Browse in :
> Energy Policy (4089)
The state Department of Public Utilities, which is reviewing the National Grid-Cape Wind rate agreement, should "not approve any long-term contracts (under the state law) until out-of-state generators have received an equal opportunity to bid and to have their bids evaluated on their merits," TransCanada said.
Spanish utility giant Iberdrola wants to invest $2 billion developing wind power farms across New York state, the company said today.
But that funding hinges on the state Public Service Commission's acceptance of the Iberdrola's proposed purchase of Energy East Corp. (NYSE: EAS) and its 63,000 customers in the Albany, N.Y., area.
Iberdrola's $4.5 billion acquisition of Energy East was announced last June.
Now, Iberdrola, which is the second-largest wind energy operator in the country, appears to be upping the ante. Earlier, it had committed to at least $100 million in renewable energy investments in New York.
Iberdrola SA, the world’s fourth-largest utility, said today it will go ahead with its $4.5 billion purchase of Energy East Corp., parent of Rochester Gas and Electric and New York State Electric and Gas.
The Spanish company said it accepts the conditions set by the state Public Service Commission, which include $275 million in rate relief for RG&E and NYSEG customers.
“Iberdrola is pleased to accept this opportunity to help the Empire State meet its energy, environmental and economic goals,” said Ignacio Sanchez Galán, Iberdrola chairman and chief executive.
, Iberdrola's chairman said, Spain had spent millions subsidising relatively costly renewable energy technologies such as solar power ..."It makes no sense," Mr Galán said in an interview with the Financial Times. "Spain is installing the most expensive technologies in Europe instead of looking for those which are cheapest."
The state Public Service Commission staff is advising against the proposed takeover of Energy East, the parent of Rochester Gas and Electric, by the Spanish utility Iberdrola SA.
The recommendation doesn't mean the $4.5 billion deal won't go through, but it does put up a barrier that the companies will need to overcome.
Spanish firm Iberdrola threatened to walk away from Energy East Corp.
Iberdrola SA's Albany officials said the company will halt its $4.5 billion acquisition of Energy East Corp. if state regulators continue to require the sale of wind-farm assets in New York.
The New York Public Service Commission is at odds with Iberdrola over the final regulatory deal, the Times Union reported.
"We do deals that make sense," he said. "We do deals that are good for the shareholders. If we can't achieve those goals, we don't do the deals," said Pedro Azagra, Iberdrola's corporate development director.
Iberdrola SA could walk away from its $4.5 billion merger with Energy East Corp. if state regulators try to extract too much money from the Spanish utility.
Just a few days from a vote by the Public Service Commission, one of the biggest questions surrounding the deal appears to be just how much Iberdrola will be required to share with customers. ...In a hearing before the PSC on Aug. 20, staff had suggested three different scenarios that involved between $202 million and $300 million in PBAs [positive benefit adjustments].
Two of the scenarios involved sharing earnings with consumers, while the third called for a rate case before the PSC in which the agency could potentially reset Iberdrola's electric and gas rates in upstate New York.
James Denn, a spokesperson for the agency, said on Thursday that a decision more than likely will be made Sept. 3.
The five-member commission had planned for several weeks to vote on the matter Wednesday but, at the last minute, decided not to do so due to the absence of two members -- Robert Curry Jr. and Cheryl Buley.
Curry was out due to illness, Denn said, while Buley later Wednesday announced plans to move to Kentucky to be married. Buley's move was unexpected, and it means she most likely will not take part in the Iberdrola vote, Denn said.
The Spanish company that wants to buy the parent of Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. promised Tuesday to spend $2 billion on renewable energy facilities in New York if state regulators approve the takeover.
Iberdrola SA is known as the world's leading developer of wind farms, and it wants to build more of them in New York over the next five years.
Joined by several politicians for a news conference at the Capitol, company officials sought to sway the state Public Service Commission, whose approval is needed for the $4.5 billion purchase of Energy East Corp.
PSC staffers, who make recommendations to the commissioners, have been negotiating with Iberdrola and Energy East over a deal that would give New York consumers benefits such as rate decreases.
After talks broke down last Wednesday, the case went before an administrative law judge who will make his own recommendation to the PSC. Hearings before the judge, Rafael Epstein, began Monday.
Iberdrola made the concessions to PSC staff Friday in hopes they could "narrow the issues" prior to the hearings.
One of those concessions is to agree to sell all of Energy East's fossil fuel power plants in New York.
The PSC has been calling on Iberdrola to get out of all power generation in New York, including wind farm projects it already has in place.
The company's president also said during an analysts' conference call that Iberdrola will walk away from the Energy East bid if the New York Public Service Commission mandates that the company must give up its plans to build wind-turbine farms in New York while owning Energy East subsidiaries RG&E and New York State Electric and Gas.
"We have gone to the United States with the fundamental priority of building renewable energy, fundamentally wind power, and if they put any limitation on that, we'll say no," Chairman Ignacio Sanchez Galan told analysts today.
Spanish consumers were allowed to run up that debt because previous administrations agreed that utilities should book more revenue than they were permitted to collect. The gap accelerated during the last five years, swollen by subsidies added to power bills to support renewable power plants, energy efficiency projects and domestic coal mines.
Spanish utility Iberdrola SA will reconsider its proposed acquisition of Energy East Corp. should New York regulators "impose unacceptable" conditions on the deal, the company said.
The company's statement comes a day after Administrative Law Judge Rafael Epstein recommended that the Public Service Commission not approve the deal. The proposal, he wrote, "does not satisfy the 'public interest' requirement of Public Service Law."
An administrative law judge advised state regulators on Monday to block a Spanish energy conglomerate's bid to buy Energy East, a Maine-based utility with operations in four states, including New York, citing anticompetitive concerns. ...regulators say that the merger would give Iberdrola a virtual monopoly on wind power generation in the state while also providing the company with transmission and distribution lines, running afoul of state laws that prevent the generation, transmission and distribution of power by a single company.
In his decision, Epstein noted that "Iberdrola's wind generation ownership also has engendered an unusual amount of commentary by editorial boards and public officials, uniformly opposing ownership restrictions as contrary to the state's interests and even 'stone-headed."'
Lawyers for Iberdrola SA are pushing the Public Service Commission to vote on the proposed $4.5 billion merger with Energy East Corp. before its next meeting, which is scheduled for Aug. 20.
The Spanish utility has made a well-publicized bid for Maine-based Energy East, which has 1.3 million customers in upstate New York through its Rochester Gas & Electric and New York State Electric & Gas subsidiaries.
The PSC has been considering the merger for 12 months ...Galan also said that Iberdrola will not accept any regulatory limits on its ability to build or own wind farms in New York.
Wind farms would be forbidden within two miles of a residential property without the owner's permission, according to a measure that proposes strict new limits on where the tall turbines could be built.
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has approved two wind power purchase agreements for the Idaho Power Co., a Boise, Idaho-based electric utility.
The first is a 20-year sales agreement with Houston-based Telocaset Wind Power Producers LLC for 100 MW of wind energy. According to the commission, Telocaset’s wind farm is scheduled to be complete by March 2008.
The second agreement the commission approved is between Idaho Power Co. and Idaho Winds LLC, which plans to build The Alkali Wind Farm six miles northwest of Glenns Ferry.
The project includes 12 turbines that will be operating by Dec. 31. Even though the maximum output of the project is 18 MW, it will not generate more than 10 MW on average on a monthly basis, the commission says. Energy delivered in excess of that amount may be accepted, but Idaho Power will not be obligated to pay for it under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act.
At a time when Idaho trails others in harnessing wind resources, the Office of Energy Resources has disbanded the state's wind-power think tank and reassigned a staff member who had focused on wind projects to work on energy efficiency instead.
The staffer, Gerald Fleischman, told the Idaho Wind Power Working Group he "will no longer be able to respond to requests about wind issues and wind projects," according to a letter obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.
Wind developers who are pushing to extend a tax break that has helped bolster their industry in Idaho suffered a blow because state officials say the success of the program is undermining efforts to balance the budget.
Also filed under [
They've considered more hydroelectric plants, but depending on the water year they can be unreliable. They’ve also thought of wind turbines, but again those are only as reliable as the wind, and according to them nuclear power isn’t an option for at least 20 years.