List of all ESE courses

4 Credits
Available Winter
OSU Catalog link

OSU catalog link

BA 360 or
ENGR 390, ESE pro school


Robin Feuerbacher
105A Cascades Hall
OSU-Cascades, Bend, OR

Course Description

Introductory course to the policies and laws governing energy generation and transmission in the United States with a focus on electricity.  History of regulations give context to understand current regulation and potential future policies.  Laws regulating the use of alternative energy resources covered in a practical setting. Offered at OSU-Cascades only.


  • Introduction to renewable technologies
  • Introduction to framework PPA (risk)
  • Policy (regulatory environment surrounding renewables and application of regulatory environment in real world transaction)
  • Voluntary vs. regulated markets for incentives and financial analysis of energy incentives
  • Electric utility industry – history and structure (public utilities, investor owned utilities, BPA, resources (hydro, coal, nuclear, natural gas), transmission pricing
  • History of regulation
  • Transmission pricing
  • Revenue requirement (principles, components, and rate of return)
  • Cost measurement and allocation
  • Rate setting principles (How are the costs of service reflected in prices of electricity?)
  • Administrative law/process
  • Energy policy (brief history of energy policy development in the US)
  • Decision making regarding new investment
  • Environmental regulation

Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify laws and regulations impacting energy policy, including but not limited to the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA), Energy Policy Act of 1992, Energy Policy Act of 2005, Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and FERC regulations.
  2. Explain how utility state rate setting may affect utility decision making regarding choice of new generation and transmission
  3. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of common incentive systems, such as Production Based Incentives (PBI), including: Net Metering, Feed-In-Tariffs (FIT), and Net Metering + VIR; and Renewable Energy Credits (REC), Tax Credits and Rebates.
  4. Analyze a real world example project from the perspective a contractual arrangement of incorporating regulation, finance, design and execution.
  5. Summarize the typical elements of a Power Purchase Agreement.
  6. Describe how transmission policy and pricing have changed over time.