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PURPA Policies Then and Now: The Latest Developments for Electric Utilities


The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (“PURPA”) was enacted in response to the 1970s-era energy crises to promote greater reliance on domestic, renewable energy sources by creating mandatory, “must purchase” rules that apply not only to traditionally-regulated electric utilities, but also to municipal and cooperative electric systems that aren’t generally subject to FERC’s jurisdiction. PURPA’s relevance has evolved in the nearly three decades since it was enacted, and the law is now a significant driver of resource development in renewable-rich parts of the country. This creates challenges for electric utilities – particularly smaller systems – that may be fully resourced or that do not otherwise have a need for additional renewables within their long-term procurement plans.

This webinar will provide background on electric utilities’ obligations under PURPA, describe recent developments in PURPA implementation and enforcement, discuss how energy markets may impact purchasers and sellers under PURPA, and outline strategies for managing PURPA procurement and working with resource developers. We will also discuss how the Trump administration may impact FERC’s PURPA policies.

The live presentation of this program was approved for 1.0 hour general CLE credit in California and Illinois and 1.2 hours of general CLE credit in Missouri. CLE credit is no longer available for this recording.

Meg McNaul
Rebecca Shelton


Originally Presented:
November 14, 2017