Developers of a wind energy transmission line have another shot at gaining the regulatory approval they need in Missouri, a state where the project has faced strong opposition.
The Kansas Corporation Commission is considering allowing electric utilities in the state to impose a demand fee on customers with distributed generation — a fee that one solar advocate termed “very punitive.”
In Kansas, which ranks 48th in the nation for its lack of energy efficiency incentives, regulators have rejected most parts of a utility proposal to establish a set of efficiency benefits for its customers.
An effort is underway in a small Iowa city to create a municipal electric utility that would supplant the service now supplied by Alliant Energy, an investor-owned utility — the latest in a series of similar efforts around the country.
State and federal regulators call many of the shots in the utility world, and some advocates say they should use that power to press for faster modernization of the electrical grid.
A pair of federal efforts could make it more profitable to turn organic waste from agriculture and other sources into energy by taking advantage of the Renewable Fuel Standard.
A Missouri utility is the latest to adopt a inclining block rates, which create a larger financial incentive for customers to use less electricity.
The race is on to finish about a dozen large renewable energy projects in Iowa after state lawmakers did not act on renewing a key tax credit. The state’s production tax credit of 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour will not be available for any projects that go into operation after Dec. 31, 2017. The Iowa Legislature did not vote on renewing the credit during the session that ended in late April. The impact will be twofold: projects now in process won’t get the credit if they aren’t operating by the end of the year, and there will be no state tax credit as of Jan. 1 for larger solar projects.
While it remains unclear how an Iowa utility will change the way solar customers are compensated, installers in the state aren’t taking chances.
Increasingly, it appears that utilities in the Midwest may have trouble carving out a niche in the development of electric-vehicle charging stations. And that, according to some observers, is likely to slow the shift towards electric vehicles in this part of the country.