By Julie Marion and E. Rene de Vera

On May 5, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2016-31 (Notice) to provide additional guidance regarding the “begun construction” requirement for renewable energy facilities seeking to qualify for the production tax credit (PTC) under Section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) or the investment tax credit (ITC) in lieu of the PTC under Code Section 48. The PTC and ITC were extended in December 2015 under the Consolidated Appropriations

By Marc Campopiano, Jennifer Roy, and Francesca Bochner

California energy agencies and key stakeholders have finished the first step of a statewide planning process to evaluate transmission needs in the state and the region. This process, called the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative 2.0 (RETI 2.0), will culminate in recommendations to the legislature on where to increase transmission capacity to meet California’s new, more ambitious renewable energy mandate (see our summary of SB 350, which increased California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 50% by 2030). RETI 2.0 is not a regulatory proceeding, but the resultant recommendations will frame and inform future transmission planning in California.


RETI 2.0 was launched in September 2015 by the California Natural Resources Agency, the California Energy Commission (CEC), the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), and the US Bureau of Land Management California Office.

In December 2015, the managing agencies released a RETI 2.0 Workplan that divides the RETI 2.0 objectives between three overlapping working groups:

By Julie M. Marion and Thomas Halpern

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (the Act), which President Obama signed into law on December 18, 2015, re-enacts the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC) for wind energy projects and modifies and extends the 30% ITC for solar energy projects. For both resources, the Act generally provides a five-year extension, with a step-down in the amount of credit available depending on when construction of a project commences. For solar energy

By Joshua Bledsoe and Max Friedman

After a lengthy process of policy review and revision, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) re-adopted the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) on September 25, 2015. The LCFS is expected to contribute approximately 20% of the statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions required by 2020 under Assembly Bill 32. Moreover, the LCFS has been identified by Governor Brown as a key regulatory tool both to reduce petroleum consumption 50% by 2030

By Marc Campopiano and Tim Henderson

On March 11, 2013, the California Energy Commission (CEC) released a proposed Seventh Edition of the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Eligibility Guidebook (proposed Guidebook).  As we discussed in a previous blog entry, on March 28, 2012, the CEC suspended the RPS eligibility of power plants generating electricity using biomethane. 

In response to the passage of AB 2196, which created a pathway for using biomethane to generate RPS-eligible electricity, the proposed Guidebook would lift

By Janice Schneider and Stacey VanBelleghem

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has proposed significant reforms to its current regulations for non-agricultural surface leases on Indian land.  76 Fed. Reg. 73784 (Nov. 29, 2011).  The proposed regulations include new provisions expressly governing Wind Energy Evaluation Leases (WELs) and Wind and Solar Resource (WSR) Leases and would streamline the leasing approval process while allowing additional flexibility that is lacking under the current regulatory framework.  The leasing reforms are consistent with

By Michael Feeley and Aron Potash

A lawsuit which delayed and once threatened to dismantle California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) cap and trade scheme was largely resolved last week, removing one roadblock to California’s plan to be the first state to impose an economy-wide GHG trading program.  Under modified regulations adopted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on October 20, 2011, California will require certain emitters of GHGs to obtain allowances or offsets in amounts commensurate to their respective emissions

The California Department of Finance has released proposed trailer bill language (PDF) to implement Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal with respect to the elimination of redevelopment agencies.  The proposed legislation sets forth what the Governor proposed in terms of the dissolution of redevelopment agencies and the formation of successor agencies.  According to the proposed legislation, all redevelopment agencies would be dissolved as of July 1, 2011, at which time successor agencies would step in to wind down the existing obligations of the

Clean energy development and deployment was one of the central themes of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.  The President urged Americans “to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world” and stressed that, with respect to clean energy, “this is our generation’s Sputnik moment.”    President Obama emphasized two clean energy-related goals for the United States in his address: (a) to become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 and (b) to have 80 percent of the country’s electricity be generated from clean energy sources.

Following the State of the Union address, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) submitted to Congress (PDF) the President’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget request of $29.5 billion, a $3.1 billion (11.8 percent) increase from the DOE’s FY 2010 budget.  Included in the proposed budget are (a) an additional $200 million to pay the credit subsidy costs for loan guarantees for innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy projects under Section 1703 of Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (PDF), which the DOE estimates should support an additional $1 billion to $2 billion in loan guarantees, (b) up to $36 billion in additional loan guarantee authority for nuclear power projects, and (c) $650 million (including $100 million from the Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative) for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), to support early-stage clean energy research projects.

On February 7, 2011, a bill was introduced in the California State Assembly aimed at expediting the siting and permitting of renewable energy projects in the state, with special emphasis on the San Joaquin Valley. Assembly Members V. Manuel Pérez, Steven Bradford and Nancy Skinner introduced Assembly Bill 13 (AB13), the Renewable Energy Siting Act, with the goal of building on the successful implementation of Senate Bill 34 (PDF) (SB34) by enacting additional changes proposed by the renewable energy industry