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
- Licensee seeks West Branch and Sysladobsis Dam amendment A Maine dam owner has applied to federal regulators seeking to exclude from its hydropower license one of two dam-based developments which comprise the project.At issue is the January 31, 2017 application of Woodland Pulp LLC to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an amendment to the license for the West Branch Storage Dam Project. The West Branch project was first licensed in 1980, and currently operates under a license issued by the Commission in 2016. It includes two developments... More
- PJM's 2020-2021 capacity auction results PJM Interconnection -- the operator of the wholesale electricity market serving mid-Atlantic and eastern states -- has reported its latest capacity auction results. PJM's 2020/2021 Reliability Pricing Model Base Residual Auction was the first auction since PJM applied new capacity performance requirements to all resources. While some areas yielded higher prices due to transmission limits and retiring generators, most of the PJM footprint yielded a clearing price of $76.53/megawatt-day for 2020/2021 -- about 24% lower than last year's auction... More
- Maine commission rejects LNG contract proposals Maine utility regulators have decided not to order utilities to enter into contracts for liquefied natural gas storage capacity, after finding that none of the proposed contracts satisfied statutory requirements.In 2013, the Maine legislature enacted the Maine Energy Cost Reduction Act in response to concerns about natural gas and electricity price increases driven by constraints on natural gas supply into and within the New England region. That law authorized the Maine Public Utilities Commission to execute (or to direct utilities... More
- Massachusetts community microgrid projects solicited A Massachusetts economic development agency focused on clean energy has launched a program seeking to catalyze the development of community microgrids throughout Massachusetts.Generally speaking, a microgrid is a localized power grid that can disconnect from the traditional grid to operate autonomously. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a microgrid's ability to operate while the main grid is down means microgrids can strengthen grid resilience and mitigate disturbances, while enabling faster system response and recovery once reconnected to... More
- Will clustering help New England's interconnection queue? Faced with a persistent backlog of requests to interconnect to the electric grid across parts of New England, will the region's major grid operator adopt a "clustering" methodology to streamline the study process and reduce procedural delays?At issue are ISO New England's interconnection procedures, which govern the process through which generators and transmission lines may interconnect to the New England bulk power system. For nearly all large projects and some smaller ones, ISO-NE administers the process and conducts extensive engineering... More
- Boom in FERC hydro relicensing U.S. federal hydropower regulatory staff currently has a full workload processing original license, relicense, and exemption applications, as well as its compliance and dam safety work, according to testimony presented to the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Energy -- and this workload is expected to increase as many hydro projects face relicensing proceedings.The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulates over 1,600 non-federal hydropower projects located at over 2,500 dams, under Part I of the Federal Power Act. ... More
- Total eclipses, solar PV and the grid Utilities and electric grid coordinators are preparing for a total solar eclipse that is projected to temporarily reduce solar photovoltaic generation across parts of North America this summer. The 2017 total solar eclipse will be the first in the U.S. in 26 years (since Hawaii 1991), and the first in the lower 48 states since 1979. While the duration of the total eclipse across the U.S. will be roughly 93 minutes, some areas in its path will experience up to... More
- New England summer 2017 electricity supply forecast New England will have an adequate supply of electricity this summer, according to the regional grid operator, but its forecasts show the possibility of occasional "tight system conditions."ISO New England Inc. is the operator of the region's wholesale electricity markets and bulk power system. To help inform its planning, the grid operator prepares seasonal short-term forecasts. ISO New England's most recent projection, covering summer 2017, found that "New England is expected to have the resources needed to meet consumer... More
- Fate of U.S.-Canada dam license in question The holder of the U.S. federal hydropower license for a dam spanning the international border with Canada border has petitioned for approval to surrender that license, citing economic considerations.At issue is the Forest City Project, located on the East Branch of the St. Croix River which forms the international boundary between the United States and Canada. The Project operates under conditions set by the International Joint Commission (IJC) in accordance with the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909, as... More
- Maine community solar procurement bill, LD 1444 This week a committee of the Maine state legislature is scheduled to hold a public hearing on a bill that would direct state regulators to enter into long-term contracts to procure 120 megawatts of large-scale community solar distributed generation resources by 2022. While Maine law currently allows some community-scale solar development, LD 1444, An Act Regarding Large-scale Community Solar Procurement, would create new structures geared toward state-sponsored long-term contracts and could open the door to broader ownership of or participation... More
- Maine PUC releases 2015 renewable report Maine energy regulators have released a report on the state's electricity renewable portfolio standard, presenting data from 2015. The Maine Public Utilities Commission's Annual Report on New Renewable Resource Portfolio Requirement - Report for 2015 Activity [PDF] provides a look at Maine's renewables law, now in its tenth year on the books. It may also inform legislative discussions later this spring about the future of Maine's renewable portfolio standard.In 2007, the Maine legislature enacted a law requiring that specified percentages... More
- Brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev sets global renewable electricity goal by 2025 World’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev SA – parent to brands including Budweiser, Corona, Rolling Rock, Michelob, and Stella Artois – has committed to sourcing its electricity entirely from renewable sources by 2025. The move would make AB InBev the largest corporate direct purchaser of renewable electricity in the global consumer goods sector.AB InBev makes 30% of the world’s beer, operating breweries in 50 countries. Collectively, these facilities consume 6 terawatt-hours of electricity a year, of... More
- Trump executive order on domestic energy policy U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order affecting domestic energy policy. His March 28, 2017 Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth includes a variety of directives, generally aimed at reducing federal regulations affecting domestic energy production. Here's a look at his Executive Order targeting Obama-administration climate regulations and other agency actions that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources.The Executive Order includes 8 operative sections. One provides policy statements; six... More
- MA net metering, Single Parcel and Subdivision rules Massachusetts utility regulators have opened an inquiry to review the current standards and procedures by which distributed generation projects seek exceptions to the net metering rules and regulations that generally require each facility to be sited on a single parcel of land. The case could lead to changes in the Department of Public Utilities' Single Parcel Rule and Subdivision Rule.On March 15, 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities issued an order opening an inquiry relating to the... More
- Emerging technologies and the electric grid A task force examining the deployment of emerging technologies across the North American electric grid has identified three imperatives necessary to ensure the continued reliability and efficiency of the bulk electricity system, relating to: renewable supply and integration; greater situational awareness; and controlling an increasingly distributed energy system, with increased deployment of distributed energy resources.The 39-page report, “Emerging Technologies: How ISOs and RTOs can create a more nimble, robust electricity system,” was published on March 16, 2017,... More