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Regulatory Flexibility Committee meets 9/6/12 to hear IURC Annual Report, Annual Report on renewable resources and InVCEP; Watch on-line September 6, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in 2012 Indiana General Assembly, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), Uncategorized, Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard Program.
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This meeting will be broadcast over the Internet for those unable to attend. Please visit http://www.in.gov/legislative/2441.htm and select the video stream for the appropriate room, i.e. Senate Chamber, from the drop down list to watch the Webcast.

Here is the link to the Regulatory Flexibility Committee agenda: http://www.in.gov/legislative/interim/committee/notices/RFSCF96.pdfhttp://www.in.gov/legislative/interim/committee/notices/RFSCF96.pdf

This committee meeting agenda and notice includes a list of state legislators who are a member of this important committee. Check to see if your own state legislators are a member of this committee.

MEETING TIME: 10:00 am

MEETING PLACE: Senate Chamber, State House, 200 W. Washington, Indianapolis, IN

MEETING AGENDA HIGHLIGHTS:

  1. Discussion of clean energy and the Indiana Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio program
  2. Discussion of renewable energy transmission
  3. Report by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission by IURC Chairman Jim Atterholt
  4. Annual Report by the State Utility Forecasting Group including Annual Report on renewable resources
  5. Update from the Office of the utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC)

IBJ: Indiana Electric Utilities face Billion Dollar Upgrades to Coal-Fired Power Plants; Will SEA 251-2011 Be Used? April 29, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in Duke Energy, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL), Uncategorized, Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard Program.
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IPL’s Harding Street plant generates 25 percent of the utility’s power, with its plant in Petersburg accounting for 68 percent of the utility’s generation. The plants could receive the bulk of the $500 million to $900 million IPL plans to spend to meet new regulations.(IBJ file photo).

Dear IndianaDG Readers:

Last year when the Indiana General Assembly passed Senate Enrolled (SEA) Act 251 most of the renewable energy and distributed generation advocates were focused on the creation of the Indiana Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard (InVCEPS) BUT another big part of this legislation was language creating an expedited procedure for electric utilities like IPL to get 80% of the approved federally mandated costs through a “periodic retail rate adjustment mechanism that allows  the timely recovery of the federally mandated costs.” This is a euphemism for what most of us now call “trackers”.

I suppose we will soon find out which Indiana electric utility will request to use this new chapter at IC 8-1-8.4.

See Federally Mandated Requirements for Energy Utilities

Hey, if you think I am missing the boat on this, please let me know.

Laura Ann Arnold

P.S. The IURC has scheduled a public hearing on the Indiana Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard (InVCEPS) program as follows:

On April 25, 2012, the Indiana Register published the Proposed Rule and the Notice of Public Hearing for the CHOICE rulemaking (LSA Doc #12-94; IURC RM #11-05)  establishing the Indiana Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard Program. Download here: Proposed Rule as published in IN Register on 4-25-2012

The Public Hearing will be on Thursday, May 17, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. EDT in the IURC judicial courtroom #222 at 101 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana.   You are welcome to present oral and/or written comments at this hearing.  In addition, written comments may be submitted for one week after the hearing, by May 24, 2012, preferably electronically to bkroads@urc.in.gov.

Plant upgrades might cost IPL $1B

Chris O’Malley

April 28, 2012

New federal mercury-reduction regulations may force Indianapolis Power & Light to spend nearly $1 billion to upgrade its coal-fired electric plants scattered around Indiana. Duke Energy is mulling everything from plant upgrades to shutting down older units.

New federal mercury-reduction regulations may force Indianapolis Power & Light to spend nearly $1 billion to upgrade its coal-fired electric plants scattered around Indiana. Duke Energy, another big utility in the state that expects to be affected, is mulling everything from plant upgrades to shutting down older units.

The new regulations will hit Indiana harder than any other state because of its heavy reliance on pollution-belching, coal-fired plants. That dependence on low-cost coal has long allowed Indiana to have among the lowest electric rates in the nation. However, the investments needed to cut emissions could narrow the gap.

IPL’s Harding Street plant generates 25 percent of the utility’s power, with its plant in Petersburg accounting for 68 percent of the utility’s generation. The plants could receive the bulk of the $500 million to $900 million IPL plans to spend to meet new regulations.(IBJ file photo)

The fallout from the regulations hit IPL on April 18 when Fitch Ratings downgraded the utility’s credit, noting that IPL may need to spend up to $900 million between now and 2016 to comply with the new Environmental Protection Agency mandates.

IPL is still working on its plan, although it likely will include installing new devices at its Harding Street and Petersburg coal-powered generating stations.

The pollution-control measures could mean annual rate increases of 2 percent to 3 percent for residential customers over the next several years, IPL spokeswoman Crystal Livers-Powers said.

It’s unclear at this point to what degree large industrial ratepayers will get hit by price increases. Their rates are hammered out before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

IPL is not alone. Duke Energy is looking at everything from plant upgrades to shutting down older units to buying a portion of its electricity from other providers. Around the state, Indiana’s coal-fired electric utilities will spend billions of dollars not only to comply with the new mercury measures but to contend with a parade of proposed rules that include further cuts in sulfur and nitrogen emissions.

Recently finalized and proposed EPA regulations prompted the State Utility Forecasting Group at Purdue University earlier this year to raise its projected increase in the price of electricity in Indiana over the next decade another 14 percent. That’s on top of the 20-percent jump it forecast last year.

Ahead of the tougher federal regulations, the state’s electric utilities in the last few years have succeeded at the Indiana General Assembly in getting new laws to help them more easily pass on environmental costs to ratepayers.

One measure, Senate Bill 251, dubbed the “Christmas tree wish list” for utilities, was passed last year. It allows utilities to pass on costs of certain clean-energy and EPA-compliance projects during the construction phase rather than after project completion.

Indeed, Fitch said the environmental costs’ negative effects on IPL’s credit metrics should be temporary, allowing it to recover by 2015. The utility principally serving Marion County will face other pressures on its credit, such as tepid growth in retail sales, lower wholesale pricing environment and high pension costs.

IPL said it spent $62 million last year on environmental expenditures—and $600 million over the last decade, including pollution devices for its Harding Street generating station, south of downtown.

Fitch’s downgrade, from BBB- to BB+, involves about $1.8 billion in debt.

The projected $500 million to $900 million in new capital spending is likely to consist of 55 percent debt and 45 percent equity, according to Fitch. IPL is owned by Virginia-based AES Corp.

“The combination of existing and expected environmental regulations make it likely that we will temporarily or permanently retire several of our existing coal-fired, smaller and older generating units within the next several years,” IPL said in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

These generating plants represent about 15 percent of IPL’s generating capacity and include older, smaller units such as IPL’s Eagle Valley station in Martinsville.

“We are continuing to evaluate available options for replacing this generation, which include modifying one or more of the units to natural gas as the fuel source, building new units, purchasing existing units, joint ownership of generating units, purchasing electricity in the wholesale market, or some combination of these options,” states IPL in the filing.

Duke Energy, which serves the outer portion of the metro area and is the largest electric provider in the state, is still weighing options and rate impacts, said spokeswoman Angeline Protogere.

“That includes plant retrofits and possible plant retirements,” she said.

The company previously said it plans to retire units it owns at the Wabash River Station in West Terre Haute.

Duke Energy has invested more than $1.75 billion in its Indiana operations to cut pollution over the last decade, Protogere added.

That utilities should be spending so much in ratepayer money to keep coal a viable fuel amid tightening mercury and carbon regulations doesn’t sit well with environmental activists.

There likely won’t be new coal plants constructed in this environment, and a number of plants should be retired rather than retrofitted, said Dave Menzer, campaign representative of the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign in Indiana.

That money instead could be invested in energy-efficiency measures and renewable energy generation, Menzer said. “Statewide, ratepayers are looking at billions in dollars in cost” to perpetuate coal, he said.

Other states have outpaced Indiana in regulatory incentives for utilities to deploy more renewable energy sources, such as wind, said Kerwin Olson, executive director of Citizens Action Coalition.

“Planning for the future and dealing with regulations doesn’t necessarily have to come at a long-term cost for ratepayers,” Olson said.•

2011 Indiana Renewable Energy Association Annual Meeting and Conference Sat., Nov. 12 in Indianapolis October 14, 2011

Posted by Laura Arnold in Feed-in Tariffs (FiT), IPL Rate REP, Net Metering, Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), Uncategorized, Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard Program.
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Dear Readers:

Please join me in attending the 2011 Annual Meeting and Conference of the Indiana Renewable Energy Association on Sat., Nov. 12 in Indianapolis. Click the link below for details. As a Founder and Past President as well as a current member of the Board of Directors, I cordially invite you to attend this meeting. If you are not a member, I encourage you to become a member.  See http://www.indianarenew.org/about/become-a-member/

This will be a terrific program with updates on the two existing feed-in tariffs in Indiana offered by Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL) and Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO). Plus we will be unveiling a revised PowerPoint presentation on Indiana’s new net metering regulations. We are also putting together a “not to miss” status report and discussion about renewable energy manufacturing in Indiana.

“Be there or be square!”`

Laura Ann Arnold

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/2011-Annual-Meeting-and-Conference-Sat—Nov–12–in-Indianapolis.html?soid=1102557607664&aid=cLjgKWgabPk.

Consumers Energy in Michigan expands program to buy back solar power; How does it compare to NIPSCO FIT available in NW Indiana? August 24, 2011

Posted by Laura Arnold in Feed-in Tariffs (FiT), Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard Program.
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Dear Readers:
I thought this information about Consumer’s Energy about their Experimental Advanced Renewable Program (EARP) in Michigan might be of interest to you.  Consumer’s Energy is merely adding an additional 3 MW to this program so it is dwarfed by Northern Indiana Public Service Company’s (NIPSCO) recently approved feed-in tariff (FIT) which is capped at 30 MW. It looks to me like NIPSCO’s FIT outshines this program offered by Consumers Energy. 
I don’t claim to be an expert on this program offered by Consumers Energy. But if you are interested in the details please see the information about a public meeting on August 30, 2011 in Lansing, Michigan. Don’t worry there is also an option to participate via an On-Line Broadcast. EARP Public Mtg Info
It is interesting to note that this EARP is designed to meet Michigan’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). This is the same concept I recently recommended in my written comments for IDEA to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) concerning the proposed rulemaking to implement Indiana’s Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard (IN VCEPS) created by SEA 251. See Letter to Beth Krogel Roads_IURC RM #11-05_IDEA Comments_15Aug2011 Interesting don’t you think? Maybe my idea isn’t that crazy afterall.
Laura Ann Arnold
Original article: http://www.detnews.com/article/20110816/BIZ/108160400/1361/Consumers-Energy-expands-program-to-buy-back-solar-power

Last Updated: August 16. 2011  10:27AM

Melissa Burden/ The Detroit News

Consumers Energy is rolling out another round of its popular program to buy  renewable energy generated by solar systems owned by its customers, the  Jackson-based company said Tuesday.

The utility’s Experimental Advanced  Renewable Program has added 2 megawatts of electricity through solar panels on  roofs and in yards at 102 locations across the state. Following recent Michigan  Public Service Commission approval, the program is creating an additional 3  megawatts, Consumers Energy said in a news release.

Utility customers pay for solar installations on their own and enter into  15-year contracts with Consumers Energy to sell energy created via the systems  back to the utility, said Dan Bishop, a Consumers Energy spokesman. Consumers  Energy provides electric service in 61 counties in the Lower Peninsula.

Through this round of the program, however, customers will be paid less per  kilowatt hour of electricity generated, down from about 40 to 50 cents per  kilowatt hour to a high of 25.9 kilowatt hour for the first 125 kilowatts sold,  according to Bishop and Consumers Energy.

Customer applications will be  accepted near the end of August. More information about the program is available  at www.consumersenergy.com/EARP .

mburden@detnews.com

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110816/BIZ/108160400/Consumers-Energy-expands-program-to-buy-back-solar-power#ixzz1VTrgXvxL

For more information about this entire case before the MPSC see: http://efile.mpsc.state.mi.us/efile/viewcase.php?casenum=16543

On July 26, 2011, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) issued an Order in MPSC Case No. U-16543 that approved Consumers Energy Company’s plan to expand the Experimental Advanced RenewableProgram (EARP).  The EARP provides for the long term purchase of renewable energy generated by customer-owned solar photovoltaic generators. Installation of EARP Phase 1 and Phase 2 generators were recently completed at 102 locations and provide approximately 2 MW of direct current (DC) solar nameplate capacity.

Consumers Energy plans to solicit applications and begin accepting applications for Phase 3 of the EARP near the end of August. Phase 3 will award approximately 250 kW of contracts for non-residential capacity in the fourth quarter of 2011.  Phase 4 will award approximately 125 kW of contracts for residential capacity in the first quarter of 2012. The program expansion, occurring in 18 or more phases, will be  Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the EARP and is expected to add 3 MW of additional customer-owned solar generation capacity to the Company’s renewable energy portfolio. This new program will feature a standard offer price of between $0.20 and $0.26 per kWh.

IURC Offers New Opportunities for Renewable Energy; Hoosiers to benefit from significant regulatory changes July 21, 2011

Posted by Laura Arnold in Feed-in Tariffs (FiT), Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), IPL Rate REP, Net Metering, Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard Program.
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IURC News Release

Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission

101 W. Washington St.

Suite 1500 E.

Indianapolis, IN 46204

For Immediate Release

July 20, 2011

Contact Information:

Danielle McGrath

Office: (317) 232-2297

E-mail: dmcgrath@urc.in.gov

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) recently created new opportunities for Hoosiers wishing to generate their own power by dramatically expanding Indiana’s net metering rule.

After seeking public input around the state on the existing net metering rule, the IURC initiated a formal rulemaking and drafted a new rule that makes it easier for consumers to take advantage of the service offering. This initiative stemmed from proposed legislation during the 2010 legislative session.

Net metering is a service offering that allows participants to supplement their electric usage and mitigate a portion of their cost by installing renewable energy facilities, such as wind turbines or solar panels. If the amount the customer received from the utility is less than the amount delivered to the utility, the customer receives a credit on the next bill for the difference. The net metering rule applies to all jurisdictional investor-owned electric utilities.

“By holding public meetings, the IURC heard concerns about the existing rule,” said Commissioner Carolene Mays, the presiding officer over the rulemaking. “It was clear the rule could be improved so that more Hoosiers could participate and take advantage of its benefits.”

Significant changes stemming from the rulemaking include:

1)      A 9900 percent increase in the maximum size of an eligible facility from 10 kilowatts to 1 megawatt;

2)      Expanded eligibility to all customer classes (industrial, commercial, and residential) from just K-12 schools and residential customers; and

3)      A 900 percent increase in the aggregate sales level under each utility’s net metering tariff from 0.1 percent to 1 percent of annual kilowatt hour sales.

“The new net metering rule will stimulate growth within the renewable industry and make it a more attractive option for those who wish to use renewable energy in their own backyards,” said Commissioner Mays.

The Commission traveled to Indianapolis, Ellettsville, and South Bend in early 2010 and initiated the formal rulemaking process last fall. The effective date of the rule was July 13, 2011. To view the revised rule, please refer to 170 IAC 4‐4.2, which can be found by clicking here.

Other renewable energy initiatives before the IURC include feed-in tariffs and a Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard Program (P.L. 150-2011), which was passed during the last legislative session.

Feed-in tariffs allow larger producers to be compensated for the electricity they produce, an amount that varies based on the type of renewable energy. Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL) was the first utility to launch a pilot program, under Cause No. 43960. IPL has since filed another petition to revise the terms of the program. Northern Indiana Public Service Company’s feed-in tariff pilot program was recently approved on July 13, 2011, under Cause No. 43922. It is the second utility to file a petition with the IURC.

The IURC initiated a formal rulemaking for Indiana’s Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard Program. The program is designed so that a participating utility is to reach a clean energy target of 10 percent of the total electricity supplied to Indiana retail electric customers in the 2010 base year by December 31, 2025. Interim targets are to be met and maintained by January 1, 2013 through 2018 of an average of at least 4 percent and January 1, 2019 through 2024 of an average of at least of 7 percent. The IURC will accept initial written comments until August 15, 2011.

###

The Commission is a fact-finding body that hears evidence in cases filed before it and makes decisions based on the evidence presented in those cases. An advocate of neither the public nor the utilities, the IURC is required by state statute to make decisions that balance the interests of all parties to ensure the utilities provide adequate and reliable service at reasonable prices.

————————————————————

Danielle McGrath

Manager of External Communications

Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission

101 West Washington Street, Suite 1500 East

Indianapolis, IN  46204

Tel:        317-232-2297

E-mail:  dmcgrath@urc.in.gov

IURC schedules meeting to kick-off rulemaking to implement Indiana Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard program created by P.L. 150-2011 or SEA 251 June 30, 2011

Posted by Laura Arnold in Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Uncategorized, Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard Program.
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Indiana Distributed Energy Advocates (IDEA) is planning to participate in the rulemaking process intended to implement a new law enacted by the 2011 Indiana General Assembly. IDEA will be forming a Task Force and will work with other groups and organizations with similar interests in renewable energy and distributed generation. State legislators have given the Commission a great deal of latitude in tying up the loose ends and to make sense out of this voluntary approach to encourage Indiana electric utilities to invest in renewable energy resources in the State of Indiana.

Please let me me know if you are interesting in participating and helping with this activity.

The following information was posted on the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s website on June 28th.

Notice is hereby given that the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC)  will hold public meetings on the agency’s Rulemaking to Establish Indiana’s Voluntary Clean

Energy Portfolio Standard Program, IURC RuleMaking #11-05. This rulemaking is in response to P.L. 150-2011 or Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 251. SECTION 16 of SEA 251

which establishes the Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard Program, codified at Indiana Code 8-1-37. IC 8-1-37-10 states that the:

“Commission shall adopt rules under IC 4-22-2 to establish the Indiana voluntary clean energy portfolio standard program”

The public meetings will be held at the offices of the Commission located in the IURC Conference Center, Suite 220, National City Center, Judicial Courtroom 222, 101

W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana on the following dates:

July 8, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. local time (Agenda attached)

October 7,2011 at 10:00 a.m. local time

If an accommodation is required to allow an individual with a disability to participate in this meeting, please contact Danielle McGrath, Manager, External

Communications at (317) 232-2297 at least 48 hours before the meeting.

The meeting notice and agenda can be found at: http://www.in.gov/iurc/files/Public_Notice_6-28.pdf

The next steps after this initial meeting are as follows:

  • Written Comments – Aug. 15,2011.

  •  Strawman Draft Proposed Rule Circulated – Sept. 15, 2011

  •  Next Meeting – Oct. 7, 2011, at 10:00 a.m.

Hoosier Environmental Council’s KHARBANDA: The case for a diverse energy policy in Indiana not SB 251 April 24, 2011

Posted by Laura Arnold in 2011 Indiana General Assembly, Uncategorized, Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard Program.
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Editor’s Note: This article was written by a spokesperson for a statewide environmental group. It provides yet another perspective on the flaws in SB 251. This article was prepared for the Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) before the bill was amended on second reading in the House and before the Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard language was added to HB 1128. Hopefully, these various perspectives posted to the blog will help readers to decide for themselves whether SB 251 and HB 1128 should become law in the State of Indiana. Laura Ann Arnold
 
 
by Jesse Kharbanda

April 16, 2011
 
Key utility executives and state legislators argue that Indiana’s power should come predominantly from coal and nuclear power.

Kharbanda

Indiana’s electricity sector is at a crossroads. On average, power plants are more than three decades old, with their economics needing reassessment in light of new—and long-delayed—federal environmental rules.

What path will we pursue to power Indiana in the coming decades? Key utility executives and state legislators argue that Indiana’s power should come predominantly from coal and nuclear power. Those legislators made good on that conviction by passing, in recent years, taxpayer- and ratepayer-funded coal incentives considered “the most aggressive” in the United States, and have pushed to advance ratepayer-funded incentives to expand nuclear power, as proposed in the intensely debated Senate Bill 251.

The question is whether this monolithic approach is really in the best long-term economic interest of our state. While coal power will continue to dominate Indiana’s electricity mix, a decidedly more diverse generation mix would maintain reliability and be more affordable and better for economic development.

Natural gas is a logical part of this more diverse vision: According to the Energy Information Administration, the levelized cost of new gas is 40-percent lower than new coal and new nuclear, and its project time line is much shorter. Gas becomes more economically compelling in a world of carbon controls and, in the wake of the Japan tragedy, more robust—and expensive—nuclear reactors and operations.

But the broader opportunity for a more diverse electric-generation vision is in the commercial and small-scale renewable energy sector. Renewables get characterized by skeptics as limited, costly and unreliable. But this description is largely outdated.

Renewable resource potential, driven by technology, has exploded: Indiana’s commercially viable proposed wind projects alone could provide more than five times the power of what those currently installed generate, enough to make up 10 percent of our electricity. And the price of commercial wind has gone down to such a degree that it is 40 percent of the cost of new coal/nuclear on a per-megawatt-hour basis—and cheaper even without federal support.

Commercial wind’s economics have proven to reduce wholesale power prices in parts of the Midwest. And renewable energy resources do not impede reliability, safely contributing to more than 10 percent of the electricity of Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas, while being backed by existing generation.

Accelerated renewable-energy development creates an additional dividend: By concentrating construction, robust renewable-energy development will draw in component manufacturers who historically co-locate near such construction, as seen in Iowa and Minnesota. This co-location effect is forecasted to be larger in Indiana than other states due to our impressive automobile-component-manufacturing base, which has strong crossover with renewable-energy-component manufacturing.

Some will pose that, if renewable energy is so attractive, compared to new coal and nuclear, our state should naturally continue to see ample growth of the former. But Indiana’s five main utilities, monopolies by law, have no incentive to invite in renewable-savvy independent power producers, as these utilities reap a rate of return only on their own generation. Indiana, as a result, largely forgoes having a flood of IPPs continually competing to fulfill supply needs and driving down electricity rates.

SB 251 adds another layer of challenge to future competition, as it would expedite—and perhaps streamline—the approval process for recouping retrofitting expenditures for our existing power fleet. While offering a substantial new carrot to existing, coal-dominated generation, SB 251 offers no meaningful incentives to renewable energy. The bill’s voluntary clean-energy portfolio program could likely be met entirely, as of this writing, by energy-efficiency investments already prescribed by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

We look forward to working with those who would seriously consider the added value of a more diverse energy policy than what current legislation would likely lead to. At stake are Indiana’s long-term cost competitiveness and economic growth.•

__________

Kharbanda is executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council

CAC: Legislature Votes to Raise Taxes through Utility Bills; House adds eminent domain to bill April 24, 2011

Posted by Laura Arnold in 2011 Indiana General Assembly, Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard Program.
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Editor’s Note: Here is another news release  from the consumer perspective on SB 251 and HB 1128 creating a Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard. This news release is in stark contrast to the news release from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). These divergent perspectives are posted here to give readers a flavor for the controversy surrounding this proposed legislation. State legislators have until April 29th to resolve differences in proposed legislation before they adjourn. Laura Ann Arnold

Citizens Action Coalition
NEWS RELEASE
 
For Immediate Release :  April 22, 2011                                                                

Contact: Grant Smith    (317) 442-8802 or Kerwin Olson  (317) 702-0461            
 
 
Once again, utility ratepayers, aka taxpayers, remain invisible to 104 of the 150 elected officials in the Indiana General Assembly.  On Thursday, both Chambers of the General Assembly voted to raise the utility bills of Hoosiers.   Two companion bills being sold to the public under the guise of “clean” energy, SB 251 & HB 1128, were both voted out of their respective chambers in overwhelming fashion. 
 
Kerwin Olson, Program Director at Citizens Action Coalition, said: “It is simply unconscionable to CAC that at a time when vital human services for vulnerable populations are being cut dramatically, 104 elected officials would raise taxes on hard working and struggling Hoosiers.  Let’s not forget, the utility bills of school corporations, municipalities, and other governmental entities are paid by tax dollars.  Rate increases are tax increases in disguise. ”
 
“These investor owned utilities are State franchised monopolies sheltered from risk and market forces,” stated Grant Smith, Executive Director at CAC.  “These monopolies earned over $3B last year in combined earnings.  To reward these corporations with extra profit for doing absolutely nothing is completely disgusting.  It is evident that the public doesn’t stand a chance at the Indiana Statehouse as the influence peddling of special interests lobbyists is clearly running our State.”
 
The intent of SB251 and HB1128 is as follows:
 
1)            To deregulate the revenues of utilities overtime by mandating State regulators rubber stamp their requests for rate increases.
.
2)            To allow utilities to avoid going in for rate cases.  Avoiding rate cases enables overearnings of utilities and conceals their books from public scrutiny.
 
3)            To shift all risk to captive ratepayers by mandating they pay for construction of new power plants before they generate electricity and even if they never produce a single kWh of energy.
 
4)            To create a “voluntary” clean energy standard which is nothing but a fraud and window dressing to grant the monopoly utilities extra profit for doing what they are already doing or planning to do.
 
Adding insult to injury, the House of Representatives added eminent domain for a private corporation, Denbury Resources, to SB251.  “Not only did the monopoly utilities get an undeserved raise, a Texas pipeline company gets to condemn our property. I doubt this is what the voters of Indiana had in mind when they went to the polls last November,” concluded Mr. Olson.
 
Click this link for the House roll call: http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2011/PDF/Hrollcal/0622.PDF.pdf
 
Click this link for the Senate roll call: http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2011/PDF/Srollcal/0446.PDF.pdf
 
********************************************************************************************
Grant Smith, Executive Director for Citizens Action Coalition: 1-317-442-8802
Kerwin Olson, Program Director for Citizens Action Coalition: 1-317-702-0461

AWEA applauds bipartisan 62-34 vote on amended SB 251 April 24, 2011

Posted by Laura Arnold in 2011 Indiana General Assembly, Uncategorized, Voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard Program.
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Jeff Anthony 
 
Editor’s Note: This news release was posted by Jeff Anthony, AWEA Director of Business Development, to the Wind Energy Manufacturers Association (WEMA) Linked-In Group. I am posting this news release in an effort to indicate that everyone is not on the same page about SB 251 (and HB 1128). What we really need is for all the business organizations supporting renewable energy and distributed generation to work together. This is not happening right now. As a result, I believe that some are willing to settle for the crumbs dropped on the floor under the table plus look the other way on some really bad utility policy in these bills.
 
Tell me what you think? Laura Ann Arnold
 
AWEA: Indiana House passes Clean Energy Portfolio Standard, spurring Hoosier job creation

Washington, DC (April 22, 2011) – The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) today expressed support for a bill passed by the Indiana House of Representatives containing the state’s first voluntary Clean Energy Portfolio Standard (CPS). The CPS would set a voluntary goal for 10 percent of Indiana’s electric generation to come from clean energy resources by 2025.

“I applaud the Indiana House, under the leadership of Speaker Brian Bosma and Representative David Frizzell, for their efforts on SB 251,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. “This action is about creating affordable, homegrown energy for Indiana. With SB 251, the Indiana House has set in motion the ability to create thousands of wind industry jobs for Hoosiers—life-long careers in manufacturing, construction, operations and maintenance.”

Included in the voluntary CPS of SB 251 is an amendment offered by Representative Frizzell (R-Indianapolis), ensuring that at least half of the energy produced by Indiana utilities participating in the 10% voluntary CPS will be met with clean energy resources from within Indiana. The amendment passed unanimously by a voice vote on Tuesday, April 21.

The House passed the amended bill with a bipartisan vote of 62-34. The amended bill, which originated in the Senate, now moves back to that chamber for a vote. The Indiana General Assembly must complete this year’s legislative session by April 29.

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