Late last night, the Senate Finance Committee voted its massive tax overhaul bill out of committee, retaining Production Tax Credits (PTC) important to the wind industry. The House version, which cleared the lower chamber earlier in the day, significantly scaled back these credits.

After taking a week off to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, the full Senate is expected to Continue Reading Senate Battle Over PTC Heating Up

As expected, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its massive tax overhaul plan today, largely along party lines.  The House package significantly scales back important production tax credits (PTCs) which renewable industry supporters believe have jump-started new investment.  All eyes now turn to the Senate as a backstop to keep these incentives in place. Continue Reading House Passes Tax Overhaul Plan, PTC Cuts Intact

The Texas Public Utility Commission has a new member with Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) appointment of Arthur D’Andrea to a six year term.  D’Andrea currently serves as assistant general counsel to Gov. Abbott and was previously an assistant solicitor general for the Texas Attorney General’s office.

This makes Gov. Abbott’s second appointment of the year, having named Continue Reading Gov. Abbott Appoints New Public Utility Commissioner

Last night the Senate Finance Committee released its own tax overhaul bill, which will be taken up next week by the committee.  The legislation retains important tax credits for wind developers, setting up a likely showdown with the House of Representatives during conference committee negotiations over the legislation before the end of the year.

The Production Tax Credit (PTC) enjoys outspoken support from an important bloc of Republican Finance Committee members, including Continue Reading Senate Version of Tax Bill Retains Incentives for Renewables

This morning the House Ways & Means Committee rejected an amendment attempting to restore existing tax breaks for wind energy projects.  This essentially leaves it up to Iowa Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and other historically strong supporters of wind energy to protect these incentives in the Senate Finance Committee version of the bill.  The Republicans’ slim majority in the Senate, especially given Sen. Grassley’s prior threats that wind energy tax credits will be eliminated “over my dead body,”  suggests there may be Continue Reading House Ways & Means Rejects Amendment to Restore PTC

Investors in renewable energy projects may soon have access to the same tax advantages that investors in fossil fuel-based energy projects have had for decades. On October 25, Sens. Coons (D-DE) and Moran (R-KS) and Reps. Poe (R-TX) and Thompson (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan “Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act” (the Act) to promote private investment in renewable energy projects. Continue Reading Proposed MLP Parity Act Would Promote Private Investment in Renewable Energy

In December of 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act (Energy Act).  One principal purpose of the Energy Act is to add a new Zero Emissions Credit to Illinois’ existing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).  The new Zero Emissions Credit received a lot of media coverage because it is designed to provide additional compensation to Illinois’ operating nuclear power plants. Because the costs for the credit will be paid for as a pass-through charge via a tariff by Illinois’ electric utilities, Illinois businesses will undoubtedly see their costs for procuring electricity increase.

In addition to creating the credit, the Energy Act also Continue Reading Illinois Act Encourages Growth of Commercial-Scale Solar

On November 3 the U.S. House of Representatives released  the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (the Act) which contains provisions that will significantly affect production tax credits (PTC) for wind projects.  Based on a review of Section 3501 of the initial draft and conversations with legislative staffers, we expect the potential financial impact to negatively affect planned expansions in wind capacity in the United States. Continue Reading Proposed Cuts to Production Tax Credits Would Negatively Impact Wind Development

On October 25, 2017, Commissioner Keith Anderson of the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUCT) released a memo regarding the draft Preliminary Order in which he expresses concerns over the application submitted by Sempra Energy to purchase Oncor Electric Delivery (the state’s largest utility) for $9.45 billion.  The memo, which results from Commissioner Anderson’s continued concern regarding the financing of the deal, requested that the Commission add to their preliminary order in order to require Sempra to clarify several issues during the hearing on the merits.

In the memo, Commissioner Anderson states Continue Reading Texas Regulators Seek Additional Clarification on Sempra/Oncor Deal

On September 1, 2017, after two years of extensive studies conducted by multiple stakeholders, Lubbock Power & Light (“LP&L”) submitted its formal application to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (“PUCT”) requesting to leave the Southwest Power Pool (“SPP”) and join the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (“ERCOT”). Because the City of Lubbock is one of the largest municipalities ever to leave another power region and attempt to join ERCOT, the transition has been an important topic in Texas since its introduction in 2015. Continue Reading LP&L Files Formal Application to Join ERCOT