On October 20, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) released the National Transmission Needs Study, a triennial report that assesses electric transmission capacity constraints and congestion on a national scale. While similar to previously issued triennial reports, the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law expanded the study’s scope to also consider anticipated future transmission constraints and congestion. The study assessed needs through 2040 and revealed a pressing need for additional transmission infrastructure to promote reliability in the face of a shifting resource mix, with the largest benefits stemming from increases to interregional transfer capacity.Continue Reading Department of Energy Releases Triennial National Transmission Needs Study

On March 25, 2016, the United States Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, announced that the Department of Energy (“DOE”) will participate in the development of the Plains and Eastern Clean Line Project (“Clean Line”). As a result, the Clean Line project will be the first transmission project that DOE helps develop directly, pursuant to the authority delegated to DOE in Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (“EPAct 2005”).
Continue Reading DOE to Participate in Developing Clean Line Transmission Project

On September 29, 2015, the Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) of the Department of Energy issued a special report describing the results of its audit of FERC’s Office of Enforcement (“OE”). Based on its review, the OIG determined that “nothing came to our attention to indicate that OE had not performed enforcement activities in accordance with relevant policies and procedures.”
Continue Reading DOE Inspector General Releases Special Report on FERC Enforcement Practices

On February 4, 2015, the Department of Energy’s (“DOE”) Office of the Inspector General released a report on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“Commission”) treatment of nonpublic information within the Commission (“Inspection Report”).  The “Inspection Report: Review of Controls for Protecting Nonpublic Information at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission” concluded that the “Commission’s controls, processes and procedures for protecting nonpublic information were severely lacking.”
Continue Reading DOE Inspector General Releases Findings on FERC’s Handling of Nonpublic Information

On January 29, 2015, the Department of Energy (“DOE”) announced more than $59 million in funding for solar energy technologies and projects.  DOE further clarified that the funding will be divided into two project categories – $45 million for solar manufacturing technologies that can be brought to market, and $14 million for community-based, multi-year deployment plans.  DOE also noted that the funding will help support the White House’s effort to double renewable energy generation by year 2020.
Continue Reading DOE Announces $59 Million Investment in Solar Power

On January 14, 2015, the Office of the Press Secretary released a fact sheet announcing the Obama Administration’s “new goal to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by 40-45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025.”  In furtherance of this goal, the fact sheet also sets out a list of specific actions the Administration intends to complete.  The initiative will be run primarily by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), which will operate in coordination with the Department of Energy (“DOE”), the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”), and the Department of Transportation (“DOT”).
Continue Reading Obama Administration Announces Actions to Cut Methane Emissions

On September 30, 2014, the Department of Energy (“DOE”) released a draft solicitation that would provide up to $12.6 billion in loan guarantees for innovative nuclear energy and “front end” nuclear projects.  In its announcement, DOE stated that the loan guarantees are to assist with the financial burdens of deploying next generation technology to diversify the United States’ clean energy portfolio.
Continue Reading DOE to Offer $12.6 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Advanced Nuclear Projects

On June 11, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) announced that it will invest more than $10 million in projects that will “improve the reliability and resiliency of the U.S. electric grid and facilitate quick and effective response to grid conditions.”  Specifically, DOE will make Recovery Act grants to help deploy software that works with synchrophasor technology – which can measure instantaneous voltage, current, and frequency at specific grid locations – in order to increase timely access to information related to the status and condition of a transmission system.
Continue Reading DOE to Award $10 Million in Grants for Grid Reliability Software

On May 29, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) issued a notice of proposed procedures to change its process of reviewing applications – and making final public interest determinations – on liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) export applications to nations without a Free Trade Agreement (“non-FTA”).
Continue Reading DOE Proposes New Procedures for LNG Export Decisions

On March 18, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied the U.S. Department of Energy’s (“DOE”) petition for rehearing of its ruling ordering DOE to stop collecting nuclear waste disposal fees from electric utilities.  DOE argued that the D.C. Circuit should rehear the case en banc.
Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Denies En Banc Review of Nuclear Waste Fees Ruling