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Maine Public Utilities Commission Approves Transmission Reinforcement in Western Maine


The MPUC granted a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for Central Maine Power Company’s proposed Somerset County Reinforcement Project, a 115 kV, 39-mile transmission line in western Maine.  Although the line was initially proposed as part of CMP’s Maine Power Reliability Program, this particular component of the project was not initially approved by the MPUC when the MPUC approved the MPRP in June 2010.  After further proceedings, the Commission approved a stipulation in which several parties agreed that there was a need for the line, but others contested the need for the proposed transmission solution on various grounds.  The Commission found that although a re-rate of an existing line is an option that could address the demonstrated reliability need, the new line would provide several additional benefits.  Among the additional benefits, the Commission found that the new line would advance Maine’s policy of promoting cost-effective development of renewable generation.  It will enable the development of wind generation in western Maine.



Energy News Roundup: August 20-August 26

This week in regional energy news …



MPUC Reminds Maine CEPs of Their Responsibility for Actions Taken by CEP Representatives and Agents

In an August 17, 2011 letter from the Maine Public Utilities Commission to all “competitive electricity suppliers,” the MPUC reminded all competitive electricity providers of their responsibility for all actions taken by their representatives or agents when operating in Maine.  The MPUC issued this reminder “[i]n light of the increased number of Competitive Electricity Suppliers (CEP) becoming licensed to provide both aggregator/broker and supplier services” and, apparently, the resulting increase in the number of electricity providers contracting with representatives or agents in the Maine retail electricity market.  More specifically, the MPUC pointed to the requirement in Chapter 305 § 2(C)(3) of its rules, which states that by obtaining a Maine CEP license, the licensee agrees to use reasonable efforts not to conduct business with any entity acting as a CEP in Maine that does not have an MPUC license.





Governor's Energy Office Offers Web Resource for Efficiency Incentive Programs

The Maine Office of Energy Independence and Security is now providing information on energy-related grants for Maine businesses, nonprofits, government entities, and others in the state. 

The Web initiative, called Grants Connector, will serve as a resource for information on federal, state, and private energy efficiency incentives and programs.  OEIS will monitor federal and state legislative and regulatory actions, appropriations, and programs and compile the information at Grants Connector.  The initiatives may include investment tools relating to tax credits, rebates, low-interest loans, research and development, pilot programs, and more.  

The Grants Connector website will be updated monthly.  To receive an email notification of each update, email Jeff Marks.

OEIS is an arm of the Governor’s office and does not fund programs directly.




Energy News Roundup: August 6-August 12

This week in regional energy news …


Energy News Roundup: July 30-August 5

This week in regional energy news …



Marine Technology Reports on "World Wave & Tidal Market"

An article in the current issue of Marine Technology magazine provides a concise summary of the market and related issues present in the developing wave and tidal renewable energy marketplace.  This is of particular interest to us in New England, considering the tidal range in Maine and on-going tidal projects such as the Muskeget Channel installation, contracted to provide power to both Edgartown and Nantucket.  The article, entitled “World Wave & Tidal Market,” forecasts capital expenditures of $1.2 billion installing 150MW of wave and tidal stream capacity between 2011 and 2015, a six-fold increase over the previous five years.  Tidal projects are expected to be the subject of almost 54% more expenditures than wave projects.  Market issues include the need to bring down current high costs, increase access to capital, improve investor confidence and lessen grid connection constraints.   The entire issue of Marine Technology, including the article, may be accessed here.