Category Archives: Infrastructure

FERC Proposes to Implement Expanded Transmission Siting Authority

On December 15, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in which the Commission proposes to implement its newly clarified authority under the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“IIJA”) to issue permits if a state denies an applicant’s request to site transmission facilities in a designated National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor (“National Corridor”).

Such change has potential—in certain cases—to tilt the balance of transmission permitting authority toward FERC and away from the states (where such authority traditionally has been held),… More

Some “Big Lifts” For Boston to Achieve Its Climate Goals

Earlier this Month, The Boston Foundation released its “Inaugural Boston Climate Progress Report.”  Suffice it to say, there’s a lot to do.  The Report identifies four “Big Lifts” necessary to attaining our climate goals.  It defines a Big Lift as:

a multidecade mega-project that seeks to improve the city to align with its climate and equity goals.

The four Big Lifts are:

  • Retrofitting the small building stock
  • Local energy planning for an electrified city
  • Building a resilient coastline through improved governance
  • Prioritizing reparative planning for Boston’s frontline neighborhoods

All of these are important and each is worth its own post. … More

FERC Rulemaking State of Play

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)-watchers have their eyes squarely on recent reports that Senator Joe Manchin, Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, won’t schedule a hearing on Chairman Richard Glick’s re-appointment this year, meaning that Glick will leave FERC when his term expires in January 2023.  Glick has led FERC in pressing reforms to modernize the country’s transmission system and help bring more renewable and energy storage resources online. … More

Biden Announces New Initiative on “Game-Changing” Technologies for Achieving Net-Zero Emissions

On November 4, 2022, the White House announced a new initiative to support research and development projects on 37 “game-changing” technologies to advance the Biden Administration’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Led by an interagency working group, the “Net-Zero Game Changers Initiative” will direct billions of dollars under the bipartisan infrastructure law, the CHIPS and Science Act,… More

A Look Ahead: Capacity Contracts under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Transmission Facilitation Program

Among the panoply of clean energy-related programs currently being implemented under the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“IIJA”), one in particular – for which a solicitation is set to issue soon – will infuse significant capital into the country’s bulk transmission system. In May 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) issued a Notice of Intent (“NOI”) regarding the new Transmission Facilitation Program (“TFP”), authorized under the IIJA,… More

Governor Hochul signs bill promoting utility-operated thermal energy networks in New York State

On July 5, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law the Utility Thermal Energy Network and Jobs Act (the “Act”), a bill which amends New York State’s Public Service Law to authorize the State’s utilities to own and operate thermal energy networks, and which charges the State’s Public Service Commission (“PSC”) with initiating proceedings to support and regulate thermal energy network deployment.

Until now, New York State utilities interested in developing thermal energy networks have been frustrated by legal and regulatory barriers.… More

Biden Administration Announces $3.1 Billion Grant Program for Battery Processing and Manufacturing to Support Clean Energy and Transportation

On May 2, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the release of a funding opportunity announcement (“FOA”) through which DOE may provide $3.1 billion in grant funding to support projects that will accelerate the development of a resilient supply chain for high-capacity batteries.  This FOA, the authority for which is provided in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“IIJA”), is the first release of more than $7 billion included in the IIJA to strengthen the U.S.… More

Infrastructure Package Makes New Investments in the Electric Transportation Future

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law today not only makes critical investments in our core infrastructure, it creates several new programs to support the increasing electrification of the transportation sector.

Especially notable in the $1.2 trillion package are the investments in electric vehicle charging stations, clean-powered buses, and electric-powered ferries. These investments include:

  • Creating new grants to build out electric vehicle charging station networks
  • Funding to modernize the primarily diesel-fueled fleet of school buses with electric or alternative fuel buses
  • Funding to state and local governments to procure electric or low emissions ferries

Electric Vehicle Charging / Fueling Infrastructure

To support the nationwide buildout of electric charging and alternative fueling stations,… More

Federal Offshore Wind Plan Boosts State Efforts in Massachusetts

As President Biden announces his blueprint for expanding the use of offshore wind (OSW) power, Massachusetts hopes to become an industry hub. Those plans will certainly be facilitated by the new federal OSW policies.

On March 29, the Biden administration published a major plan to mobilize offshore wind development, particularly along the East Coast. The plan aims to construct 30,000 megawatts of OSW generation by 2030,… More

Is a New Electricity Grid in Our Future? President Biden Thinks So.

The White House this morning released a fact sheet on “The American Jobs Plan,” also known as President Biden’s infrastructure plan.  There’s a lot in here (as there should be for a couple of trillion dollars!), so today I’ll focus on energy infrastructure.  Here are the highlights: 

  • $100B to “build a more resilient electric transmission system.”  This includes “the creation of a targeted investment tax credit that incentivizes the buildout of at least 200 gigawatts of high-voltage capacity power lines.”
  • Creation of a “Grid Deployment Authority” within DOE to facilitate transmission line siting.…
  • More