The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is in the process of renewing its General Permit to Discharge under the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit, Permit No. TXR150000, issued on February 19, 2013 and effective on March 5, 2013, which authorizes discharges from construction sites into surface water in the state.  The new permit will go into effect March 5, 2018 and will expire five years from the effective date.

Developers and other parties that currently hold an authorization to discharge stormwater under the existing permit will want to take note of the provisions in the new permit for obtaining renewed authorization to discharge; for large construction activities: Continue Reading Texas Developers, Mark Your Calendars for March: Changes Coming for Texas Stormwater Permit

As you are all aware, hurricane Harvey had a major impact on Texas and has left many residents without power.  On August 28th, in order to facilitate the monitoring of the effects of the hurricane, the PUCT opened PUC Project 47552 – Issues Related to the Disaster Resulting From Hurricane Harvey.  At today’s open meeting, PUC commissioners discussed this project as well as impacts the hurricane has had on central and southeast Texas.  During this discussion, Commissioner Anderson noted that he would like more detailed information from every entity affected by the hurricane.  Because of this statement, we urge you to maintain detailed information as to how the hurricane might have affected you and your provision of service.  Also, be prepared to answer questions from the commission and possibly ERCOT/TRE detailing any storm related damages or outages as well as how you have handled any damages.

Contract our Texas regulatory attorneys, Chris Reeder or Maria Faconti, if you have any questions.  We sincerely hope you have not been affected by the hurricane.

While the Texas 85th legislative session began with the filing of several bills on a diverse range of energy issues, few had made it into law when the session ended on May 29, 2017. The House and Senate passed legislation that impacts wind generation facilities, electric utility rate-setting and the General Land Office’s retail electricity program. Bills that failed to gain traction concerned grid security, energy efficiency programs, and research and development.

Our Texas energy group issued a client alert detailing several of the bills.

Oncor_logoDuring the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) open meeting today, the commissioners unanimously approved, with no substantive discussion, a proposed order finding that the sale of Oncor Electric to NextEra Energy is not in the public interest.

On October 31, 2016, NextEra and Oncor had filed a Joint Report and Application with the PUCT seeking the regulatory approvals required for NextEra to acquire Oncor.  NextEra was hoping to acquire both the approximately 80% interest in Oncor indirectly held by Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH), which is currently in bankruptcy, and the 19.75% interest indirectly held by Texas Transmission Holdings Corporation.  In addition, Continue Reading NextEra Bid to Acquire Oncor Rejected by PUCT

2000px-Texas_flag_map.svgAt the start of today’s Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) open meeting, Chairman Donna Nelson announced that May 15, 2017 will be her final day at the commission.  This is a month before she was speculated to be leaving the commission.  In order to fill her vacant space, the Governor must appoint a replacement.

While the Texas Legislature is in session, the governor’s appointment must be approved by the legislature. However, the governor can choose to wait and appoint a replacement once the legislative session ends on May 29th in order to avoid confirmation of the appointment during the 2017 session.

This will likely mean that the PUCT will be presided over by two members in the interim, with the potential for the commission to reach split decisions in contested cases.

President-elect Trump made an array of energy-related campaign promises, and elevated several of those promises to priorities for his First 100 Days in office.  Many of the energy related priorities will require action by multiple Federal agencies, including the Department of Energy (DOE).  The Trump transition team has nominated Rick Perry for secretary of the DOE.  Among the energy-related priorities found in Trump’s First 100 Days agenda, two key policy items may fall within the purview of a DOE led by Perry, including: Continue Reading Rick Perry Nomination and Trump’s Energy Priorities

Part 4:  Lessons from Existing Storage Applications

2000px-Texas_flag_map.svgParts I, II and III of our examination of the Texas energy storage market review various operating technologies in the state, including compressed air energy storage, battery storage, thermal storage, and flywheels. Perhaps, more importantly, is the diverse range of applications of electric storage technology being illustrated at the utility, microgrid and community levels.

Texas has become a leading example of the economic value of storage through innovative applications such as Continue Reading The Texas Energy Storage Market: A Four-Part Examination

Part 3:  Other Innovative Storage Technologies2000px-Texas_flag_map.svg

Part 1 of this examination of the Texas energy storage market reviewed utility-scale applications in the state, while Part 2 highlighted several of the smaller-scale microgrid and community applications.  This post discusses the other innovative storage technologies being used throughout the state. Continue Reading The Texas Energy Storage Market: A Four-Part Examination

drillingThe Energy Information Agency (EIA) announced yesterday that oil production in the nation is expected to drop in November to about 4.43 million barrels a day.  Overall, the EIA expects production declines in both the Eagle Ford Shale of south Texas and the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana of roughly 35,000 and 21,000 barrels per day, respectively.

At the same time, however, analysts are seeing the decline in domestic oil production slowing, with the expectation that it will begin increasing sometime in 2017 and into 2018. Continue Reading U.S. Shale Oil Production – Different Basins, Different Stories

Part 2: Microgrid and Community Storage Applications

2000px-Texas_flag_map.svgPart 1 of our examination of the Texas energy storage market reviewed utility-scale applications.  This post highlights several of the smaller-scale microgrid and community applications operating in the state.

Lithium-Ion Battery Technologies

A number of utilities are utilizing lithium-ion battery technologies for these applications, including: Continue Reading The Texas Energy Storage Market: A Four-Part Examination