March 16, 2011

Historic New FERC Ruling to Enable Smart Grid

Preti Flaherty's Energy Attorney Donald J. Sipe Served as a National Thought Leader in Developing the Rule

PORTLAND and AUGUSTA, Maine (March 16, 2011) – Preti Flaherty announced today that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has adopted a Final Rule which establishes a level playing field for those who wish to reduce their energy consumption during times of scarcity. Energy attorney Donald J. Sipe was actively involved in providing legal and economic thought leadership to FERC throughout two and a half years of advocacy, research and eventually rulemaking hearings.

This landmark decision creates a crucial tool in efforts to save energy and reduce the costs of energy, not only for the curtailer but for the grid as a whole. Under this new rule, consumers can now be compensated as generators for reducing their energy use, under certain circumstances.

This new rule is a key element in implementation of a comprehensive Smart Grid system. The Smart Grid seeks to interconnect electric-powered devices and facilities to manage electric supply by better understanding and controlling demand. In order to implement this on a large scale, consumers needed to be able to be compensated for their participation in this system – this new rule provides the regulatory framework that allows for that to happen.

Sipe presented two academic papers to FERC and before its five commissioners. He has served as the national leader of efforts to gain recognition for the important role that Demand Response can play in reducing costs in the electric grid. The new rule issued by FERC has its basis in the algorithm Sipe developed and the ideas espoused in his papers, Defining the Product: Market Theory for an Essential Service and the Proper Role of Demand Response and Integration of Demand Response into Day Ahead Markets: A Supply Side Approach.

According to attorney Anthony Buxton, Chair of the firm's Energy & Utilities Practice Group, "We are extremely proud to see the forward-thinking work of Donald Sipe and the Preti Energy Group contribute to this historic ruling. The FERC rule establishes a principle that will greatly aid in the development of the Smart Grid. The Smart Grid is to appliances, lights and electric motors as the internet is to personal and office computers: by interconnecting electric-powered devices and allowing them to communicate with one another without human effort, the Smart Grid will allow the voluntary coordination of use of electricity by such devices to reduce both individual and societal energy costs."

Sipe practices with the firm's Energy and Telecommunications Group in Portland and Augusta, Maine, applying his expertise to helping energy and utilities clients make the transition from regulation to competition. He also serves as Vice Chair of the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL).

Before joining Preti Flaherty in 1997, he worked for eight years as a staff attorney with the Maine Public Utilities Commission, a unique experience that afforded him an insider's understanding of complex utilities issues from consumer, corporate and governmental points of view. While at the commission, he played a significant role in the development of the "Commissioner's Draft Report on Restructuring the Electric Industry in Maine."

Firm Highlights

Event

Tony Manhart and Jason Howe Present Top Ten Construction Contract Tips for ABC of Maine

As part of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Maine Contractor Series, Preti Flaherty attorneys Tony Manhart and Jason Howe will present the Top Ten tips for AIA contracts. ABC is a national association with 72...

News

Preti Flaherty Attorney Benjamin S. Piper Promoted to Partner

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that the firm’s partnership has named attorney Benjamin S. Piper as a partner. Ben is a member of the firm's Environmental, Litigation, and Media Law Practice Groups and works...

News

Preti Flaherty Welcomes Attorney Martha L. Fox to the Firm

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that attorney Martha L. Fox has joined the firm as a member of our Business Law and Taxation practice groups, serving clients from the Portland office. Martha is...

Press Coverage

Bangor superintendent blocked BDN reporter on Twitter after critical news coverage

In an apparent violation of the First Amendment, Bangor schools superintendent Betsy Webb temporarily blocked a journalist on Twitter following a report that news of a student suicide was announced over the loudspeaker at...

Publication

Maine WC Alert: Updated Version of Notice of Controversy (WCB-9) Must Be Used Effective February 1, 2020

Following the recent statutory changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act, the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board has updated the language in Box 22 of the Notice of Controversy. This new version should be used as...

News

David B. Van Slyke Named Preti Flaherty Managing Partner

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that, in a unanimous vote, the firm’s partnership has elected attorney David B. Van Slyke as its incoming Managing Partner. David is one of the preeminent environmental lawyers...

Publication

Maine WC Appellate Division Addresses Refusal of Suitable Work and Notice

The Maine Workers' Compensation Appellate Division recently addressed cases dealing with refusal of suitable work and notice. Both decisions rely heavily on the specific facts of each case. In the context of a refusal...

Publication

Bankruptcy Alert: Significant Implications of the New Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019

Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (H.R. 3311) On August 23, 2019, President Trump signed the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (H.R. 3311) (the “SBRA”) into law.  Lenders should be aware of the...

News

Preti Flaherty Welcomes Government Relations Liaison Andrew I. Roth-Wells to the Firm

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that Andrew I. Roth-Wells has joined the firm as a Government Relations Liaison. Andrew will help manage legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts for the firm’s Government Affairs Team...

Publication

Maine WC Alert: MAE Unit Publishes Guidance on Compliance with Recent Amendments

The Maine Workers’ Compensation Board’s Monitoring, Audit & Enforcement Unit has issued a document to provide guidance on complying with certain recent amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act in P.L. 2019, c. 344 (LD...