PUC Press Releases

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Press Releases for MPUC
Updated: 40 weeks 4 days ago

Request for Proposals for Physical Energy Storage Contracts for Liquefied Natural Gas Storage

Fri, 09/16/2016 - 13:36
Hallowell, Maine - The Maine Public Utilities Commission (Commission) has issued a Request for Proposals for Physical Energy Storage Contracts for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Storage.

The Request for Proposals was issued on September 14, 2016 and is available on the Commission's website at: http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/natural_gas/lngstoragecontract/ . Proposals are due on or before October 14, 2016.

The Request for Proposals was issued in accordance with "An Act to Allow the Public Utilities Commission to Contract for Liquefied Natural Gas Storage and Distribution," which can be found at the following: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP0600&item=3&snum=127. The Act establishes the authority for the Commission to execute or direct one or more of Maine's transmission and distribution utilities, gas utilities, or natural gas pipeline utilities to execute a Physical Energy Storage Contract (PESC) provided that certain requirements are met. As directed by the Act, the Commission will evaluate proposals to ensure that any PESC: a) materially enhances LNG Storage Capacity in the State; b) provides net benefits to Maine's electricity and/or natural gas consumers; c) provides the opportunity for access to lower cost natural gas at times of regional peak demand for natural gas or in the event of a disruption in upstream natural gas infrastructure; and d) enhances electrical and natural gas reliability in the State.

"The Commission looks forward to receiving proposals and will evaluate them in accordance with statutory directive in a continued effort to seek solutions to Maine and New England's regional energy challenges," stated Commission Chairman Mark Vannoy.

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The Maine Public Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, water and gas utilities to ensure that Maine citizens have access to safe and reliable utility service at rates that are just and reasonable for all ratepayers. Commission programs include Maine Enhanced 911 Service, and Dig Safe.

Maine Public Utilities Commission Issues Proposed Rule on Customer Net Energy Billing

Wed, 09/14/2016 - 08:51
Hallowell, Maine - The Maine Public Utilities Commission (Commission) approved a Notice of Rulemaking today on Chapter 313, the Customer Net Energy Billing Rule. The Commissioners approved issuing for comment a proposed Rule that would make several changes to Chapter 313. Under the Commission's current Rule, generation from a customer's generating facility may be used as a kWh credit (currently energy plus transmission and distribution charges) to offset that customer's electricity usage. The major changes to the proposed Rule beginning in January 2017 are summarized below:

• As new customers sign up over the next 10 years, netting of the T&D portion of the bill will be gradually reduced to reflect changes in the costs of small renewable generation technology.

• Netting regarding the supply portion of the customers' bill will remain unchanged.

• The size cap for an eligible customer facility is proposed to increase by 50%, from 660 kilowatts to 1,000 kilowatts.

• Community net energy billing is explicitly authorized.

• Consumer protections and transparency in community net energy billing and leasing arrangements.

• Existing Net Energy Billing customer arrangements would be unchanged for a 15 year period.

"The Commission received many comments over the last several months regarding this topic" noted Commission Chairman Mark Vannoy. "In light of changes in the technology and costs of small renewable generation, particularly solar PV, we felt that opening a rulemaking process to consider changes to the Rule was the prudent course of action to ensure that all ratepayers are treated fairly." "We look forward to receiving comments on the proposed Rule from interested parties and the public," concluded Vannoy.

Background: Chapter 313 of the Commission's rules governs net energy billing (NEB) in Maine. NEB is a metering and billing mechanism that is generally used to promote the development and operation of smaller renewable generation facilities. Under Maine's NEB rules, excess generation from a customer's generating facility may be used as a kWh credit to offset that customer's electricity usage in a future billing period when the customer's facility did not generate enough to offset the customer's electricity usage. In January 2016, Central Maine Power Company (CMP) filed a letter stating that, at the end of calendar year 2015, the cumulative capacity of the generating facilities for which CMP has net energy billing agreements under Chapter 313 is approximately 1.04% of CMP's annual peak demand. Consequently, CMP requested that the Commission undertake the review of net energy billing required by Section 3(J) of Chapter 313. In response to the CMP January 14, 2016 letter, the Commission, on June 14, 2016, issued a Notice of Inquiry to obtain comment and information from interested persons regarding Maine's NEB rules and whether the rules should be modified in light of changing economics and markets.

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The Maine Public Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, water and gas utilities to ensure that Maine citizens have access to safe and reliable utility service at rates that are just and reasonable for all ratepayers. Commission programs include Maine Enhanced 911 Service, and Dig Safe.

Request for Proposals Issued for Standard Offer Service for Customers of Central Maine Power Company and Emera Maine

Fri, 09/09/2016 - 16:24
Hallowell, Maine - Today, the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) issued a Request for Proposals for retail electricity standard offer service for all customer classes in the territories of Central Maine Power (CMP) and Emera Maine-Bangor Hydro District. The Commission is seeking proposals for a term of service of one year, beginning January 1, 2017. Initial proposals are due on October 4, 2016. CMP and Emera Maine are electric transmission and distribution utilities serving customers in southern, central and eastern Maine. Total electricity sales to their customers are approximately eleven million megawatt hours annually, of which about 47% currently receives standard offer service. The RFP and related materials are available on the MPUC website at: http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/electricity/rfps/so_solicitations.shtml

Background: Maine law requires the MPUC to arrange for standard offer service though a competitive bid process, and to ensure that standard offer service is available to all customers in Maine. Customers receive standard offer service by default if they have not purchased supply from another electricity supplier. Specific inquiries regarding the RFP should be directed to Faith Huntington at faith.huntington@maine.gov.

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The Maine Public Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, water and gas utilities to ensure that Maine citizens have access to safe and reliable utility service at rates that are just and reasonable for all ratepayers. Commission programs include Maine Enhanced 911 Service, and Dig Safe.

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Auction Complete

Fri, 09/09/2016 - 16:24
Hallowell, Maine - The nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation's first market-based regulatory program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, today announced the results of the 33rd auction of carbon dioxide (CO2) allowances. The September 7th auction was the third auction of 2016, and generated $67.7 million. There were 14,911,315 CO2 allowances were sold at the auction at a clearing price of $4.54. Bids for allowances ranged from $2.10 to $12.65 per allowance. The money generated is allocated among the nine RGGI States which in turn utilize and invest the funds pursuant to state laws and rules.

Maine's portion of Auction 33 proceeds is about $2.2 million. Since RGGI's inception, Maine has received $81.8 million which has been used to finance rate relief, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Many of these programs and projects are managed through the Efficiency Maine Trust. "I am pleased that the market monitor has reported that Auction 33 was a competitive auction with no indication of market manipulation or collusion," said Commissioner Carlisle McLean, who also serves as the RGGI Inc. Treasurer. She also said, "RGGI continues to make strides toward a clean, low-cost electricity system while also providing revenue for each state to invest to their advantage. Although one of the smaller RGGI states, Maine continues to benefit from participating in the program."

About the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states participating in the third RGGI control period (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) have implemented a mandatory market-based regulatory program in the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The 2016 RGGI cap is 86.5 million short tons. The RGGI cap declines 2.5 percent each year until 2020. The RGGI states also include interim adjustments to the RGGI cap to account for banked CO2 allowances. The 2016 RGGI adjusted cap is 64.6 million short tons. RGGI is composed of individual CO2 budget trading programs in each state, based on each state's independent legal authority. A CO2 allowance represents a limited authorization to emit one short ton of CO2, as issued by a respective state. A regulated power plant must hold CO2 allowances equal to its emissions for each three-year control period. RGGI's third control period began on January 1, 2015 and extends through December 31, 2017. For more information visit www.rggi.org. # The Maine Public Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, water and gas utilities to ensure that Maine citizens have access to safe and reliable utility service at rates that are just and reasonable for all ratepayers. Commission programs include Maine Enhanced 911 Service, and Dig Safe.

Request for Applications for Disbursements from Maine's Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Trust Fund

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 09:31
Hallowell, Maine - The Maine Public Utilities Commission (Commission) has issued a Request for Applications for Disbursements from Maine's Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Trust Fund. The Request for Applications was issued on July 20, 2016 and is available on the Commission's website at: http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/electricity/rggi/ Applications are due on or before August 22, 2016.

The Request for Applications was issued in accordance with An Act To Reduce Electric Rates for Maine's Businesses (Act) P.L 2015, Ch. 498. The Act requires that the Commission direct funds totaling $3 million per year for fiscal years 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 to certain types of manufacturing customers in the State.

"The Commission looks forward to broad participation by customers in this application process," stated Commission Chairman Mark Vannoy. A final decision on the applications and disbursement amounts for this fiscal year will be made by November 1, 2016.

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The Maine Public Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, water and gas utilities to ensure that Maine citizens have access to safe and reliable utility service at rates that are just and reasonable for all ratepayers. Commission programs include Maine Enhanced 911 Service, and Dig Safe.