Regulatory Policies

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  1. FERC give NRG's troubled cogeneration power plant a break

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 13 granted an Oct. 7 request by NRG Energy, on behalf of Gregory Power Partners, for a temporary waiver of qualifying facility operating and efficiency standards for cogeneration facilities for calendar years 2016 and 2017. Gregory owns a 473 MW (net) gas-fired topping-cycle cogeneration facility located in Gregory, Texas , that was initially certified as a QF in 1999 and was recently self-recertified as a QF. Steam from the QF was sold to Sherwin Alumina Co. under an Energy Services Agreement to be used in an adjacent bauxite processing plant and also for Sherwin Alumina’s own turbines to produce electricity. Gregory has also sold excess energy that was not used by Sherwin Alumina into the Electric Reliability Council of Texas wholesale market. It did not have a power purchase agreement with any utility off-taker. FERC noted in the Dec. 13 approval: "Gregory states that it has continuously satisfied the operating and efficiency standards during its operating history, but for reasons beyond its control, i.e., Sherwin Alumina’s decision to cease operation of its manufacturing facility and to file for bankruptcy, Gregory now anticipates that the QF will not be able to satisfy these standards for up to a two-year period. Gregory explains that Sherwin Alumina filed for bankruptcy on January 11, 2016, and subsequently on August 1, 2016, Sherwin Alumina announced the manufacturing facility’s shutdown. On September 19, 2016, Sherwin Alumina stopped taking steam from Gregory’s QF. On September 28, 2016, Sherwin Alumina filed a motion in the bankruptcy court to reject the Energy Services Agreement. "Gregory states that it is working to secure additional steam hosts to replace the steam offtake capacity that Sherwin Alumina unexpectedly stopped taking. Gregory also asserts that the Sherwin Alumina site is a valuable industrial site and port location, which has the potential to be repurposed with another industrial facility that requires steam. Gregory submits that the requested waiver is necessary to provide adequate time to find replacement steam hosts. Gregory states that its request for waiver of the operating and efficiency standards is timely, of limited duration, due to unexpected events outside of its control, provides substantial public benefits, and is consistent with the goals of achieving energy savings contemplated by the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978." Said the FERC order: "Gregory’s request for waiver of the cogeneration operating and efficiency standards for the calendar years 2016 and 2017 is granted pursuant to section 292.205(c) of the Commission’s regulations." Filed Nov. 22 at the bankruptcy court for Sherwin Alumina Co. LLC was a deal with Gregory Power Partners LLC that would protect for the time being the operations of the Gregory cogen plant. The deal is among Gregory Power Partners, Corpus Christi Alumina and Sherwin Alumina. GPP operates this cogen in Gregory, Texas, on real property owned by the bankrupt Sherwin companies. GPP holds a leasehold interest on this real property pursuant to an Energy Services Agreement, dated as of June 1998. GPP also claims to hold, with the bankrupt companies disputing such claims, certain easements on and to real property adjacent to the Gregory Power Plant that is also owned by the debtors pursuant to an Amended and Restated Master Easement Agreement effective as of June 1998. On Jan. 11, 2016, the debtors filed chapter 11 cases before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. At the end of September, the bankrupt companies shut their Gregory alumina plant. GPP said that Sherwin's actions were endangering operation of the plant, which sold steam and some electricity to the Sherwin plant, with most of its electricity output sold to the grid. Under the deal filed with the court on Nov. 22, the parties reserve their rights as far as future legal disputes, but agreed to take actions in the meantime to facilitate the continued operation of the Gregory Power Plant by GPP and production of electrical power for the Texas public grid by GPP, at the power producer's sole cost and expense.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 14 Dec 2016

  2. TRC’s Top 12 Predictions for the Energy Industry in 2017

    TRC released its top 12 predictions for the energy, utility, and oil and gas sectors for 2017, including robust funding for utility mergers and acquisitions and infrastructure upgrades as well as big shifts in power plant and pipeline construction focus.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 13 Dec 2016

  3. North Carolina Surpasses Other Solar-Favorable States With 2015 Installed Capacity

    North Carolina has the second-highest amount of installed utility-scale solar photovoltaic owned by independent power producers in 2015.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 26 Aug 2016

  4. First day of TransForum East to feature speakers from ISO-NE, PJM, PSE&G, others

    The event will be held on Nov. 15-16 at The Capital Hilton hotel

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 19 Oct 2016

  1. Western Gulf of Mexico lease sale activity continues to dwindle

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 24 Aug 2016

  2. North Carolina has more PURPA-qualifying solar power facilities than any other state

    North Carolina surpassed states with more favorable solar power resources to become the state with the second-highest amount of installed utility-scale solar PV capacity owned by independent power producers in 2015, behind only California.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 23 Aug 2016

  3. Mexico approves revised hydropower project regulatory policies

    Mexico's congress has changed its renewable energy and energy transition law to include larger hydroelectric projects in the country's definition of "renewable", provided they satisfy a certain criteria.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 3 May 2013

  4. A jolt to the system: Rate making in an era of disruptive change

    Technological innovation, consumer empowerment and federal environmental mandates are transforming the electric grid

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 21 Jul 2016

  5. Solar Power News: NorthWestern allowed to negotiate solar power contracts

    State regulators voted Thursday to allow NorthWestern Energy to temporarily negotiate contracts with companies that propose building solar energy projects in Montana, rather than paying the set rate that the utility complained was too high.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 17 Jun 2016

  6. Shell's Odum proposes outlook-based approach in US energy strategy

    Projections of large future energy demand growth may actually be underestimates, making it all the more urgent for governments to adopt regulatory policies that are less prescriptive and more outcome-based, Shell Oil Co. Pres. Marvin E. Odum said.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 29 Jul 2011

  7. PHMSA proposes new hazardous liquids pipeline safety regulations

    Under newly proposed hazardous liquid pipeline safety regulations, the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration would require pipelines to have leak-detection systems and timelines for inspecting affected segments following an extreme weather event or natural disaster, the US ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 2 Oct 2015

  8. Senate Democrats unveil clean energy bill

    Schumer takes shot at GOP's 'drill baby, drill' refrain

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 23 Sep 2015

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