In an effort to clarify and strengthen state law, lawmakers in Massachusetts have introduced legislation to enhance the ability of communities to acquire electric distribution equipment from investor-owned utilities in order to form municipally-owned electric companies.
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Term for Energy
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2006: At the November 2-3, 2005, annual meeting, the members of Basin Electric adopted a resolution that calls for obtaining renewable resources by 2010 that will be equal to 10 percent of the generating capacity needed to meet its member demand.
Members of the primarily coal-based Basin Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Bismarck, ND, will vote in November on whether to require the cooperative to acquire 10 percent of its electric generating capacity from renewable energy.
PNM, New Mexico’s largest electric and gas utility, is seeking approval of a plan to expand on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) in its service territory. The two-pronged incentive program would pay project owners for "green" attributes and for excess electric generation.
Ontario’s Premier, Dalton McGuinty, has directed the Ontario Power Authority and the Ontario Energy Board to prepare a standard offer approach by the end of the year for distributed generation projects under 10MW. The new rules will be designed to encourage homeowners, farmers, schools and community co-ops to build renewable energy systems and sell excess clean electricity back to the grid at standardized prices.
The multi-year legislative effort to establish the nation’s most agressive solar power initiative was killed in committee on the last day of California’s legislative session. Early, broadbased support for 3,000 MW of new photovoltaic capacity and bi-partisan votes wasn’t enough to overcome some sensitive last-minute amendments to the original proposal.
The Oregon Department of Energy (ODE), in an effort to help local and county governments, has drafted a model ordinance for siting energy projects that are not subject to state-level review. Although still a work in progress, the model ordinance’s concepts could serve the interests of cities and counties nationwide.
More than a dozen states along with New York City have banned together and filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy for falling 6-13 years behind in adopting efficiency standards that were mandated by Congress.
The suit was filed September 7, 2005, and is being led by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. The suit maintains that DOE has failed to set new energy standards for nearly two dozen common appliances.
The State of New York is the latest of a number of states that have moved beyond Federal requirements for energy efficiency by establishing standards for a variety of everyday items.
Legislation in Texas has doubled the state’s commitment to renewable energy development and a report on California’s efforts indicates progress on meet its 20 percent renewable portfolio standard (RPS) years earlier than required.
Over three years, Klickitat County in southern Washington, studied the potential impacts of future energy projects within its borders and came up with a plan to direct those projects to the most appropriate areas. The county’s new "Energy Overlay Zone" is a zoning tool aimed at expediting renewable energy development. The Energy Overlay Zone covers more than 1,000 square miles, two-thirds of Klickitat County.