Experts Anticipate Iran’s Next Move Will Include Cyberattacks on U.S. Energy Infrastructure

Security experts nationwide warn that the United States should expect serious cyberattacks from Iran in the next few months. The anticipated attacks, retaliation for United States’ killing of Major General Qasem Soleimani, are likely to include as targets oil refineries and other energy infrastructure.  The specific targets, and whether the attacks will be state-sponsored and strategic or carried out by individuals or smaller groups,… More

Cybersecurity 2020 — The Year in Preview: The Energy Sector’s Growing Vulnerability to Cyberattack

The electric power grid is subject to escalating threats of attack by foreign adversaries and individual bad actors.  While no U.S. utilities have been seriously compromised to date, in 2015, Ukraine’s electric grid was hit by a cyberattack that led to a lengthy blackout affecting approximately 250,000 people. There is growing recognition that cyberattacks have the potential to be even more malicious, disrupting increasingly digitized critical energy infrastructure.  … More

Watch: Emerging Trends Series – New York Energy Storage Markets

Energy storage will play a key role in achieving New York State’s bold climate vision, set in motion in June 2019 with the passage of The Climate Leadership and Clean Energy Protection Act, the nation-leading law which calls for economy-wide emissions reductions to reach net-zero by 2050,100% clean electricity by 2040, and 70% renewable electricity by 2030. The Act also codifies an existing Cuomo Administration commitment to deploy 3,000 MW of energy storage by 2030.

NECEC’s Emerging Trends Series event, sponsored by Foley Hoag, explores elements of the new legislation, with a focus on how the private and public sectors can partner to create and sustain a vibrant market for a broad set of storage technologies. The event begins with a fireside chat between Foley Hoag’s Mark Barnett and NYSERDA’s Alicia Barton to discuss the new legislation and hear how New York plans to execute on its goals. A panel of energy storage industry leaders then dig deeper on the energy storage elements of the bill.

Highlights from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities Order in the National Grid Rate Case

Rejection of Significant EV Expansion, Concern Regarding Interconnection Issues, and a Management Audit

On September 30, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (“Department”) issued its order (“Order”) in D.P.U. 18-150, National Grid’s (“National Grid” or the “Company”) rate case filed in November of 2018.  The Order offers important insight and direction on a number of pressing issues pending in the Commonwealth, including electric vehicle (“EV”) adoption, utility ownership of electric vehicle supply equipment (“EVSE”),… More

Preserve Retail Competition

Proposals to eliminate competition in retail electric supply to consumers are in the air. A consultant to the Massachusetts attorney general has just published an update to a report of last year asserting that retail competition has led to nothing but losses. The report coincides with the recent filing of lawsuits alleging that competitive suppliers are committing fraud or engaged in unfair and deceptive practices because agreed prices were higher than the cost of default service.… More

More Detail on the Massachusetts DG Interconnection Docket

On Monday, August 19, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (“DPU”) provided additional information on the timing, process, and scope of its investigation into DG interconnection.  The full memorandum from the Hearing Officer is here.  This procedural update follows the July 18 technical conference, which we summarized here.  A few key points from the memorandum:

  • Three additional technical conferences have been scheduled in the docket for October 3,…
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Watch – Preparing for Investors: Understanding Term Sheets and Financings

Hosted by Foley Hoag and Cleantech Open

Bringing in outside investors is an important step in the growth of most emerging companies. Understanding the differences between kinds of investments can help companies successfully navigate the fundraising process.

Most fundraising starts with a term sheet, and important deal terms are negotiated at this stage. By better understanding what term sheets should cover, companies can be better protected.

This webinar dives into common types of investment structures for early-stage companies,… More

DPU Technical Conference Addresses Issues Related to DG Interconnection Tariff and National Grid “Cluster Study”

Distributed generation (DG) projects across the Commonwealth have been stalled in the midst of the “Cluster Study” impacting National Grid’s service territory in central and western Massachusetts. National Grid describes the study’s purpose as determining the impacts on the transmission system of interconnecting over 900 MW in DG projects—mostly solar—to its distribution system. National Grid says the study will be completed by March 2020.… More

District of Massachusetts Reaffirms Broad Defense of Filed Rate Doctrine

An important legal doctrine for companies that buy and sell in regulated markets is the “filed rate” doctrine, which limits legal challenges to rates determined by regulators such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the Federal Communications Commission. A recent decision by the District of Massachusetts illustrates the potential breadth of the doctrine.

By way of background, two class action lawsuits filed in the District of Massachusetts alleged that Eversource and Avangrid systematically abused their influence in the natural gas transmission market in violation of federal and state antitrust laws.… More

Massachusetts DPU Opens Docket on DG Interconnection

On May 22, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (“DPU”) opened a new docket (D.P.U. 19-55) to investigate the interconnection of distributed generation (“DG”) in Massachusetts.  (And yes, the DPU intends to include energy storage interconnection in this docket despite defining DG as “technologies that generate electricity”.)

While complaints about costs, delays, and increased volume of interconnection applications have been growing,… More