, Wholesale Markets