The Ohio Power Siting Board show, ‘brought to you, in part, by BigWind’

As most of the focus remains on national and state elections, little activity is occurring in either Columbus or Washington. September 14th is the date the law establishing the Ohio Energy Study Committee becomes effective. We understand at this point that the Committee will not be appointed until after the November election. Similarly, it does not appear there will be a vote in Washington on extending the Production Tax Credit for wind until after the election. If the U.S. Senate goes Republican, anything could happen. Below we provide an update on the PTC.

One issue we are looking at currently is the rules in the Ohio Administrative Code that implement Ohio’s existing renewable energy law. These rules were adopted in 2008 and it is a requirement that they be reviewed every five years. It appears that the rule review did take place and Everpower was actively involved in commenting on them. Some of Everpower’s suggestions were adopted by the OPSB and some were denied. Do you remember the old announcements for the start of television shows? An announcer would say, ‘X is brought to you, in part, by Y’…The process requires that once the rules are reviewed and revised, they must be filed with the legislature’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review. At that point, the public has an opportunity to object to any rule revisions or interpretations. Once the JCARR completes its review, the new rules become effective. The OPSB revised its wind rules on February 18, 2014 thereby rescinding the old rules. BUT….they never bothered to file them with the JCARR. It is an open question as to whether there are any rules in effect or what the rules are. At a minimum, the OPSB looks negligent and the public is once again put at a disadvantage. We will be studying this issue and how to approach it. We will keep you advised of what we learn….

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) today said he would bring tax extenders for renewable energy to the Senate floor this year, lambasting Republicans for their opposition earlier in the year.

Tax credits for wind energy, biomass, energy efficiency and other energy sources are among a package of about 50 credits and other incentives that expired in January or are set to lapse at year’s end.

“Earlier this year, Senate Republicans filibustered legislation that would have extended these renewable tax credits,” he said at the National Clean Energy Summit, a one-day conference in Las Vegas. “I’ll bring them to the floor before the end of this year for a vote.”

The renewable tax credits are included in a broader “tax extenders” package that is expected to be taken up in the lame-duck session. Of the 50 or so credits in the overall package, about a dozen target renewable energy, efficiency, biofuels and related areas. The most important among them is the production tax credit (PTC), which subsidizes wind, biomass and a few other renewable energy sources. Getting another extension remains a top priority, especially for the wind industry and its allies on the Hill, but conservative groups have ramped up opposition to the clean energy credits in recent years, and renewal is by no means a sure thing….