Energy Law Update

A blog from the attorneys of Verrill

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Category: Utilities

An Interview with ME PUC Chair, Commissioners, and Former Chair

Sourced from Steve Mitnick,  Public Utilities Fortnightly , “A Day (Two Actually) at the Maine PUC” (January 2019). In this posting, I summarize a recent series of interviews with the current Maine PUC Chair, Commissioners, and Chair Emeritus, Tom Welch. The interviews appeared in the January 2019 edition of...

At NECPUC: Takeaways from the Annual Symposium

At the end of May, Verrill Dana attorneys  James Cohen ,  William Harwood ,  Geoffrey Why , Katie Gray, and  Brian Marshall  attended the 71 st  New England Conference of Public Utilities Commissioners (NECPUC) Annual Symposium at the Cliff House in Cape Neddick, Maine. The conference sessions covered a range...

Microgrids: The Next “Big” Thing?

There has been a lot of conversation lately about  “microgrids.”   And, given the significant  power outages experienced in Maine and the Northeast  this past week due to extreme weather events, these conversations are bound to increase. But, what exactly are microgrids, and how can they help?  Not everyone agrees...

Energy Startups: Opportunities, Challenges, & Considerations

In a presentation during  Maine Startup & Create Week , Verrill Dana partner  Jim Cohen , a utilities and energy lawyer with more than 25 years of experience, moderated a panel focused on the question, “ How can tech disrupt energy? ” With innovation and new technologies being developed...

How Can Tech Disrupt Energy?

On Wednesday, June 21, as part of  Maine Startup & Create Week , Verrill Dana partner  Jim Cohen ,  a utilities and energy lawyer for more than 25 years, will moderate a panel entitled “ How Can Tech Disrupt Energy ?” Panelists include  Ben Polito , president of Pika...

2017 Maine Legislature to Consider a Variety of Energy Bills

On Friday, January 6,  Maine Governor Paul LePage  released his  biennial general fund budget  for 2018-19. The Governor's proposed biennial budget and briefing document can be found  here . The main priority in the Budget is reducing  Maine’s top income tax rate  from 10.15 percent to 7.15 percent this...

MPUC Approves Northern Utilities’ Targeted Area Build-Out Program

Northern Utilities (d/b/a Unitil) recently received Maine Public Utilities Commission   approval   for a pilot Targeted Area Build-Out (TAB) program in Saco, Maine. The purpose of Unitil’s TAB program is to remove the barrier of large contribution in aid of construction (CIAC) payments that new gas customers face...

Beyond Net Metering: Solar Stakeholders Seek Common Ground

Since September, solar stakeholders have been participating in regular work sessions at the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to develop an alternative to Maine’s current net metering rules. Net metering or “net energy billing” allows utility customers who also generate some of their own power (with solar panels, for...

Washington Post on Electric Vehicles: Coal Generates Electricity

Last week the Washington Post exposed electric cars’ dirty secret: they use electricity!  The piece  makes the astute point an electric vehicle (EV) is only as clean as the electricity that is used to power it. It is true that in many parts of the world that still heavily...

SolarCity’s Antitrust Case Survives Motion to Dismiss

When the Salt River Project utility in Arizona decided to impose new charges for its customers with rooftop solar installations  in February , it opened another front in the solar war being waged across the country. Normally, these fights play out before state administrative agencies tasked with setting utilities&rsquo...