On June 9, 2017, Beaver Creek Wind II, LLC and Beaver Creek Wind III, LLC (together, “Beaver Creek”) responded to a deficiency letter from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the “Commission”) staff seeking further information on Beaver Creek’s calculation of the “one-mile” rule in its applications for certification as qualifying small power production facilities (QFs). At issue is Beaver Creek’s proposed “weighted geographic center” methodology used to calculate the distance between wind projects consisting of multiple pieces of geographically dispersed electric generating equipment (i.e., wind turbines) for the purposes of applying the one-mile rule under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). With a potential FERC quorum on the horizon, the instant case provides the new FERC commissioners with an opportunity to establish a preferred methodology, if any, for measuring one mile for purposes of PURPA. As such, the outcome could have immediate impacts for renewable energy project developers, particularly those developing wind projects, as they perform due diligence on property selection and equipment siting when planning multiple projects.
(Houston) – On June 14, Akin Gump lawyers held the firm’s semiannual energy briefing in its Houston office, with guests in attendance at the event as well as via webinar around the world.
(Houston) – Lawyers and advisors at Akin Gump held a briefing today, titled “The Global Energy Industry: A Look to the Year Ahead in 2017,” addressing some of the big issues likely to affect the global energy industry in the coming year. The event was held as an in-person briefing in the firm’s Houston office and as a webinar for participants around the world.
Globe Law & Business, in its new book Oil and Gas Sale and Purchase Agreements, has included several chapters written by Akin Gump lawyers. The chapters and their corresponding authors are as follows:
- “Conditions precedent and deferred completions,” by oil and gas partner John LaMaster
- “Oil and gas warranties,” by oil and gas counsel Caroline-Lucy Moran
- “Environmental provisions in upstream acquisitions and divestitures,” by environment and natural resources partner emeritus Paul Gutermann
- “Decommissioning,” by oil and gas counsel Nicholas Antonas and partner Marc Hammerson
- “Anti-corruption provisions,” by international trade counsel Nicole D’Avanzo and partner Tatman Savio
- Oil and gas boilerplate provisions,” by John LaMaster
Akin Gump recently hosted the webinar “30 Days Postelection, Reading the Tea Leaves on the U.S. Renewables Market,” looking at the future of renewable energy under the incoming Trump administration. Panelists included the following members of the firm’s global projects and finance and public law and policy practices:
- Former U.S. Senator John Sununu (R-NH), adjunct senior policy advisor, public law and policy
- John Marciano, partner, renewable energy tax
- Jeff McMillen, partner, public law and policy
- Ed Pagano, partner, public law and policy
- Brian Pomper, partner, public law and policy
- Ed Zaelke, partner, renewable energy & chair, global project finance practice
The speakers addressed several topics of interest to U.S. and European private equity funds invested in renewable energy as well as renewable energy investors, developers, tax equity investors and lenders. The panel discussed how issues such as tax credits, trade policy and environmental concerns might be addressed during a Trump administration.
Please click here to listen to the webinar in its entirety.
On November 17, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC or “Commission”) Office of Enforcement (“Enforcement”) released its annual Report on Enforcement (the “2016 Report”). This year’s report is the 10th such report to be issued. Enforcement began the practice in November 2007 in the wake of Congress’ passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (“EPAct 2005”), which substantially expanded the Commission’s enforcement authority and the commission’s promulgation in 2006 of its rule prohibiting market manipulation (the “Anti-Manipulation Rule”). FERC’s current and former chairmen and commissioners have consistently implored FERC-regulated entities to study the annual report for guidance on how the Commission approaches compliance and enforcement.
At its November Open Meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the “Commission”) issued a Final Rule (Order No. 831) directing the Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators (RTO/ISO) to raise their existing caps on energy market offers, allowing electric generators and other market participants to submit higher-priced offers to supply energy, and allowing those higher-priced offers to set market clearing prices in certain instances. These directives may result in higher market clearing prices and increased market revenues for electricity generators, but they will require RTOs/ISOs to adopt additional procedures for cost verification before such higher clearing prices can occur.
On November 15, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order dismissing a petition for declaratory filed by two Maryland electric cooperatives requesting a FERC finding that regulations governing Maryland’s pilot Community Solar Program (“Pilot Program”) conflict with the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA).