Three small Northwest utilities were among more than a dozen hit by recent cyberattacks targeting small electric utilities. While none of the attacks apparently succeeded, they highlight two of the weakest links in the industry's cybersecurity defenses: small, resource-strapped electric util…
The Bellevue City Council on Nov. 14 unanimously rejected an appeal from opponents of Puget Sound Energy's proposed Energize Eastside transmission project.
A federal trade court on Dec. 5 issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Trump administration's withdrawal of a tariff exemption for imported bifacial solar-photovoltaic panels. Meanwhile, a solar industry group issued a report estimating tariffs have resulted in 10.5 GW of "lost solar development." House panel moves pumped-storage bill with amended language affecting permitting of the proposed Banks Lake project.
A group of electric utilities on Nov. 25 filed suit challenging the Trump administration's rule blocking California from setting its own tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions standards and zero-emission vehicle sales mandates. Meanwhile, Western utility groups urged the U.S. Forest Service to adopt regulations to streamline vegetation management in rights of way crossing federal lands. U.N. issues "bleak" GHG emissions report and Moniz calls for broad climate solutions.
BPA ended fiscal year 2019 barely missing its financial targets for total revenues and expenses, and affirmed that a 1.5 percent, $30 million Financial Reserves Policy surcharge would be applied to power rates during FY 2020.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Nov. 19 reported out the nominations of Dan Brouillette to head the Department of Energy and James Danly to fill a FERC vacancy. Meanwhile, the House Energy and Commerce Committee reported out bills authorizing DOE to develop interim nuclear waste storage facilities and reinstating regulations limiting methane emissions from gas pipelines. House Ways and Means Committee floats bill extending renewables, efficiency tax preferences.
Electrifying buildings in California could create more than 100,000 construction jobs and 4,900 manufacturing jobs annually for 25 years, as well as offset job losses within the natural gas industry, a new report said.
Energy Secretary nominee Dan Brouillette has promised to keep BPA privatization proposals "off the table," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said at Brouillette's Nov. 14 confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
NW Natural Holdings on Nov. 5 reported a $3.1 million gain in year-to-date results through the third quarter compared to 2018, adjusted for a regulatory disallowance in the first quarter.
The region's leading energy savings organization, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, announced the winners of its annual awards Oct. 31.
President Donald Trump on Nov. 7 nominated Dan Brouillette, the Department of Energy's No. 2 executive, to succeed outgoing DOE Secretary Rick Perry. Meanwhile, states and environmental organizations sued DOE to challenge its rule dropping exemptions of specialty incandescent lamps from efficiency standards. Senate Democrats raise concerns about politicization of FERC at confirmation hearing for nominee James Danly.
California utilities were restoring power to hundreds of thousands of customer accounts Oct. 31, after another week of high winds, power outages and wildfires sent residents scrambling and led to a step-up in response efforts from state officials.
Portland General Electric reported on Nov. 1 a net income of $55 million, or 61 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2019, eclipsing the $53 million in net income, or 59 cents per diluted share, recorded during Q3 2018.
NorthWestern Energy reported net income of $21.7 million, or 42 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2019. That compares to $28.2 million, or 56 cents per diluted share, during the same period in 2018. The company credited the $6.5 million drop to higher operating costs, mild we…
A split between automakers on regulating tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions broke into the open Oct. 31 when a coalition of manufacturers including Toyota, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler formally moved to intervene on the Trump administration's side in litigation against the administration's revocation of California's authority to set its own GHG standards and sales requirements for electric cars and other zero-emission vehicles. Meanwhile, Rep. Greg Walden, ranking Republican on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, said he won't seek re-election in 2020. House passes bills to bar uranium mining claims near Grand Canyon, prohibit oil and gas leases around Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
Hard work is ahead for electric utilities as the Northwest takes up the task of driving carbon and greenhouse gas emissions out of its economy.
BPA issued a record of decision Oct. 22 to internally transfer $182.3 million from its Transmission unit's cash balance to its Power unit's cash balance, to correct cash allocation errors it has documented for fiscal years 2003 through 2018.
A federal appeals court on Oct. 25 rejected California’s challenge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s first step toward revising tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions standards. Meanwhile, the Justice Department on Oct. 23 sued California and top state officials, alleging that the state's agreement with Quebec on greenhouse gas emissions trading violates the U.S. Constitution. Schumer (D-N.Y.) proposed a 10-year, $454 billion plan to pay Americans to buy electric vehicles and increase charging infrastructure.
Washington enacted a monumental clean energy bill this year, but it is not time to celebrate, state Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Seattle) said at a recent energy conference in Seattle.
President Donald Trump on Oct. 18 indicated via Twitter that he would nominate Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette to succeed Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who on Oct. 17 said he will resign at an unspecified date later this year, bringing to an end a tenure shadowed in the last few weeks by his part in the Trump administration’s interactions with Ukraine officials. PHMSA falling behind on gas storage inspections, GAO reports.
Completely squeezing carbon emissions out of the electric grid requires changing utility culture, not just deploying new technology, said the heads of Tacoma, Seattle and Snohomish County utilities during an Oct. 8 panel at the GridForward 2019 conference in Seattle.
The Northwest fell just short in 2018 of the annual energy conservation goal in the Seventh Power Plan, a trend expected to continue through the plan's end in 2021, according to analysis by Northwest Power and Conservation Council staff.
In an effort to stabilize future revenue, Seattle City Light plans to roll out rate-design pilot programs in the coming months, using authority that sunsets in 2028 granted by legislation Seattle City Council passed Sept. 30.
A federal appeals court on Oct. 10 upheld a 2018 lower-court ruling ordering the Energy Department to publish four final energy-efficiency standards in the Federal Register. Meanwhile, three House committees subpoenaed Energy Secretary Rick Perry in connection with an impeachment inquiry, ordering him to turn over documents involving his interactions with Ukrainian officials.
James Danly, FERC's general counsel for the last two years, is President Donald Trump's choice to fill a FERC vacancy, the White House said Sept. 30.
BPA moved a step closer to joining the Western EIM on Sept. 26, by signing an implementation agreement with the California ISO that will allow the agency to further consider participating in the market.
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission on Sept. 18 joined regulators in Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada in signing a memorandum of understanding that addresses climate change through cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Seventeen states, including six in the West, filed suit on Sept. 25 to contest the Trump administration’s revision of rules for implementing the Endangered Species Act. Meanwhile, the conflict between California and the Trump administration escalated again as Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler warned the state could face loss of highway funds and tighter industrial-facility permitting conditions unless it does more to comply with air-quality standards. GAO warns grid increasingly vulnerable to cyberattack.
A divided FERC on Sept. 19 proposed sweeping revisions in rules for implementing PURPA, drawing cheers from utility groups, an attack from the Solar Energy Industries Association, and a caution flag from an industrial-customers organization.
BPA appears to be on the verge of taking the next step in potentially joining the Western EIM operated by the California ISO.
The Trump administration on Sept. 12 finalized repeal of the 2015 “Waters of the U.S.” rule, reverting to previous regulations in a move likely to be challenged in court. Meanwhile, the House passed legislation barring expansion of offshore oil and gas leasing in Pacific and Atlantic waters and on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain. The administration released a final plan to open the plain to oil and gas leasing.
The California Legislature has passed a landmark clean-energy measure, but another bill that would enable a transition to a regional grid appeared to have stalled in a Senate committee.
Seattle has dipped into the region’s public-power leadership pool and selected Debra Smith, current general manager at Central Lincoln PUD in Newport, Ore., to lead Seattle City Light.
The EPA urged the Supreme Court on Aug. 27 to refuse hearing an appeal of a lower-court decision that EPA lacks authority to block production of hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants if manufacturers already make them as a substitute for ozone-depleting chemicals.
The existing Western EIM is set to grow with the announcement that a couple of new members intend to join in April 2021, but a proposal for a similar regional balancing market by the Southwest Power Pool is also drawing interest.
The Department of Energy on Sept. 5 took action to loosen efficiency standards. Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged the Trump administration and California to negotiate a compromise on tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions and fuel-economy standards.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Aug. 29 proposed dropping methane control standards for upstream oil and gas production facilities. Meanwhile, business and industrial trade associations, including energy production groups, urged President Donald Trump to delay planned tariffs.
Oregon energy regulator Letha Tawney said her visit to the ignition site of the devastating Camp Fire near the town of Paradise in Northern California convinced her that the old ways won’t work anymore.
The EPA issued a revised guidance on Aug. 20 that officials said would ease “planning burdens” on states developing plans to reduce regional haze caused by emissions from power plants and other industrial facilities.
At an annual cost of roughly 1 percent of the region’s gross domestic product, deep decarbonization of all energy sectors in the Northwest is achievable but would require greater energy efficiencies, a greater reliance on the electric grid and decarbonization of energy supplies, a study comm…
Seattle City Council on Aug. 12 adopted a resolution that lends Seattle’s support to the Green New Deal movement, proposing a sweeping local platform of ambitious ecological, social and economic goals.
Twenty-two states, six cities and the District of Columbia on Aug. 13 sued in federal appeals court to challenge the Affordable Clean Energy rule, the Clean Power Plan replacement that the Environmental Protection Agency finalized on June 19.
Avista on Aug. 7 reported second quarter consolidated earnings of 38 cents per diluted share compared to 39 cents for Q2 2018, and year-to-date consolidated earnings of $2.14 per diluted share compared to $1.22 last year.
Idacorp’s earnings fell during the second quarter due to lower demand from customers. However, continued customer growth and lower operating expenses buoyed the company’s quarterly earnings reported on Aug. 1.
NW Natural Holdings reported second quarter net earnings of $2.1 million or 7 cents per share from continuing operations, compared to a loss of $339,000 or 1 cent per share in 2018.
Portland General Electric’s second quarter earnings took a hit from lower wholesale power costs and diminished hydroelectric output during the quarter.
A rule giving states and tribes up to one year to decide on Clean Water Act certifications for energy and other infrastructure projects was proposed Aug. 9 by the Environmental Protection Agency.
BPA says a Financial Reserves Policy surcharge for power customers is likely mainly due to high power purchase expenses earlier in the year, which were $206 million more than BP-18 rate-case expectations.
Phase two of British Columbia’s BC Hydro review will include a look at opportunities for Hydro and its marketing subsidiary Powerex to expand in out-of-province electricity markets, as well as ways Hydro can further support B.C.’s long-term greenhouse gas-reduction targets.
The Senate Environment and Public Works committee on July 30 unanimously reported out a five-year, $287-billion transportation bill that would authorize $1 billion in competitive grants for charging and fueling infrastructure for electric, hydrogen and natural gas-fueled motor vehicles.