Utilities Sector

News & Analysis as of

Construction of two new 500 kV transmission lines extending from Lincoln County, New Mexico to Pinal County, Arizona

On February 3, 2016, the Arizona Corporation Commission (“Commission”) by a 3-2 vote issued a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility to SunZia Transmission, LLC to construct two new 500 kV transmission lines extending...more

Supreme Court Rules that FERC Wholesale Markets Can Compensate Demand Response Providers

In late January, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Association, et al., 577 U.S. __, slip. op. (2016) upholding Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)...more

California Net Metering Ruling; Installations Greater than 1 MW Now Eligible

In a closely watched hearing, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted 3-to-2 in favor of extending net metering in California. Eligible customers owning generation such as solar photovoltaic (PV) systems will...more

California State Water Board Releases Proposed Text of Emergency Water Conservation Regulation

Public Comments Due Jan. 28 - The State Water Resources Control Board released a proposed regulation that will extend statewide emergency water conservation mandates through October 2016. Several key provisions could...more

[Event] Agribusiness Expansion Impacts on Wastewater Utilities: How to Plan and Support a Successful Project - Jan. 27th, Grand...

TECHNICAL AND ENGINEERING ISSUES FOR CONSIDERATION WHEN ASSESSING PROJECT VIABILITY David Filipiak and Wayne Langeland, Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc....more

The Oman Update - Official Gazette 1129

Sultani Decrees - Sultani Decree No. 49/2015 According Public Utility Status to Phase II of the Railway Project (Hafait – Fahoud). Enacted on 20 December 2015. Effective from the day of enactment....more

ISO-NE Winter Reliability Program 2015 by the numbers

The operator of New England's electric grid is running a special Winter Reliability Program to address fuel security and power system reliability concerns, relating largely to natural gas pipeline constraints. A December...more

Maine community renewable energy project winds down

Maine energy regulators will soon act on proposals for community-based renewable energy projects, as legal authority for a community energy pilot program winds down. In 2009, the Maine Legislature enacted An Act To...more

Highway Bill Adds New Security Measures to Federal Power Act

Amendments to Federal Power Act grant the DOE authority to order emergency protective actions by utilities, provide greater protections for Critical Energy Infrastructure Information, and exempt utilities from environmental...more

FCC Revises Telecom Pole Attachment Rate Formula

New Order Eliminates Possible Disparity in Cable and Telecom Pole Attachment Rates In last week’s Order on Reconsideration, the FCC definitively closed the “telecom formula loophole” thereby ensuring that pole attachment...more

FERC Orders ISOs/RTOs to Report on Additional Price Formation Issues

On November 20, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an order directing each regional transmission organization (“RTO”) and independent system operator (“ISO”) to submit a report addressing five...more

Maryland Public Service Commission Issues Draft Regulations Implementing Community Solar Pilot Program

On November 10, 2015, five months after Maryland Governor Larry Hogan approved a law creating a three-year pilot program for community solar projects in the state, the Public Service Commission (PSC or Commission) released...more

Competition and Regulation Update: Storage in the National Electricity Market - Is the Grid Moving In?

Electricity storage at or above household scale will likely become economic within the next few years, as the cost of batteries come down and generous feed in tariffs slowly expire. Australia could be one of the world's...more

Repeal of AB 1103, California’s Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program

Since December 2013, Perkins Coie has sent out three client updates regarding California Assembly Bill (AB) 1103, the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program. The purpose of...more

Government Contract: How Can a Subcontractor Get Paid?

G4S Technology LLC v. US, 779 F.3d 1337 (Fed. Cir. 2015) – A subcontractor worked on construction of wireless broadband networks for rural communities that was funded in part by a loan to the prime contractor from a US...more

CPUC Proposed Decision Extends Pole Attachment Rights to CMRS Providers

On Friday, October 30, 2015, the Assigned Commissioner to a rulemaking at the California Public Utility Commission (“CPUC”) issued a Proposed Decision to extend the state’s pole, conduit and right of way access rights to...more

Update on Environmental Regulations Impacting the Power Sector – Litigation May Create Uncertainty

As the electric power industry considers the options for compliance with an unprecedented suite of new environmental requirements, it faces continued uncertainty as to the fate of some of the most significant new regulations....more

Brave New World: SB 350 Increases CA’s Renewable Energy and Efficiency Goals

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 350, the “Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015” on October 7, 2015. SB 350 reflects some of Governor Brown’s bold commitments from his inaugural speech...more

Policy and Legal Implications of Implementing Renewable Energy at Scale: Renewables Intermittent Power Generation (Part 6 of 6)

Tom Burton, Chair of Mintz Levin’s Energy Technology Practice, has published a weekly installment providing insight into the challenges and possible solutions that, if implemented, promise a bright future as clean energy...more

Energy Bulletin (US) - October 2015

This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscape. Supreme Court hears “demand-response” arguments on FERC rule. On October 14,...more

Supreme Court Hears Arguments on FERC Demand Response Policy

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 ("EPAct 2005") established a national policy to encourage reliable and affordable demand response services. Demand response refers to the ability of retail electric customers to reduce or shift...more

Worth the Wait? After Thirty-Six Years, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission Takes Comprehensive Action on Pole...

On October 21, 2015, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (“WUTC”) adopted a comprehensive set of pole attachment rules (hereinafter “Pole Attachment Rules”), following a year-and-a-half-long rulemaking and...more

New Legislation (AB 802) To Replace Existing Energy Use Disclosure Law (AB 1103)

On Thursday, October 8, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 802 (AB 802). AB 802 creates a new energy use disclosure program for the State of California, and replaces the existing law, Assembly Bill 1103...more

California Expands Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50% by 2030

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law SB 350, a landmark bill designed to promote greater implementation of renewable energy technologies over the next fifteen years. The new law will: (1) increase the state’s...more

Planning for the Future and Knowing the Past

Planning is words on a page and lines on a map. It is not reality, but a projection of the future. And the future is uncertain – just ask those who predict when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. ...more

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