Utilities Sector

News & Analysis as of

Legal Battle Over Energy Savings Continues to Simmer

Each month, electric bills arrive like clockwork. For large commercial and industrial businesses, especially those that are energy-intensive, these electric bills can represent a sizeable portion of a business’s monthly...more

Lights Out for Maryland's Power Plant Construction Subsidy Program

It’s not every day that a decision by the United States Supreme Court has the potential to impact the construction industry. But the Court handed down a decision last month that could hinder the pace of power plant...more

New York State Continues its Push to Reform State Utility Markets

On May 19, 2016, the New York State Public Service Commission (the “PSC”) released Filing No. 749 entitled “Order Adopting a Ratemaking and Utility Revenue Model Policy Framework,” which was made in furtherance of the State’s...more

Environmental and Industry Groups Challenge EPA Coal Ash Rule

The news has been full of stories and articles concerning Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), also referred to as coal ash. CCR became a hot topic in 2008 when a coal ash pond at a utility plant in Tennessee spilled more than 5...more

Environmental Notes - May 2016

The news has been full of stories and articles concerning Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), also referred to as coal ash. CCR became a hot topic in 2008 when a coal ash pond at a utility plant in Tennessee spilled more than 5...more

ASCE’s Report Update Highlights Major Infrastructure Investment Funding Gaps

Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes The Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, which grades the current state of national infrastructure categories on a scale of A through F. The...more

More Than Chickens, Lizards and Polar Bears – Environmental Case Law Update (Dec. 2015 – Mar. 2016)

This blog, although not brief, is a brief report on some of the significant environmental law and administrative cases decided in late December and the first quarter of 2016. U.S. SUPREME COURT - FERC Final Rule re...more

New PA Law Gives Boost to Investor-Owned Acquisitions of Municipal Water and Wastewater Systems

Action Item: A new Pennsylvania law makes the Commonwealth a much friendlier place for investor-owned water utilities to acquire municipally-owned water and wastewater facilities. Act 12 of 2016 mitigates the risk that the...more

Supreme Court Continues to Stake Out FERC Jurisdiction, Invalidates State Gas-Fired Power Plant Incentive Program

In an opinion unanimous in judgment (albeit with two concurring opinions), the U.S. Supreme Court recently reiterated the reach of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) jurisdiction over interstate wholesale...more

FERC Updates Agenda for June Technical Conference on PURPA Implementation Issues

On May 9, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission) issued an updated agenda for its June 29, 2016, technical conference on implementation issues under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act...more

ANAC cambia rotta, il Codice dei Contratti Pubblici riguarderà solo bandi e avvisi pubblicati dopo il 20 aprile 2016

The ANAC has changed opinion: the new Code of Public Contracts will cover only notices published with effect from 20 April 2016. With a Press Release of 3 May 2016, the National Anti-Corruption Authority ( "ANAC")...more

Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 - The long expected implementation of the utilities procurement directive

On 17 March the long-awaited text of the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 was finally published and laid before Parliament....more

U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Maryland Program that Supplements FERC-Approved Capacity Payments

In a unanimous opinion issued on April 19, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a Maryland program designed to incentivize construction of a new natural gas plant. The Court concluded that the program infringed upon the...more

When Attorneys General Attack: AGs’ Aggressive Investigation of Climate Change Disclosures, and Getting Your Insurer to Provide...

Who’s afraid of New York’s Martin Act? Right now, a lot of Wall Street and energy industry companies, that’s who. Why are they concerned about the Martin Act? Because it grants the New York State Office of the Attorney...more

CPUC Implementation of the Renewables Portfolio Standard Beyond 2020 Begins

The California Public Utilities Commission is revving itself up to take on the task of putting together a whole new set of procurement requirements to implement the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS)-related provisions of...more

NH regulation of solar PPAs, leases

As distributed energy resources like solar panels become more widely adopted, how do typical solar business models like solar power purchase agreements or solar leases match up to state utility laws? While the answer may...more

Massachusetts Raises Caps on Solar Net Metering

Massachusetts has raised the caps on the Commonwealth’s net metering program. The governor’s signature was inked on April 11, 2016 on a bill approved by the legislature last week, after months of negotiation. Net...more

Massachusetts solar legislation signed

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has signed a bill passed by the state legislature to expand the Massachusetts solar industry and establish a long-term framework for sustainable solar development. The bill, An Act...more

What the Internet of Things Means for Local Governments

Increasingly, computing power is everywhere. The personal computer that once resided on the desktop migrated to the hip pocket and the wrist watch, and now to eyewear and clothing. Welcome the “Internet of Things,” or...more

Reforms to Exit Fees for Departing Load Customers May Be On the California Horizon

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) signaled this month that the topic of exit fee reform for departing load customers may be back on the Commission’s agenda. A significant public outcry arose late last year...more

New York Public Service Commission Issues New Consumer Protection Guidelines for Energy Service Companies

On February 23, 2016, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) issued an order setting new consumer protection guidelines for energy service companies, or “ESCOs.” An ESCO is a business supplying electricity and/or...more

FERC Meeting Agenda Summary - March 2016

Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s March 17, 2016 meeting, pursuant to the agenda as issued on March 10, 2016. Agenda items E-5, E-13, E-14, E-16 and C-2 have not been...more

To “SIB” or Not to “SIB” – That Is the Question on How to Timely Fund Necessary Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements

Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Survey showed that $271 billion is needed for the Nation’s Wastewater Infrastructure, including for investor-owned utilities regulated by state public utility commissions....more

Oregon legislators pass historic renewable energy bill, with 50% RPS and coal-fired electricity phaseout

Oregon legislators passed Senate Bill (SB) 1547 into law yesterday, creating aggressive timetables for eliminating coal-fired electricity from the State and setting a 50% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 2040. A diverse...more

All Sides Agree on Maine’s Replacement of Net Energy Metering

Maine appears poised to replace its net-energy metering (NEM) program with new legislation that is projected to increase the state’s solar photovoltaics (PV) penetration by over 12 times the current installed capacity by...more

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