Energy Law Update

A blog from the attorneys of Verrill

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Natural Gas: Focus on the Future

As the cold weather approaches and the topic of natural gas is top of mind, Verrill Dana and Pierce Atwood will be hosting their 6th Annual Natural Gas Conference: Focus on the Future on Thursday, October 18 at The Woodlands Club in Falmouth, Maine. The all-day event will be...
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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...
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Congratulations to Cianbro on BOLD!

Cianbro recently shared that in April, Cianbro's Power & Energy team placed its first BOLD® (Breakthrough Overhead Line Design®) structure on a project in Indiana. According to Cianbro "BOLD is a high-capacity, high-efficiency transmission line design with a low-profile, compact configuration." I'm not an engineer, but BOLD looks pretty...
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Maine Wind Energy Update

Ten years ago, Maine's Task Force on Wind Energy set ambitious goals for wind development in the State, including a 2015 target of 1,000 MW and a 2020 target of 3,000 MW (including 300 MW offshore) of installed capacity. Today, Maine has less than 1,000 MW of installed capacity...
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Maine Department of Environmental Protection Issues Draft Wind Energy Act Rules

After more than a year of pre-rulemaking process including the issuance of two drafts, the Maine DEP has commenced formal rulemaking and today issued draft rules for wind energy developments in Maine. The formal draft largely tracks the most recent pre-rulemaking version issued in January 2017. The draft rules...
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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...
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Verrill Dana Co-hosts Fifth Annual Natural Gas Conference

On Thursday, September 28, Verrill Dana and Pierce Atwood co-hosted the 5th Annual Natural Gas Conference: Powering Maine's Future at The Woodlands in Falmouth, Maine. The conference kicked off with Keynote Speaker Governor Paul LePage who discussed the state of the natural gas industry in Maine and its potential...
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The Future of the Kennebunk Dams

On Thursday July 20 th , the Board of Selectmen for the Town of Kennebunk held a workshop to gather information regarding the Town's potential role in the future of three dams along the Mousam River in Kennebunk, Maine. The Board workshop was centered around a presentation prepared by...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Maine PUC Proposes Net Metering Rule Changes

The PUC has issued a proposed rule that would change Maine's net metering compensation for rooftop solar (and other distributed generation). Under Maine's current rule, customers that generate power are given a credit equal to the full retail rate of electricity. The proposed rule would gradually reduce the portion...
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Natural Gas: Where Do We Go From Here?

With cold weather approaching, natural gas production expected to rise and expansion projects underway, Verrill Dana and Pierce Atwood will host their fourth annual, Natural Gas: Where do we go from here? on Thursday, October 6 at The Woodlands in Falmouth, Maine. The all-day event, co-chaired by Verrill Dana...
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Not Just for Rooftops: A Look at Community Solar in Maine

Much of the discussion around solar policy focuses on rooftop solar. While rooftop solar is an option for certain homeowners with suitable rooftops and some extra cash in the bank (or the ability to obtain financing), rooftop solar is not available to a large segment of the population. Community...
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Verrill Dana Hosts E2Tech Networking Event

On Tuesday, July 26, more than a hundred professionals gathered outside in Verrill Dana's courtyard in Portland, Maine for the E2Tech Summer Networking Reception . Attendees included numerous area businesses, government officials, professionals, and non-profit leaders from across the state within the energy and environmental sectors. Verrill Dana partner...
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D.C. Circuit Remands BOEM Cape Wind Lease under NEPA and ESA, Punts on MBTA Challenge

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has dealt another setback to the Cape Wind offshore wind power project by holding yesterday in Public Employees for Environmental Responsibilities v. Hopper that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) violated...
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4.4 MW Solar Facility to Provide Power for Madison Electric Works Customers

IGS Solar recently announced that Madison Electric Works will buy power from IGS's 4.4 MW solar array under a long-term contract. IGS will finance, own and operate the 4.4 megawatt generation facility, which will include more than more than 13,000 solar panels. MEW serves customers in Madison, Starks, Anson...
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Maine PUC Opens New Proceeding to Explore Changes to Net Metering Rules

On Tuesday, the PUC opened a new docket (2016-00120) requesting comments from interested stakeholders about the future of net metering (also known as "net energy billing"). In January, CMP notified the Commission that in 2015 net metering resources had exceeded 1% of CMP's peak demand, triggering PUC review under...
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Maine PUC Opens Proceeding to Distribute RGGI Funds to Large Energy Consumers

The Maine Public Utilities Commission recently opened a new docket, 2016-00081, to process refunds to energy intensive manufacturers in Maine out of the fund created by the carbon cap and trade program under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Maine is one of nine New England/Mid-Atlantic states that participate...
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Maine Solar Bill Proposes to Expand Capacity Without Net Metering

On March 10, the Maine Legislature's Energy, Utilities & Technology Committee reported out a bill that is the culmination of the solar stakeholder process at the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The bill sets a target of developing 248 MW of new solar capacity over a five-year period beginning in...
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“The Rate Is What It Is”: Supreme Court Upholds FERC’s Demand Response Rule

At oral argument in FERC v. Electric Power Supply Association , the Government argued that the retail rate or price of electricity "is what it is"—exactly the amount charged to the customer, without considering any foregone benefits. On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed with that characterization and upheld FERC's...
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