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Entries in Maine (24)


Energy Startups: Opportunities, Challenges, & Considerations

In a presentation during Maine Startup & Create Week, Verrill Dana partner Jim Cohen, a utilities and energy lawyer with more than 25 years of experience, moderated a panel focused on the question, “How can tech disrupt energy?” With innovation and new technologies being developed in the industry, and consumers seeking more affordable and cleaner options, Jim led a discussion with panelists Ryan Nesbitt of Arcadia Power; Ben Polito of Pika Energy; Kat Joyce of Bernstein Shur; and Ben Sampson of GE Ventures.

Beginning with a general foundation and overview of the energy space, conversations flowed into the collaboration between utilities and new energy startups, as well as how to increase focus on consumer engagement to achieve a balance between attention and sustainability in the marketplace.

Click to read more ...


Natural Gas: Where Do We Go From Here?

With cold weather approaching, natural gas production expected to rise and expansion projects underway, Verrill Dana and Pierce Atwood will host their fourth annual, Natural Gas: Where do we go from here? on Thursday, October 6 at The Woodlands in Falmouth, Maine. 

The all-day event, co-chaired by Verrill Dana attorney William Harwood, will feature keynote speaker, Patrick Woodcock, Director of the Governor’s Energy Office and lunchtime speaker, Former Maine Public Utilities Chair, Tom Welch. Panel discussions will cover:

  • “Gas vs. Renewables – Allies or competitors?” - Featuring Verrill Dana attorney Jim Cohen
  • “Safety – Are we doing enough?” - Featuring Verrill Dana attorney Katie Gray
  • “Pipeline Expansion – Do we still need it?” 

 Find more details on the event and the full agenda on Verrill Dana’s website.


Energy News Roundup: September 28-October 4

This week in regional energy news …


Natural Gas Conference, Featuring Maine Gov. Paul LePage, to Be Held in Portland on October 10

On October 10, Verrill Dana, LLP and Pierce Atwood, LLP will co-host “Natural Gas: The Best Path Forward for Maine?” at the Doubletree by Hilton in Portland, Me.  The conference will feature Gov. Paul R. LePage as luncheon speaker and Maine PUC Chairman Thomas Welch as opening keynote speaker.  Panels will feature regional industry leaders from the regulatory, supply, LDC, generator, and commercial and industrial customer worlds discussing perspectives on topics ranging from natural gas service RFPs to LNG/CNG to natural gas supply issues in New England.  A cocktail reception will follow.

For more information, or to register, visit


Energy News Roundup: May 11-May 17

This week in regional energy news …


Governor Nominates Timothy Schneider to Be Maine Public Advocate

Governor Paul R. LePage today nominated Timothy R. Schneider to be Maine’s next public advocate.  As the state’s public advocate, Schneider would be in charge of the office that represents the interests of Maine’s ratepayers in policymaking and in regulatory proceedings.

Since 2008, Schneider has been an attorney with Pierce Atwood, LLP’s energy group.  In that capacity, he has represented a number of utilities, including Central Maine Power Co. and Northern Utilities, Inc., before the Maine PUC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Schneider has earned professional accolades for his work, including from Chambers USA in 2012.

The Governor’s nomination must be reviewed by the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee, and confirmed by both houses of the Maine Legislature.  If confirmed, Schneider will succeed Richard Davies, the current public advocate.

Schneider is a graduate of New York University School of Law and, magna cum laude, of Harvard University.  During law school, Schneider was a summer associate at Mintz Levin and a legal intern with Public Knowledge.  Prior to law school, he led youth development programs in Washington County with the Maine Sea Coast Mission.

Schneider, who resides in Portland with his wife and their two children, is a league captain of the Portland Hurling Club. 


Law Court Dismisses Appeal of Oakfield Wind Power Project

In a memorandum of decision issued yesterday, the Maine Supreme Court dismissed an appeal (Docket # BEP-12-225) of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection license issued to First Wind for the construction of the 150-MW Oakfield Wind Power project.  The opinion, issued just two weeks after the Court heard oral argument, did not reach the merits of the appeal, which consisted of a single claim that the visual impact standard applied to wind power projects is unconstitutionally vague.  Instead, the Court found that project opponents had failed to preserve the claim for appeal because it had not been raised during the DEP’s year-long review of the project.  As a result, the appellants had waived the right to raise the claim before the Court.  In any case, the Court will have an opportunity to rule on the constitutionality of the Wind Energy Act visual impact standard in the very near future, as the same claim has been raised in a pending Law Court appeal of the DEP license issued to Patriot Renewables for the construction of the Saddleback Ridge Wind project in and around Carthage, Maine.  First Wind was represented in the appeal by Verrill Dana Attorneys Juliet Browne and Gordon Smith.