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DISCLAIMER: This blog is published for general information only - it is not intended to constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon by any person as legal advice. While we welcome you to contact our authors, the submission of a comment or question does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and you.

Friday
Jan132012

Energy News Roundup: January 7-January 13

This week in regional energy news …

Friday
Jan062012

Energy News Roundup: December 31-January 6

This week in regional energy news …

Friday
Dec232011

Energy News Roundup: December 17-December 23

This week in regional energy news …

Friday
Dec232011

MPUC Investigates Transmission Planning Standards Criteria

The Maine Public Utilities Commission (“MPUC”) has opened an investigation to review the transmission planning standards and reliability/needs assessment methodologies and assumptions used by Maine’s investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities to identify local transmission needs and the cost impacts of those methodologies.  The investigation will also explore the potential impact of newly proposed bulk electric system definitions on local transmission system planning and associated costs. 

In its December 20, 2011 Notice of Investigation, the MPUC explained that it has not reassessed the transmission and distribution components of rate base since a 1999 investigation that followed the adoption of Maine’s Electric Restructuring Act.  Since that time, policy changes have contributed “significant increases to the amount of transmission investment made in Maine and the greater New England region.”  Moreover, NERC recently drafted a revised definition of bulk electric system at FERC’s direction.  If that definition is adopted by NERC and FERC, the MPUC explained that the definition will create the need for additional upgrades to the local transmission network in Maine and will increase costs to Maine’s electricity consumers.  Further, because transmission lines below 69 kV and substation facilities do not require a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, the MPUC is concerned about the possibility of a substantial build out of the transmission system that could increase customer costs without the MPUC first determining whether those facilities are in the public interest.

 As part of the investigation, Maine’s three investor-owned utilities have been directed to file preliminary reports by January 16, 2012, covering transmission planning and the identification of system needs.

Thursday
Dec222011

Two New Maine Wind Power Projects Commence Commercial Operations

The 22-turbine Record Hill Wind project in Roxbury, Maine and the 10-turbine Spruce Mountain Wind project in Woodstock, Maine have just commenced commercial operations.  Record Hill Wind, developed by Brunswick-based Independence Wind, has a nameplate capacity of 50.6 megawatts.  Spruce Mountain Wind, built and operated by Patriot Renewables, has a nameplate capacity of 20 megawatts.  Both projects are now generating and selling electricity into the New England power grid.  Together, the projects will generate enough electricity annually to power some 30,000 Maine homes.  In other Patriot Renewables news, the Massachusetts-based developer was recently recognized for its charitable donations to community organizations in the River Valley area of Oxford County, Maine.  

Friday
Dec162011

Energy News Roundup: December 10-December 16

This week in regional energy news …

Friday
Dec092011

Energy News Roundup: December 3-December 9

This week in regional energy news …