Energy Law Update

Information and Announcements from Verrill Dana

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.

Latest from Energy Law Update

On July 12, 2019, the Maine Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a long-term contract for the purchase of power from Weaver Wind, a 72.6 MW wind power project in Hancock County Maine. The expected commercial operational date for Weaver is no later than December 2020. Chairman Philip Bartlett remarked that ”[t]his 20-year contract should create real ratepayer benefits for Maine.” The contract price of 3.5 cents/kWh, increasing at 2.5% per year, the Commission noted, is very…
Supplying electricity during peak demand, the period of highest customer demand for electricity (typically around 4 – 7 p.m.), increases the costs of supply – both for transmission and distribution utilities and customers. Dynamic pricing is one potential remedy to this economic challenge of electricity supply. A recent study furthers the case for utilities to couple their dynamic pricing programs’ time-of-use electricity pricing with increased customer access to pricing information and recommended conservation actions. The…
Supplying electricity during peak demand, the period of highest customer demand for electricity (typically around 4 – 7 p.m.), increases the costs of supply – both for transmission and distribution utilities and customers. Dynamic pricing is one potential remedy to this economic challenge of electricity supply. A recent study furthers the case for utilities to couple their dynamic pricing programs’ time-of-use electricity pricing with increased customer access to pricing information and recommended conservation actions. The…
On behalf of Verrill Dana’s Energy & Utilities Practice Group, I’m pleased to inform you that Governor Mills has nominated Phil Bartlett to serve as Chair of the Maine Public Utilities Commission. More information is provided below in the Governor’s press release. Governor Mills Nominates Former Chair of Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee to Lead Maine PUC (May 28, 2019) – Former Senate Majority Leader Phil Bartlett helped shepherd some of the state’s leading…
According to a Boston Consulting Group report released last week, transmission and distribution (T&D) utilities stand to gain significant value from aggressive investment in grid capacity that facilitates the transition to an electrified transportation sector. The report’s estimated $3 to $10 billion in “new value for an average utility” is based on a utility serving 2 to 3 million customers, larger than any Maine electric utility’s customer base. Nonetheless, the opportunity to increase bottom lines…
April 9, 2019 – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced the Trump Administration’s plans to propose “a series of regulatory changes later this year to boost offshore wind develop off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.” These changes could provide more welcome news to offshore wind developers on the heels of Maine Governor Janet Mills’ announcement that Maine is open for wind energy business, once again.[1] The offshore wind regulatory process is a veritable…
Reports are circulating that Governor Mills may have selected Dan Burgess as the Director of the Governor’s Energy Office. Burgess is a native of Newport and University of Maine alum. Burgess has been at the forefront of several renewable energy initiatives over the past decade. He has most recently worked in Massachusetts as the Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Staff of the Department of Energy Resources and also as the Legislative Director for Energy at…
Today, the Maine Public Utilities Commission approved a term sheet for a long-term contract for Three Rivers Solar Power, LLC’s 100 MW solar project. The Three Rivers Solar project will be located in Hancock County, Maine. It is a ground-mounted solar photovoltaic project, with an expected commercial operations date of no later than December 31, 2021. The term sheet provides the term of the long-term contract to be executed between Three Rivers and Emera Maine.…
In two related cases, Petitioners are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down state generator subsidies that Petitioners argue distort competitive wholesale power markets that are under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under the Federal Power Act (FPA). Both cases concern “zero emission credits” (ZEC) schemes, one in Illinois and one in New York, that subsidize nuclear power plants. These ZEC subsidies allow otherwise uncompetitive nuclear plants to…
On Thursday, Governor Mills issued an Executive Order lifting a moratorium on new wind energy permits. Former Governor Paul LePage issued the moratorium in January 2018 and created a Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission to study the economic impact of wind turbines on tourism and local communities. Controversy surrounded the moratorium immediately and renewable energy groups unsuccessfully sued to overturn it. Meanwhile the Wind Energy Advisory Commission floundered without any clear agenda, budget, or goal…