Energy Law Update

Energy Law Update is a source of news and analysis relevant to the world of energy law: major court and regulatory orders, event announcements, breaking news in the world of renewable energy, and novel legal issues. The blog is edited by Katie Gray and Nora Healy, and features contributions from other members of the firm.

Verrill seeks to hire an associate attorney to join our Portland office as a member of our Environmental and Energy Groups. Verrill is a full service law firm with more than 135 attorneys conducting a nationwide practice from our offices in Portland and Augusta, Maine; Westport, Connecticut; Boston, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; and Washington, D.C. The position is well suited for either an entry-level Associate or an Associate with several years of legal experience with…
Yesterday, the Maine Public Utilities Commission issued a request for comments related to the MPUC’s Net Energy Billing Report to the Legislature. The Commission broadly invited any interested person to submit information or comments “that may be relevant to the NEB report to the Legislature. In particular, the Commission request[ed] comments on the matter of how many projects that currently have a NEB Agreement or have a NEB Agreement in the future are likely to…
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 the MPUC’s Net Energy Billing and Distributed Generation Programs. This safe harbor helps clarify when two facilities that are in “geographic proximity” will be considered to be “discrete.” The Advisory Ruling provides: Discrete DG/NEB Facility “Safe Harbor” Criteria (The following criteria…
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 Billing rules. This has been an issue of significant concern among developers given the ambiguity associated with the definition. The Commission considered three requests for advisory rulings related to this topic, Borrego’s, TurningPoint’s, and Clean Energy Collective’s. In short, to provide…
Yesterday, the Maine Law Court deemed unconstitutional a ballot initiative to overturn the Maine PUC’s approval of the transmission line known as the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC). The Court’s holding in Avangrid Networks, Inc. v. Sec’y of State, has potentially wide-ranging implications for Maine’s administrative and constitutional law. On May 3, 2019, Central Maine Power received approval from the PUC in an order granting the NECEC a certificate of convenience and necessity. In…
The 100-megawatt Three Rivers Solar Project in Hancock County, Maine has obtained its combined Site Law and Natural Resources Protection Act permit from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Three Rivers Solar will become the largest solar project in the state, twice the size of the next largest facility (the 50 MW Sanford Airport Solar project that is currently under construction). The project will consist of approximately 300,000 to 400,000 solar panels on 465 acres…
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 crisis. For the past 35 years, the Portland Chamber’s monthly business breakfast has been a live event featuring key business and political leaders from around the State. This week, in compliance with State directives to keep people safe through social distancing,…
The response to COVID-19 by states across the U.S. has continued to evolve rapidly. In Massachusetts, due to growing concerns over the spread of coronavirus, Governor Charlie Baker issued a “shelter in place” order that went into effect March 24, 2020 at noon and runs until April 7, 2020 – for now. The Executive Order allows certain “essential services” to remain operational, including energy, communications, water, and other vital utility services. The Boston
On Tuesday March 24, 2020, both the City of Portland and the State of Maine issued comprehensive new limitations on business establishments in order to further limit the spread of the coronavirus. Both actions were aimed at limiting the operation of non-essential business and government operations, and continuing to encourage social distancing. Both orders exempted utility operations. State of Maine Issues Executive Order to Close Public-Facing, Non-essential Businesses During the early afternoon of March 24th,…
Like many states, Maine is quickly imposing a wide range of measures designed to protect the public in response to the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. Almost daily, Maine Governor Janet Mills and other state agencies have announced new measures. On Sunday, March 15, Governor Mills issued a Proclamation of State of Civil Emergency to allow for the imposition of emergency measures to protect Maine people, including: Ending classroom instruction in all public schools as…