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Paul Hastings WDC Energy Team Scores Important Victory for Renewable Energy

July 05, 2013

Washington, D.C.-- Paul Hastings, a leading global law firm, announced today that the firm represented Idaho Wind Partners (IWP), a partnership that developed a 183 MW wind power farm in Idaho, in this regulatory proceeding.  GE Financial Services is a tax equity participant in IWP.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week confirmed a declaratory order that is very favorable to IWP and renewable energy developers and protects renewable facilities from curtailments.  In a state commission proceeding, Idaho Power sought the right to curtail purchases of power under certain of its existing  Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) during “light loading” periods (when the utility’s base load generation would ostensibly need to be curtailed to accommodate the alternative energy on its system), claiming a FERC regulation in support.   IWP previously secured a favorable declaratory order from FERC that ruled that the utility’s proposal  would violate federal law because that curtailment right was not provided for in the twenty-year PPA negotiated with IWP.   Opponents sought rehearing, which IWP successfully defended against.   FERC denied the rehearing requests and reiterated in its Rehearing Order that Idaho Power should have included such a curtailment right into the  PPA, and it cannot now invoke a FERC regulation to unilaterally amend the PPA to allow for such curtailments. 

These FERC Orders are significant because they apply nationwide and protect the renewable generators’ revenue streams, which is very important for intermittent resources like wind generators, and because  FERC issued its favorable orders  while the state commission proceeding was still ongoing.  

Regulatory partner Bill DeGrandis and associate Steve Snyder led the Paul Hastings team.

Paul Hastings LLP is a leading global law firm with offices in Asia, Europe, and the United States. We provide innovative legal solutions to financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies. Please visit www.paulhastings.com for more information.