Eversource's rate case before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities is moving forward. In a first track involving issues other than rate design, discovery closed as of August 4, 2017 and intervenors' reply briefs are due August 18, 2017. Eversource is seeking approval of the merger of NSTAR Electric Company and WMECo, now referred to as Eversource East and Eversource West, as well as rate increases and a rate redesign that would impact both companies’ ratepayers. /continue reading
Last week's NECEC legislative round-up program -- attended by KLG's Courtney Feeley Karp and Jonathan Klavens -- confirmed that, despite a rocky legislative session in Maine and a disappointing failure to override Governor LePage’s vetoes, clean energy continues to make progress in legislatures throughout the Northeast. /continue reading
Drawing on its significant experience with solar project development, KLG recently submitted comments on the Massachusetts SMART program to point out some of the potential practical difficulties with the project segmentation rule proposed in the regulation issued by the Department of Energy Resources in June 2017. KLG believes the rule would create unnecessary barriers to solar project development on contiguous parcels of land. /continue reading
All of the Massachusetts electric distribution companies recently claimed that they are in compliance with their interconnection timeline requirements. A notice issued last week gives stakeholders until July 24, 2017 to submit comments on those claims. /continue reading
In the wake of escalating climate change concerns and the rising demand for local and organically grown food, smaller farm and food ventures are looking to grow. Unfortunately for farmers and other food entrepreneurs, growth requires capital, and the typical forms of debt and equity financing may not be a good match for their businesses. Thankfully, investors and entrepreneurs are turning to more innovative forms of financing. One example is revenue- or royalty-based financing (“RBF”) — a hybrid of debt and equity financing that can offer the flexibility farm and food ventures need to fuel their businesses. /continue reading
In the early stages of a renewable energy project, project developers must take steps to secure rights to the land on which the project will be located. This frequently means obtaining a long-term lease of the property, and sometimes means purchasing the property outright. Whether the project developer leases or purchases the project site, the developer is well-advised to obtain a preliminary title search before executing a letter of intent or offer to purchase the property and to commission a title exam of the property and obtain title insurance before closing on the lease or purchase. Even when no lender is involved in the early stages of project development, taking the appropriate steps to research title and mitigate title risks through the purchase of title insurance can be critical in laying the groundwork for future project development and financing. /continue reading
Please join us on October 20, 2016 at 5:00 pm at the Smith College Conference Center in Northampton, MA for the Slow Money Pioneer Valley Entrepreneur Showcase which aims to spotlight local farm and food businesses. Klavens Law Group is excited to sponsor this event for the second straight year. KLG's Sarah Matthews is a member of Slow Money Pioneer Valley and on the planning committee for this exciting event. /continue reading
Klavens Law Group is part of a network of lawyers providing pro bono legal services to qualifying farmers, food producers and food-related entrepreneurs as part of the Conservation Law Foundation's Legal Food Hub. The inaugural Fall 2016 issue of To Market magazine features an article on the Legal Food Hub, quoting KLG's Jonathan Klavens. If you are a food entrepreneur or farmer in search of legal help, the Legal Food Hub might be just what you are looking for. /continue reading
On September 30, 2016 at 12 pm, the Boston Bar Association's Environmental Section will host a brown bag discussion on the topic "The Commonwealth's Pipelines Issue, ENGIE & CLF v. DPU and Where We Go From Here." Speakers are Melissa G. Liazos of National Grid USA, David Ismay of Conservation Law Foundation, Joe Dalton of ENGIE North America, and Seth Schofield of the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General.
Facilitated by KLG's Courtney Feeley Karp, co-chair of the Energy Committee of the Environmental Section, speakers will discuss the legal issues raised in the case - ENGIE Gas & LNG LLC v. Department of Public Utilities, 475 Mass. 191 (2016) - as well as strategies to address the Commonwealth's energy needs and climate change goals.
Find event details here.
On May 11, 2016, 30 days after Governor Baker signed new solar net metering legislation into law (the “Act”), the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities opened Docket 16-64 and issued an order adopting Emergency Regulations (“Emergency Regulations”) that amend the existing Net Metering Regulations (220 C.M.R. 18.00) to reflect the provisions of the Act. The Emergency Regulations do not provide all of the answers for which stakeholders had hoped. In fact, DPU itself has posed a series of questions for stakeholders that suggest the Department is actively considering whether and how the final regulations should differ from the Emergency Regulations in order to appropriately implement the Act. Interested parties should consider participating in the public comment period leading up to issuance of a final regulation. Public comments are due June 15, 2016 and DPU will also hold a public hearing the same day. /continue reading