Each month, we post the updates from the state and provincial caucus reports…
Nuke developer tries Payette County
The Payette County Board of Commissioners took testimony June 6 on Alternate Energy Holdings Inc.’s request for rezoning of several rural land parcels to allow development of a nuclear power plant, perhaps by 2018. Idaho’s Snake River Alliance noted that the company had unsuccessfully tried Owyhee and Elmore counties and is being sued by the Securities Exchange Commission for alleged misuse of investor money. The Payette commissioners are expected to rule soon.
For more information on the Idaho Caucus report,
contact Ken Miller: kmiller (at) snakeriveralliance.org
Wind project would be first in NorthWestern’s rate base
NorthWestern Energy wants Montana’s Public Service Commission to approve its purchase and operation of a 40-megawatt, $86 million wind project proposed for Judith Basin County. If the PSC approves, the Spion Kop Wind Project near Geyser, Mont., would be developed by Compass Wind and become the first wind project in NWE’s rate base. Acquiring and operating the project would help NWE meet its state renewable energy standard obligation. Operations could begin in 2012.
For more information on the Montana Caucus report,
contact Chuck Magraw: c.magraw (at) bresnan.net
House, Senate pass utility low-income assistance bill
On June 15, Oregon’s House passed Senate Bill 863 by a whopping 49-9 vote. Once signed by the governor, the bill would provide an additional $5 million for the next two years to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps residential customers pay their bills. Utilities would raise the funds through a customer charge estimated to average 35 cents per month. The bill would take effect only if certain economic triggers are met, such as more than a 10% unemployment rate, 12% poverty rate or steeply reduced federal funding.
For more information on the Oregon caucus report,
contact Wendy Gerlitz: wendy (at) nwenergy.org
Coalition intervening in Avista, PSE rate cases
The Coalition has petitioned to intervene in Avista Utilities’ new general rate case, and will seek to intervene in Puget Sound Energy’s general rate case soon. Both cases feature proposed mechanisms for removing disincentives to energy efficiency investments. The Coalition’s fall 2009 resolution on utility energy efficiency incentives and disincentives will help guide staff in evaluating these proposals. Coalition staff also will engage on PSE’s cost recovery for its new Lower Snake River wind and on other issues in both cases.
For more information on the Washington caucus report,
contact Lynne Dial: lynne (at) nwenergy.org