Results tagged “geothermal” from GTH Energy & Natural Resources Law Blog

Thanks to Hydropower, Washington Leads the Nation in Renewable Energy Production

May 22, 2013

Northwesterners hardly need to be reminded of the value of the regional hydroelectric system, but statistics released earlier this month by the U.S. Energy Information Administration underscore yet again the value of the region's hydro resources. The EIA data show that renewable energy, including hydroelectric power, now accounts for about 12% of total U.S. electric generation. The State of Washington leads, by far, in the production of renewable energy, producing a total of more than 950,000 BTU, fully a third more than the next most productive state, California. Oregon is solidly in third place, producing nearly a half-million BTU.

Using the EIA data, Tim McDonnell of Slate Magazine recently published an excellent interactive map showing renewable energy production by state, with options to show total renewable production as well as production of solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal power. Keep in mind that the map shows total power production rather than power production on a per capita basis. If renewable power production were shown on a per capita basis, Washington (population less than 7 million) and Oregon (population less than 4 million) would appear as behemoths next to California (population more than 38 million).

Take that, California!

Harnessing Pele's Fire: Hawaiian Electric Issues Draft RFP For Geothermal Energy

November 13, 2012

In traditional Hawaiian religion, Pele is the Goddess of volcanoes. Her frequent eruptions are said to be a sign of Pele's longing for her true love. It is not surprising that Pele plays an important role in Hawaiian traditions. The Hawaiian islands are a string of volcanoes that emerged from the sea and the Big Island is one of the most active volcanic regions in the world. Hawaii is now seeking to harness the enormous power of its volancoes.

Consistent with both economic pressures and public policies favoring rapid expansion of renewable resources, as detailed in our post of November 8, Hawaii Electric Light Co. on November 9 submitted a draft RFP for 50 MW of geothermal power to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. A technical conference on the draft RFP is tentatively scheduled for December 5, which comments to the HPUC due two weeks thereafter. A final RFP is likely in early 2013, with the aim of having final bids submitted in the spring of 2013 and having a final PPA in place in early 2014.

If you have any questions about HELCO's draft RFP proposal, or any other matters concerning development of renewable energy, please contact a member of GTH's Energy, Telecommunications and Utilities practice group. We have years of experience in renewable energy development, the utility industry, and related areas such as environmental regulation. In addition, GTH Partner Jim Horne is licensed to practice in Hawaii.

Paradise for Renewables: Hawaiian Solar Schools RFP and Hawaii's Huge Renewable Potential

November 8, 2012

The combination of tropical sun, pleasant trade winds, spectacular geography, and a warm Polynesian culture makes Hawaii a paradise for visitors. But, for some of these same reasons, Hawaii is also a paradise for renewable energy development. An abundance of renewable resources like sun, wind, and geothermal heat, combined with by far the highest electric rates in the nation -- well above "grid parity" -- make Hawaii a premiere market for renewable energy developers.

Recognizing that its continued reliance on expensive, imported oil to generate most of the state's electricity is an economic Achille's heel, the transition to renewable energy has become a high priority of Hawaiian government. Hawaii's commitment to renewables was demonstrated most recently in last week's announcement from Hawaii's Department of Education that it will install solar panels on all 256 public schools in the state over the next five years. In order to address the challenges of financing such an ambitious goal, the plan calls for the solar panels to be owned and financed by the developer, with the schools purchasing the output of the solar panels under a long-term power purchase agreement. Hawaii anticipates that the plan will not only reduce the cost of power its schools by several million dollars a year, but could produce tens of millions of dollars in new revenue as excess power is sold on the local grid.

Similarly, Hawaiian Electric Company has a draft RFP for renewable energy in process, and is expected to issue a final RFP early next year.

Continue reading "Paradise for Renewables: Hawaiian Solar Schools RFP and Hawaii's Huge Renewable Potential" »

Portland General Issues RFP Seeking 101 MW of Renewable Capacity

October 3, 2012

On October 1, Portland General Electric ("PGE") issued a Request for Proposals ("RFP") seeking approximately 101 aWM of renewable generation. PGE is requiring the renewable generation to meet its obligation under the Oregon Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires PGE to obtain 15% of its energy from renewable resources starting in 2015. Hence, bids must be from resources that qualify as "renewable" under Oregon's RPS legislation. Such sources include solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal/ocean energy, as well as biomass, biogas, and hydroelectric power within specific limits.

PGE's prefers for its purchase obligations to commence at the end of 2015. However, bidders may submit proposals with deliveries commencing anywhere in the 2013-17 window. In addition, bidders may propose to sell PGE power under a traditional Power Purchase Agreement, or may propose a structured transaction in which PGE would take an ownership share of the generation resource.

PGE will submit its "benchmark" proposal -- that is, its self-build option, against which outside bids will be evaluated -- on October 30, 2012. Bidders will be required to submit their bids to PGE on November 13, 2012. By February 5, 2013, PGE aims to finalize the short list of bidders with whom it will then negotiate final contracts.

If you have any questions about the MOU and responding to PGE's need for renewable energy, please contact a member of GTH's Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology practice group. We have years of experience in the energy industry, electricity, project development, financing, licensing, and related fields.