This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

Utilities, Renewables Developers Set For PUC Fight

Exergy says its projects, which include more than 100 southern Idaho wind turbines, produce hundreds of jobs and millions in revenue for local governments. The company suggests that utilities really aim to cripple the renewables industry.

"Idaho Power's doomsday predictions are overblown and not supported by what few facts there are in this case," Exergy lawyers wrote earlier this year.

Utilities and independent developers also are fighting over who owns valuable renewable energy credits, or "RECs," that accompany alternative projects and can be sold to satisfy utilities' renewables requirements in states that have mandated them, including Oregon and Washington. In 2011, for example, Seattle City Light bought the RECs from a 22-megawatt Idaho wind farm for $1 million annually.

Utilities say they deserve them, but independent producers like Clearwater Paper Corp., with a 40-megawatt biomass electricity plant at its Lewiston mill, and J.R. Simplot, with a cogeneration facility at its Pocatello fertilizer factory that's seeking a new contract with Idaho Power, say utilities seek to take private property without paying for it.

"Where the government requires an owner to suffer a permanent physical invasion of their property... it must provide just compensation," Simplot and Clearwater Paper wrote last month in filings laying the groundwork for next week's hearings

However, an Idaho attorney general's legal brief filed on behalf of PUC staff concludes that the utilities have a legitimate claim to the credits. "The renewable status should remain with the energy purchased by the utility," wrote Kristine Sasser, the PUC's deputy attorney general.

Peter Richardson, a Boise-based energy attorney for Simplot, Clearwater Paper and Exergy, counters that giving the utilities what they want will shut down Idaho's renewables industry for years to come.

"If the commission adopts what the staff and utilities have recommended, we're back to building gas and coal plants to meet our future load," he predicts. "We all know the problems with coal, and gas prices are notoriously volatile. That's a really scary thing to put the ratepayers at risk to."

Stock quotes in this article: AVA, CLW, IDA 

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
S&P 500 1,864.85 +2.54 0.14%
NASDAQ 4,095.5160 +9.2910 0.23%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs