Energy Policy Update

A blog about energy resources, energy policy, and their effects on society and the environment. From fossil fuels to renewable energy, electricity to natural gas and oil, traditional technologies to innovations, this blog presents an unbiased look at the past, present, and future of energy.

This blog site is published by and reflects the personal views of Todd Griset, in his individual capacity. It does not necessarily represent the views of his law firm or clients, and is not sponsored or endorsed by them. The purpose of this blog site is to assist in dissemination of information about energy policy and related issues, but no representation is made about the accuracy of the information. The information contained in this blog site is provided only as general information for education purposes, and blog topics may or may not be updated subsequent to their initial posting.

By using this blog site you understand that this information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to constitute legal advice. This blog site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. This blog site is not intended to be advertising and Todd Griset does not wish to represent anyone desiring representation based upon viewing this blog site in a state where this blog site fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state.

Recent Blog Posts

  • U.S. hydropower regulators have issued a new license to a Wisconsin municipality to continue operating and maintaining its hydroelectric generation project.The City of Kaukauna, Wisconsin is located on the Lower Fox River. In 1939, the Federal Power Commission awarded the City an original license for the Kaukauna Hydroelectric Project. That license was replaced after its 1989 expiration with a new license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. As licensed, the project consists of facilities including a dam and... More
  • An organization representing the interests of the six New England states on electricity matters has issued its 2018 annual report, highlighting increasing tension between the region's wholesale competitive markets and a growing number of "out of market" mechanisms adopted to satisfy emerging state and regional needs. Through the report, the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE) calls for regional discussion of possible market reforms to integrate state policies while protecting consumers from increased costs.NESCOE is a not-for-profit entity... More
  • Regional transmission organization ISO New England Inc. has released a "discussion paper" on the region's energy security, presenting "the ISO’s current perspective on underlying problems, root causes, and longer-term market solutions."The 77-page paper notes that the region's electric power system "is undergoing a major transition" as nuclear, coal, and oil-fired power plants are retiring and being replaced by newer, more efficient natural-gas fired generation and renewable technologies like solar and wind. It expresses the ISO's concern that these replacement resources... More
  • New Hampshire utility regulators have approved an initiative by two electric distribution companies to incentivize customers to reduce their energy use during times of peak demand on the grid. If successful, the Commercial and Industrial Demand Reduction Initiative could yield savings for all consumers.Earlier this year, electric utilities Public Service Company of New Hampshire d/b/a Eversource Energy and Unitil Energy Systems, Inc. proposed the Initiative to reduce demand at the time of the regional peak demand on the ISO New... More
  • Here's a roundup of some of the proposed Maine legislation calling for changes to how the state plans for its future with respect to energy and climate matters.LD 658, Resolve, To Direct a Plan for Energy Independence for Maine: This resolve directs the Governor's Energy Office to adopt a 10-year energy independence plan, including conservation and renewable energy strategies, for the State to become a net exporter of energy by 2030.LD 797, An Act To Limit Greenhouse Gas... More
  • At least two bills pending before the Maine legislature would impose new "thermal renewable" requirements on suppliers of electricity. Here's a look at how a thermal renewable portfolio standard might fit into Maine law.Since Maine's restructuring of its electricity sector in 1997, Maine law has required competitive electricity providers to comply with statutory renewable portfolio standards. These laws require suppliers to obtain renewable energy credits or RECs representing the environmental attributes of qualifying generation, in quantities sufficient to cover defined... More
  • The Maine legislature is considering several bills that would amend the statutory framework for Maine's procurement of energy resources.Maine restructured its electricity sector in 1997 by deregulating generation and recasting electric companies as transmission and distribution utilities. As a result, competitive electricity providers or a "standard offer" provider selected by the Public Utilities Commission are the primary wholesale buyers and retail suppliers of energy. In this restructured environment, Maine's transmission and distribution utilities generally may not own, have a financial... More
  • The Maine legislature is considering a list of bills that would amend the state's renewable portfolio standard. Existing law requires electricity providers to source 10% of their power from qualifying "Class I" renewable resources built or refurbished after 2005, plus another 30% from other "Class II" renewable resources. But legislators have filed numerous proposals to alter Maine's renewable portfolio standard. Some bills propose fairly narrow reforms, while others reach broadly. Here's a guide to how some of those bills would... More
  • The six New England governors have issued a joint statement on energy policy, calling for regional cooperation on mechanisms to “value” nuclear and clean energy.The March 15, 2019 statement is captioned "New England Governors’ Commitment to Regional Cooperation on Energy Issues." It bears the signatures of Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Maine Governor Janet Mills, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, and Vermont Governor Phil Scott.The governors' statement opens with an acknowledgement: "Reliable... More
  • New England's electricity markets are at a crossroads with respect to how the region addresses concerns over "fuel security," or ensuring that power plants have or can obtain the fuel needed to run. Like many sagas, the story includes a preface and multiple chapters (1 through 3, so far) -- and presumably, an ending that has yet to be released.As described by federal regulators, regional transmission organization ISO New England Inc."has long recognized that maintaining fuel security in the New... More
  • According to federal data, 2018 was a record year for US energy in many ways. Some of the records the U.S. Energy Information Administration says we hit in 2018 include:U.S. net electricity generation: U.S. net electricity generation increased by 4% in 2018, reaching a record high of 4,178 million megawatthours (MWh), and exceeding the previous peak which occurred before the recession in 2007. EIA cites weather -- cold winters and a hot summer -- as the primary driver... More
  • Massachusetts investor-owned electric distribution companies have asked state utility regulators to approve the utilities' proposed process for procuring a second round of offshore wind energy contracts.On March 27, electric distribution companies operating as Unitil, National Grid, and Eversource Energy filed a petition to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities under Section 83C of the Green Communities Act. That law requires the companies to jointly and competitively solicit proposals for offshore wind energy generation and -- if reasonable proposals are received... More
  • U.S. energy regulators have opened an inquiry into possible improvements to a policy offering incentives for the development of certain electric transmission facilities. The proceeding could lead to changes in how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission uses rates and other incentivizes to encourage the development of new transmission projects.As part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Congress amended the Federal Power Act to add a new Section 219, directing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to use transmission incentives... More
  • This session the Maine legislature is considering a number of bills designed to expand solar power in Maine. To that end, various pieces proposed of legislation offer different mechanisms, including changes to Maine's net energy billing policy, opportunities for solar projects to sell their output pursuant to long-term contracts, and tax incentives. Here's a look at several of these bills.One category of bills would modify Maine's net metering policy. This category includes LD 91, An Act to Eliminate Gross Metering,... More
  • New England's electricity system is shifting toward a "hybrid grid," according to the operator of New England's wholesale electricity markets and electric transmission system. A recent report by ISO New England, Inc. describes the electric sector's transition towards generating resources with lower carbon emissions and the resulting implications for the environment and the economy.ISO New England is the federally-designated regional transmission organization serving New England. The grid operator recently released its 2019 Regional Energy Outlook, a document described as “one... More