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Energy News Roundup: February 1-February 7

This week in regional energy news …


Energy News Roundup: January 25-January 31

This week in regional energy news …


Energy News Roundup: October 5-October 11

This week in regional energy news …


Energy News Roundup: September 28-October 4

This week in regional energy news …


OPEGA Report Analyzes Processes at Maine PUC

The Maine Public Utilities Commission was recently the subject of a report (click link to download PDF) issued by a state government oversight office.  The report recognizes some strengths and recommends improvements to processes at the PUC, particularly for the benefit of utility customers.

The Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability, an agency that reports to the Government Oversight Committee of the Legislature, issued its report on the Maine PUC in September.  OPEGA’s report found that the PUC’s Consumer Assistance Division has a strong customer focus and is responsive to customers.  CAD could improve by taking steps to recognize trends in contacts with that office to determine whether a broader action needs to be taken to respond to issues potentially affecting multiple customers. 

The report also found that adjudicatory proceedings at the PUC can be difficult to navigate for individual customers who are intervenors or interested parties and not represented by counsel.  OPEGA recommended that the PUC clarify the many ways that consumers’ input may be used in decision-making, and continue to improve the agency’s online case management system to make the portal more user-friendly.

The Legislature created OPEGA in 2003 to perform independent reviews of agencies and programs of state government.  OPEGA began operating in January 2005.  Other OPEGA reports are available here.


FERC Approves Modifications and Clarifications to Reliability Standards for Generators

Analysis from guest blogger and Verrill Dana associate Braden Clement. 

On September 19, FERC issued a final rule approving modifications and clarifications to Reliability Standards (the “Standards”) proposed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”).  NERC is responsible for developing and enforcing Standards throughout North America and is subject to oversight by FERC.  In particular, FERC approved Standards FAC-001-1, FAC-003-3, PRC-004-2.1a, and PRC-005-1-1b.  To access a copy of the final rule, click here.

Taken together, the approved modifications will enhance reliability in two ways: first, by expanding the reach of the Standards to certain generator owners and operators; and second, by adding clarity to existing obligations applicable to protective relay systems on generator interconnection facilities. 

Specifically, FAC-001-1 extends the obligation to document, maintain, and publish facility connection requirements to any generator owner that enters into an agreement to evaluate the reliability impact of interconnecting a third-party facility to its existing facility. 

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Energy News Roundup: September 21-September 27

This week in regional energy news …