On the heels of last week’s Hearing on the Merits, the proposed transition of Lubbock Power & Light (“LP&L”) from the Southwest Power Pool (“SPP”) to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (“ERCOT”) was back on the agenda at this week’s Public Utility Commission of Texas (“PUCT” or the “Commission”) open meeting.

During last week’s hearing Chairman DeAnn Walker instructed representatives of LP&L and ERCOT to finalize an agreement in which LP&L pays to help counterbalance some of the transmission infrastructure costs that may be incurred by ERCOT customers as a result of the transition. Walker also advised LP&L and SPP to try to reach a similar agreement for the benefit of the ratepayers in that region.

In response to that directive, LP&L, the Commission Staff, the Office of Public Utility Counsel (“OPUC”), and the Texas Industrial Energy Consumers (“TIEC”) have reached an agreement in principle that would, if approved by the Commission, resolve the outstanding ERCOT issues. A letter summarizing the terms of the agreement in principle filed in PUCT Docket No. 47576 last week states that LP&L will pay $22 million each year for five years to ERCOT wholesale transmission customers through the tariff proposed by Commission Staff to shield ERCOT ratepayers against the expected financial impacts of LP&L’s requested transition, and that LP&L will pay SPP’s study costs of approximately $172,000.

Discussions with ERCOT continued this week regarding what terms the final transition agreement will need to contain to satisfy ERCOT’s concerns. LP&L has completed a draft settlement agreement with ERCOT’s guidance in mind and circulated it to all parties the day before the open meeting. LP&L’s attorney conducted preliminary conversations with the parties regarding the draft and the settlement discussion is ongoing; LP&L expects to gain more guidance from the parties over the course of the next several days. Continue Reading Updates in the LP&L Case on the Heels of the Hearing on the Merits

 

In a four-part series recently published in Law360, Husch Blackwell’s energy regulatory group analyzed the significant aspects of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) most recent installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). The first article focused on the QER’s discussion of the critical role that the nation’s electricity industry plays in supporting the country’s economy and national security.  The second installment examined the QER’s emphasis on grid security. The third focused on Continue Reading Dissecting DOE’s Recent Quadrennial Energy Review

Part I

The Quadrennial Energy Review (“QER”) is a four-part roadmap for U.S. Energy policy to the year 2040.  It is a non-partisan report that provides “policymakers, industry, investors, and other stakeholders with unbiased data and analysis on energy challenges, needs, requirements, and barriers that will inform a range of policy options, including legislation.”

The first Installment of the QER (“QER 1.1”), published in April 2015, focused on “infrastructure challenges,” namely transmission and distribution and storage (TS&D), as well as natural gas resources.  Parts II-IV will focus on renewable generation, demand response and efficiency, and grid security respectively. Continue Reading “Transforming the Nation’s Electricity System.” A Four-Part Examination of DOE’s Quadrennial Energy Review

drillingAs discussed in our client alert, the Supreme Court of Texas issued an opinion on May 27, 2016, extending the accommodation doctrine to groundwater owners. The City of Lubbock (the City) filed a Motion for Rehearing on August 2, 2016 requesting clarification of certain language in the opinion. Specifically, the City argues that as written, the opinion would allow the limitations of the accommodation doctrine to govern a groundwater lessee’s rights to the surface to extract groundwater, in spite of the express rights granted by the deed between the parties, on the grounds that: Continue Reading Motion for Rehearing Filed in Accommodation Doctrine Case

Electric powerlinesMissouri Public Service Commission (Commission) Rule 4 CSR 240-4.020(2) provides that any “regulated entity” that intends to file a case likely to be a contested case must file a notice with the Commission a minimum of sixty days prior to filing such case. Until the Commission’s rejection of Grain Belt Express’ application for a certificate of convenience and public necessity (CCN) for its proposed Clean Line project, it was arguably unclear which applicants were “regulated entities” subject to the notice requirement. Continue Reading Missouri PSC Clarifies Applicability of 60-Day Notice Filing Requirement