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Facebook will buy the renewable energy credits from PacifiCorp's first wind farm in Montana, but the utility may be on the hook for the $406-million price tag because it was acquired outside of Oregon's competitive bidding rules.

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Benton County PUD is among a growing number of Northwest utilities offering prepay programs, allowing customers to trade big monthly bills for smaller, weekly payments. After a soft launch in September, Benton's Pay As You Go program already has nearly 100 customers signed up.

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Three disputes over state promotion of renewable energy are on the Montana Supreme Court's docket, giving the court's justices huge sway over future clean energy policy. Each of the three cases pit the Montana PSC and NorthWestern Energy against renewable energy developers and advocates.

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After months of negotiations, Idaho Power has reached a proposed settlement with Idaho PUC staff and most intervenors in setting rates for residential and small general service customers with on-site generation. Seven of 12 intervenors in the case signed the proposed agreement, which was sub…

A 10-year-long legal fight was quietly put to bed Sept. 4, when the Washington Supreme Court declined to hear a dispute over how much a PUD can charge for allowing telecommunications companies’ equipment to be placed on utility poles.

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Operators of the Western EIM are working on two large and complicated issues for the expanding regional market: whether increasing levels of "wheel-throughs" should be compensated, and how to mitigate market power that could be exercised during times of tight supply.

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California’s grid operator is seeking federal approval of new market rules meant to address a bidding problem for Northwest hydro resources in the Western EIM, but is facing some resistance from state regulators.

The Montana PSC went against two recent state court decisions in its Aug. 12 order setting terms of a power purchase agreement between NorthWestern Energy and two wind farm QFs. The commission contended in its decision that the court rulings did not create generally binding principles, but r…

Avista has requested a 1.7 percent, $4.2 million electric revenue increase in Idaho for a power cost adjustment and BPA’s Residential Exchange Program benefit, and a 9.8 percent, $8.3 million revenue increase in Oregon for several annual natural gas adjustments.

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A Washington state appeals court on July 9 said ­Kittitas County commissioners took “too narrow a view” when they rejected a 4.5 MW solar project for being inconsistent with the state’s Growth Management Act, and sent it back to them for further consideration.

Pacific Gas & Electric attorneys said a district judge’s suggestion that the utility reinspect its grid and remove potentially risky trees prior to the 2019 wildfire season is not feasible, as it could cost as much as $150 billion and cause a fivefold increase in retail customer bills.

Pacific Gas & Electric and parent company PG&E Corp.’s plan to file for bankruptcy at the end of January has renewable-energy developers fretting over the status of their contracts, and policy experts fearful that the company’s financial turmoil could jeopardize California’s ambitiou…

Nine cryptocurrency speculators filed suit Dec. 19 in U.S. District Court for Eastern Washington, suing Grant County PUD over the utility’s new rates for bitcoin miners and other similar businesses. The PUD has until Jan. 23 to respond to the complaint.

A FERC ruling directing Umatilla Electric Cooperative (UEC) to provide wholesale transmission service to the 500-MW Wheatridge wind project has thrown a monkey wrench into interconnection plans the developer made with Columbia Basin Electric Cooperative (CBEC) for bringing generation to BPA’s grid.

State utility commissions around the Northwest have full schedules this year as they tackle myriad issues arising from seismic shifts in the region’s electric industry. Technological advances, market dynamics and legislation are largely driving the changes, a panel of commissioners said at a…

Regulators and investor-owned utilities around the Northwest say the region’s customers likely will reap the biggest utility-related benefit from the federal corporate tax cut that went into effect Jan. 1, although it’s unclear how big the savings could be, or which mechanism(s) will be used…

FERC will not take another look at its Nov. 1, 2016, dismissal of a complaint filed by Vote Solar and the Montana Environmental Information Center regarding the Montana PSC’s decision to temporarily suspend standard-offer contracts for PURPA solar projects of more than 100 kW (CU No. 1753 [12]).

The U.S. Department of Energy approved an order on Jan. 17 that some believe will muddle BPA’s statutory status as a “separate and distinct” entity within DOE.

The Montana PSC will allow NorthWestern Energy to increase its rates by $31.6 million Feb. 1, to cover the utility’s undercollection of revenue associated with its 2014 acquisition of PPL Montana’s hydro resources. But it’s a temporary increase, pending the commission’s review of stakeholder…

The Wild Fish Conservancy believes continued funding of the Columbia River Basin’s salmon and steelhead hatchery programs by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Department of Commerce violates the Endangered Species Act.

PacifiCorp filed a civil rights suit against the City of Klamath Falls and its mayor for adopting terms of franchise-agreement ordinance without the investor-owned utility’s consent.

FERC last month approved the Order 1000 interregional-transmission coordination and cost-allocation filings of the four Western transmission planning regions, but additional compliance filings were ordered—most due by Feb. 17.

BPA wants assurances that a $48-million, four-state transmission-asset exchange between PacifiCorp and Idaho Power won’t disrupt operational arrangements that protect transfer capacity on the 500-kV Northwest AC Intertie connecting Oregon and California [EC15-54 et al.].

California has a long way to go to reach Gov. Jerry Brown’s target of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on state roads by 2025, but the California Energy Commission and other agencies are taking steps now to help pave the way.

Judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have rejected a petition to rehear a lawsuit filed by out-of-state fuel producers against the California Air Resources Board that challenges the constitutionality of the state’s low-carbon fuel standard.

In its final order on Wyoming’s haze implementation plan, the U.S. EPA backed off a more stringent draft proposal and came more in line with the state’s implementation plan. But the federal plan still requires PacifiCorp to make expensive emissions upgrades at two of its coal units to control haze.

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