Experience

Accounting Orders

Represented Summit Natural Gas in seeking Maine PUC approval of an accounting order to enable Summit to capitalize certain costs associated with its conversion rebate program for commercial customers.

Arbitration of Gas Pipeline Dispute

Represented Woodland Pulp in securing a favorable arbitration award after a lengthy and contentious arbitration proceeding resolving a dispute between Woodland Pulp and a tenant over shared use and "balancing" of a private natural gas pipeline.

Energy: Gas Pipeline Expansion

Represented an interstate pipeline company before the Maine PUC in advancing an interstate pipeline expansion project designed to provide a firm, competitively priced source of fuel for natural gas-fired generators providing electricity to consumers in Maine and elsewhere in New England. The Maine PUC is charged with implementation of the Energy Cost Reduction Act, a 2013 law (the firm was actively involved in drafting and securing passage of the Act) that authorizes the state to direct execution of a contract for new natural gas pipeline capacity. A so-called energy cost reduction contract, or ECRC, provides financing for up to $75 million per year upon a finding that the contract's benefits will outweigh its costs and that the contract is commercially reasonable and in the public interest. After more than two years of extensive litigation, the Maine PUC selected our client's project as the best option for an ECRC and directed Maine's electric transmission and distribution utilities to purchase pipeline capacity on the proposed pipeline expansion. The project is conditioned on support from other New England states, as it will enable the development of additional pipeline capacity needed to increase the availability and supply of natural gas throughout New England.

HVAC Conversion

Obtained Maine PUC approval for an LDC to create an affiliate to provide HVAC conversion services to prospective customers.

Interstate Pipeline

Secured state and federal environmental approvals for Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, LLC, to construct more than 200 miles of interstate natural gas pipeline facilities connecting New Brunswick to Massachusetts, as well as a subsequent expansion of those facilities.

Maine's First Private Pipeline

Secured regulatory approval for the state's first private natural gas pipeline, a direct connection from the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline serving Woodland Pulp LLC; and continues to represent Woodland Pulp in connection with shared use of the pipeline with another industrial consumer.

Natural Gas Consumers

Provide legal counsel to Bowdoin College and other larger consumers of gas regarding their purchase and use of gas. Represented several large consumers of Maine Natural Gas in successfully objecting to a proposed rate increase by MNG.

Pipeline Refund

Represented a natural gas marketer in contested Public Utilities Commission proceedings in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts and succeeded in obtaining more than $700,000 for the client from a FERC-ordered refund by an interstate pipeline.

Rate Plan

Represented Summit Natural Gas in securing Maine PUC approval of Summit's alternative rate plan (ARP). The ten-year rate plan provides for annual rate adjustments during the course of the ARP, return-on-equity sharing provisions, authority to enter into special rate agreements without prior commission approval, recovery of natural gas conversion rebate costs, and a service line installation policy and metrics. The ARP was part of a larger proceeding in which Summit obtained the commission's unanimous approval to begin providing service in Maine despite the opposition of an existing Maine gas utility.

Regulatory Approval for New LDC

Secured regulatory approval for Summit Natural Gas, a natural gas local distribution company, to become Maine's fourth natural gas local distribution company (LDC). Represented Summit in a wide range of matters before the Maine PUC.

Safety Violations

Represented an LDC before the Maine PUC in response to allegations of gas safety violations in four separate cases. The violations pertain to operator qualifications, use of trenchless technology, and fusions of natural gas pipe.

Energy: Assist Natural Gas Pipeline Company in Maine PUC Proceeding to Select a Provider of Natural Gas Capacity into New England

Since early 2014, our firm has successfully represented a large interstate pipeline company before the Maine PUC in advancing two significant new interstate pipeline expansion projects. The larger of the two projects was designed to provide a firm and reasonably priced source of fuel for natural gas-fired generators providing electricity to consumers in Maine and New England. The Maine PUC is charged with implementation of the Energy Cost Reduction Act, a 2013 law (in which the firm was actively involved) that authorizes the State to direct execution of a contract for new natural gas pipeline capacity. The so-called energy cost reduction contract, or ECRC, will provide financing for up to $75 million per year upon a finding that the contract’s benefits will outweigh its costs and that the contract is commercially reasonable and in the public interest.

After more than two years of extensive litigation, the Maine PUC selected our client’s project in July 2016 as the best option for an ECRC, and directed Maine’s transmission and distribution utilities to negotiate and execute of a contract for capacity on this project. The ECRC, which will be conditioned on regional participation on the project, and will enable the development of additional pipeline capacity needed to increase the availability and supply of natural gas into New England.

Verrill has guided the project through every stage of this extensive MPUC litigation, including researching, drafting, discovery, witness examination, filing briefs, motions, and testimony, and developing a successful strategy.

Natural Gas Pipeline Expansion in the Northeast

Since early 2014, our firm has successfully represented a large interstate pipeline company before the Maine PUC in advancing two significant new interstate pipeline expansion projects. The larger of the two projects was designed to provide a firm and reasonably priced source of fuel for natural gas-fired generators providing electricity to consumers in Maine and New England. The Maine PUC is charged with implementation of the Energy Cost Reduction Act, a 2013 law (in which the firm was actively involved) that authorizes the State to direct execution of a contract for new natural gas pipeline capacity. The so-called energy cost reduction contract, or ECRC, will provide financing for up to $75 million per year upon a finding that the contract's benefits will outweigh its costs and that the contract is commercially reasonable and in the public interest.

After more than two years of extensive litigation, the Maine PUC selected our client's project in July 2016 as the best option for an ECRC, and directed Maine's transmission and distribution utilities to negotiate and execute of a contract for capacity on this project. The ECRC is conditioned on regional participation on the project, and will enable the development of additional pipeline capacity needed to increase the availability and supply of natural gas into New England.

Verrill has guided the project through every stage of this extensive MPUC litigation, including researching, drafting, discovery, witness examination, filing briefs, motions, and testimony, and developing a successful strategy.

Approval of Interstate Natural Gas Pipeline

Verrill secured state and federal environmental approvals for Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C. to construct more than 200 miles of interstate natural gas pipeline facilities connecting New Brunswick to Massachusetts, as well as a subsequent expansion of those facilities.

Approval of Maine's First Private Natural Gas Pipeline

In 2011, Verrill secured regulatory approval for the state's first private natural gas pipeline, a direct connection off the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline serving Woodland Pulp LLC and now represents Woodland Pulp in connection with shared use of the pipeline with another industrial consumer.

Regulatory Approval for Summit Natural Gas of Maine

In early 2013, Verrill secured regulatory approval for Summit Natural Gas of Maine, Inc. to become Maine's fourth natural gas local distribution company (LDC). Verrill has represented Summit in a wide range of matters before the Maine PUC.

Representation of Large Natural Gas Consumers

Our natural gas attorneys also provide legal counsel to Bowdoin College and other larger consumers of gas.

Firm Highlights

Matter

Energy: Gas Pipeline Expansion

Represented an interstate pipeline company before the Maine PUC in advancing an interstate pipeline expansion project designed to provide a firm, competitively priced source of fuel for natural gas-fired generators providing electricity to consumers...

Blog

Verrill’s Jim Cohen to Moderate Portland Chamber’s “Eggs & Issues” Discussion with Key State Officials regarding COVID-19

On Wednesday April 8, Verrill attorney and Portland Community Chamber of Commerce president James Cohen will moderate the Portland Chamber’s first-ever “virtual” Eggs & Issues on the subject of Maine’s response to the COVID-19...

Blog

MPUC Issues Order Setting Forth “Discrete Electric Generating Facilities” Safe Harbor

Today, the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) issued an Advisory Ruling establishing a safe harbor for the determination whether a generation facility is a Discrete Electric Generating Facility for the purposes of qualifying for...

Blog

MPUC Adopts Safe Harbor for Determination of “Discrete Electric Generating Facilities,” a Qualification for Net Energy Billing and Distributed Generation Programs

Yesterday, all three Maine Public Utilities Commission Commissioners agreed to adopt a new standard for the determination of what facilities qualify as “discrete electric generating facilities” under the MPUC’s Distributed Generation and Net Energy...

Publication/Podcast

7th Annual Maine Natural Gas Conference

On Thursday, October 3, 2019, Verrill and Pierce Atwood hosted our 7th Annual Maine Natural Gas Conference. Verrill attorney William Harwood and Pierce Atwood attorney John Gulliver led the day as our industry professionals...

Matter

Interstate Pipeline

Secured state and federal environmental approvals for Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, LLC, to construct more than 200 miles of interstate natural gas pipeline facilities connecting New Brunswick to Massachusetts, as well as a subsequent...

Matter

Regulatory Approval for New LDC

Secured regulatory approval for Summit Natural Gas, a natural gas local distribution company, to become Maine's fourth natural gas local distribution company (LDC). Represented Summit in a wide range of matters before the Maine...

Matter

Pipeline Refund

Represented a natural gas marketer in contested Public Utilities Commission proceedings in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts and succeeded in obtaining more than $700,000 for the client from a FERC-ordered refund by an interstate...

Blog

Verrill Helps State’s Largest Solar Project Obtain Principal Environmental Permit

Blog

Maine Law Court Holds Citizen's Initiative Cannot Block CMP's NECEC Transmission Line