Firm News and Announcements

Department of Interior Approves Navajo Generating Station Lease Extension to 2019

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On November 29, 2017, the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the continuing operation of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) until December 2019. NGS is a 2,200 megawatt coal-fired power plant run by Salt River Project (SRP) and owned by a combination of utilities and the Federal government. NGS is located in northern Arizona on Navajo Nation Tribal Trust land that is leased from the Navajo Nation. NGS has been an economic lifeline for people residing on the Navajo Nation since the plant opened in the early 1970s. According to the Navajo Nation, the closure of NGS, and the associated coal mine that provides the feedstock for the plant, would mean severe economic distress and the loss of over 2,000 jobs. The power plant and coal mine are key employers in northern Arizona.

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Matthew R. Rudolphi Presented on “Addressing the Digital Divide: How are Electric Cooperatives Pursuing Rural Broadband Projects?” at NRECA G&T Legal Seminar

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Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke, P.C., (“DWGP”) Shareholder, Matthew R. Rudolphi co-presented on the topic of “Addressing the Digital Divide: How are Electric Cooperatives Pursuing Rural Broadband Projects?” at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (“NRECA”) Generation and Transmission (“G&T”) Legal Seminar in Austin, November 9-10, 2017. Rudolphi and his co-presenters discussed models being used to develop rural broadband, with a focus on the due diligence that electric cooperatives should perform as they explore getting into the broadband business. Rudolphi has been a member of the Electric Cooperative Bar Association (“ECBA”) since 2007. His practice focuses on representation of cooperative and municipal utilities at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service and Department of Interior.  

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Bhaveeta Mody and Jason Gray Presented on the Impact of Emerging Issues and Trends on Wholesale Transmission Rates at APPA Legal and Regulatory Conference

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DWGP Shareholders Bhaveeta Mody and Jason Gray presented on emerging issues and trends on wholesale transmission rates at the American Public Power Association Legal & Regulatory Conference in New Orleans, October 9-11, 2017.  Mody and Gray discussed issues such as: (1) increases in capital expenditures and operations and maintenance of existing infrastructure; (2) recent proposals prompted by the increased penetrations of distributed generation and non-transmission alternatives on wholesale rate design and policy; (3) developments in regional cost allocation methodologies and impacts on beneficiary determinations; and (4) various developments related to return on equity of FERC jurisdictional utilities, including the recent D.C. Circuit opinion in Emera Maine v. FERC pertaining to the orders setting the return on equity for transmissions owners based on a determination of the anomalous capital market conditions, and as to FERC’s income tax allowance policy and methodology for establishing returns on equity. 

Please contact Bhaveeta Mody and Jason Gray for further information.

Tyler E. Mansholt Article Featured in Journal of Natural Gas & Electricity

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The October 2017 edition of the Natural Gas & Electricity journal features an article co-authored by Tyler E. Mansholt, entitled: “Courts Reviewing, Finally, FERC’s Appeal Process for Enforcement.” The Natural Gas & Electricity journal is an award winning monthly journal written by experts in the natural gas and electricity industries. The article discusses recent updates in federal courts on FERC’s authority and jurisdiction under the Federal Power Act and the Natural Gas Act on enforcement-related matters, including on the rights of defendants to obtain discovery from the FERC. The article also addresses how the appointment of new FERC Commissioners could alter FERC’s implementation of its enforcement authority.

DWGP Senior Associate Tyler Mansholt closely monitors FERC-enforcement issues. He is a former attorney-advisor in the Office of General Counsel at the FERC, and is a frequent lecturer at EUCI conferences on enforcement matters.

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Matthew R. Rudolphi Presented on “Electrifying the Transportation Sector: Challenges, Strategies and Opportunities” at APPA Legal and Regulatory Conference

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Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke, P.C., (“DWGP”) Shareholder, Matthew R. Rudolphi co-presented on the topic of “Electrifying the Transportation Sector: Challenges, Strategies and Opportunities” at the American Public Power Association (“APPA”) Legal & Regulatory Conference in New Orleans, October 9-11, 2017. Rudolphi discussed strategies for utilities to deploy vehicle charging infrastructure, including potential opportunities presented by the recent Volkswagen settlements. Rudolphi’s practice focuses on representation of municipal and cooperative utilities including at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service and Department of Interior.  

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