Tel: 804.864.1100

Tel: 804.864.1100

Author Archive: David Greene

Virginia Commission Sets Hearing on Dominion’s Proposed Brunswick County Power Station and Transmission Facilities

On December 12, 2012, the Virginia State Corporation Commission issued an Order for Notice and Hearing in relation to Dominion Virginia Power’s application for various regulatory approvals associated with the construction and operation of a 1,358 MW natural gas fired and related transmission facilities.

The power station would be located in Freeman, VA.  It would be fueled by natural gas provided by Transco through its Virginia Southside Expansion Project.  The estimated cost of the project (excluding financing costs) is estimated to be just under $1.3 billion.

As part of the application, Dominion requested approval to recover, through rates proposed to be effective September 1, 2013, an annual revenue requirement of approximately $44.6 million in project financing costs and allowance of funds used during construction of the plant and related infrastructure.  In calculating the $44.6 million revenue requirement, Dominion proposes to add a 100 basis point enhancement to its 10.4% general rate of return on common equity (ROE), as currently authorized by Virginia law.

Also in the application, Dominion proposed several potential routes for siting and building transmission facilities necessary to transmit the electricity from the power station to the electric grid.

The Commission’s published schedule includes the following key deadlines:

  • Persons or entities desiring to participate in the proceeding as a “Respondent” must file a notice of participation on or before February 1, 2013.
  • Respondents must file any testimony and exhibits they wish to use in support of their positions on or before March 1, 2013.
  • A hearing on the Dominion application is scheduled to begin on April 24, 2013 at the Commission’s offices in Richmond.

Notably, the Commission’s order comes on the heels of Attorney General Cuccinelli’s recent report in which he raised issues with the ROE adders, such as the 100 basis point adder in this proceeding.  Another issue in the case could be the Commission’s recent directive that Dominion address market alternatives in future cases involving new generation.

For more information, please contact GreeneHurlocker.

About GreeneHurlocker, PLC

GreeneHurlocker PLC, located in Richmond, Virginia, provides a full range of litigation, energy law, and administrative/regulatory services. GreeneHurlocker is committed to delivering the highest quality legal services to its clients in a professional, effective and cost-efficient manner. Please contact Brian Greene or Eric Hurlocker at (804) 864-1100 for more information, or visit us on the web at www.GreeneHurlocker.com.  You can also follow us on Twitter: @GreeneHurlocker.

Virginia Attorney General Reports on Utility ROE Enhancement Adders

In November 2012, Virginia’s Attorney General, Kenneth Cuccinelli, issued a report on his office’s review of the statutory adders that were a part of Virginia’s unique ratemaking system.  The goal of the study was to review the adders and determine if they were advancing the goals of the 2007 Regulation Act:   (a) protecting customers from price volatility and unnecessary rate increases, (b) reliability, (c) fuel diversity, (d) environmental benefits and (e) economic development.

Notably, the report concluded that:

  • The adder associated with achievement of the Renewable Portfolio Standard has cost customers of Virginia’s two investor-owned utilities, Appalachian Power and Dominion Virginia Power, about $740 million, yet the adder not served to advance the environmental concerns that led to its inclusion in the 2007 Act.  The utilities have not built any new renewable energy facilities, but have relied on purchases of Renewable Energy Credits (or RECs) from previously constructed facilities.
  • The generation adders for new generation projects that have been approved will increase the two utility companies’ combined revenue requirements by an estimated $284 million over the term of the adders, and have not advanced the key goals of the 2007 Act in light of the substantial costs they impose.

The Attorney General concluded the report with a call for more discussions on the adders, their costs, and whether they are achieving their intended results.  The Attorney General’s press for “serious policy discussions” on these issues, combined with candidacy for Governor and next year’s election, could make for an interesting upcoming General Assembly session.  In a press conference, Mr. Cuccinelli stated that the 2007 statute has been a “very favorable deal for the two utilities,” a claim that the utilities dispute.

Another interesting subplot will be the Attorney General’s advocacy in Dominion’s recent filing before the State Corporation Commission for approval to construct a 1,380 MW natural gas facility (Docket Number PUE-2012-00128).  Dominion would benefit from the generation adder which would apply to this proposed new facility.  In additional to all the other issues that will arise during that case, the attorney general’s report and advocacy during the case will be worth following.

The General Assembly has recently directed the Attorney General and the Commonwealth’s two utilities to engage in discussions as to potential legislative changes to the ROE Adders that were the subject of the Attorney General’s report.

About GreeneHurlocker, PLC

GreeneHurlocker PLC, located in Richmond, Virginia, provides a full range of litigation, energy law, and administrative/regulatory services. GreeneHurlocker is committed to delivering the highest quality legal services to its clients in a professional, effective and cost-efficient manner. Please contact Brian Greene or Eric Hurlocker at (804) 864-1100 for more information, or visit us on the web at www.GreeneHurlocker.com.  You can also follow us on Twitter: @GreeneHurlocker.

 

 

Virginia Commission Approves Virginia-American Water Rate Case Settlement

On December 12, 2012, the Virginia State Corporation Commission issued a Final Order approving a Stipulation that allows Virginia-American Water Company to increase its rates by almost $2.3 million, although the increase is significantly less than what the Company had initially requested.

The Company’s service territory includes four different Districts, each with its own revenue requirement.

  • In Hopewell, the Company had requested a 12.5 increase and settled for no increase.
  • In Prince William, the Company sought a roughly $1.8 million increase and settled for about $1.1 million.
  • In Alexandria, the Company sought about $1.7 million and settled for $930,000.
  • In the Eastern District, represented by GreeneHurlocker, the Company sought a 34% increase (approximately $570,000) and settled for an approximate 13.5% increase (about $228,500).  In the Eastern District, the Company settled for 38% of its requested amount.

The settlement includes a 9.75% return on equity, which is lower than the 11.3% ROE that the Company requested and also lower than the Company’s previously-authorized ROE of 10.7%.

The Company, which had been collecting its proposed rates since July 12, 2012 on an interim basis subject to refund, is required to issue refunds, with interest, by March 12, 2013.

About GreeneHurlocker

GreeneHurlocker, PLC, located in Richmond, VA, provides a full range of litigatino, energy law, and administrative/regulatory services.  GreeneHurlocker is committed to delivering the highest quality services to tis clients in a professional, effective, and cost-efficient manner. Please contact Brian Greene or Eric Hurlocker at (804) 864-1100 for more information, or visit us on the web at www.GreeneHurlocker.com.  You can also follow us on Twitter: @GreeneHurlocker.

End of Year Planning

As companies start working on their end of year planning and reviewing current-year results, we want to remind business leaders and owners to keep in mind the following:

  1. Do you have a succession plan to address the unexpected incapacity or death of a key officer, director or owner?  You may want to check your bylaws, operating agreement or other organizational documents to ensure that these issues are addressed as you want them.  Remember, as your organization changes, you may need to revisit these areas from time to time.  If you are a small business it is particularly important that you address these issues to ensure that your business will continue uninterrupted (or at least with minimal interruption) during a period of change.
  2. Do you have adequate insurance coverage for key officers, directors or owners?  Areas to consider are life insurance programs, disability policies and long-term insurance.  Also, don’t forget to make sure that your assets are adequately insured (particularly if you have added or shed assets during the year), including business risk insurance programs.
  3. Do you have a line of credit or other credit facility in place?  While your business may have adequate liquidity at the present time, you may wish to consider putting a line of credit  or other credit facility in place while operations are going well.  Making these arrangements now (i) may provide a safety net to guard against a temporary down-turn in your cash flow or an unexpected liability, and (ii) may give your business the confidence to take advantage of a growth opportunity without undue delay.
  4. Do you know a good business counselor or coach?  Whether your company is in start-up mode or has been in business for years, there are a number of very good business counselors and coaches available to work with business owners and officers on a periodic basis or to address a specific issue that your business may be facing.
  5. Are your people happy?  While this one often goes without saying, the end of the year is a good time to take the temperature of your organization and assess your working environment.   With the amount of time spent working at your business, it is important to make sure that your people remain motivated and dedicated to the success of the business.

These are the types of issues that can make a difference when it comes to the future success and viability of your business.  These issues can also impact, on a personal level, the individuals who work for or with you.  Let us know if you have any questions or desire additional information on these or other business-related issues as 2012 comes to a close.

 

GreeneHurlocker to Sponsor RTA’s “Run-A-Latke”

RICHMOND, VA — GreeneHurlocker, PLC, is proud to announce its sponsorship of Rudlin Torah Academy’s Fourth Annual Run-A-Latke, to be held on Sunday, December 16, 2012, at 2:00 p.m.  The event includes a 5k fun run, a childrens’ miler, and delicious homemade latkes and other foods at the end of the race.  Runners, walkers, strollers, pets — everyone! — are welcome to join in the fun.  Click here to register for the race.

The event raises money for RTA, which is Richmond’s only Jewish day school.  RTA provides top-quality Judaic and secular education to students in grades K-12.  RTA’s students consistently score in the highest percentiles in standardized testing and, in the past 6 years, at least 95% of RTA’s 8th graders that have applied to the area’s leadership or Governor’s high schools have been accepted.  For more about RTA, please visit the school’s website, www.rudlin.com.

We hope to see you on race day!

About GreeneHurlocker

GreeneHurlocker, PLC, located in Richmond, Virginia, provides a broad range of litigation, energy law, transactional, administrative/regulatory law, and corporate services. GreeneHurlocker is committed to delivering the highest quality legal services to its clients in a professional, effective and cost-efficient manner.  Please contact us for more information, and you can also follow us on Twitter.

Energy Policy and November 2012

As we move closer to the upcoming elections this year, it has become clear that energy policy will be a significant campaign issue.  All sectors have a stake in the outcome of the election and the resulting path energy policy may take.

Recently, Mr. Romney issued a white paper outlining his vision for energy independence as part of his Plan for a Stronger Middle Class.  Click to see entire paper http://www.mittromney.com/sites/default/files/shared/energy_policy_white_paper_8.23.pdf.  The renewable energy industry has already weighed in on the Romney program in a fashion that may surprise you.

President Obama has issued his own energy program, the “All of the Above” Energy Strategy, which you can view at   http://www.barackobama.com/record/environment?source=issues-nav.

We will continue to update you on developments on this key election day issue over the course of the next two months.

Brian Greene Receives Richmond Jewish Federation’s Young Leadership Award

RICHMOND, VA – The Richmond Jewish Federation (Federation) has awarded Brian Greene this year’s William B. Thalhimer Sr. Young Leadership Award.  The honor is primarily in recognition of Mr. Greene’s involvement with Richmond’s Jewish day school, Rudlin Torah Academy, where he serves as the President of the Board of Directors.

“I thank the Federation for this recognition,” said Mr. Greene.  “I also thank the Federation for its steadfast support of Jewish education for many years.”  The Federation presented the award to Mr. Greene at its 2012 annual meeting, and pictures of the evening are posted on Federation’s Facebook page.

The Federation’s acknowledgement of Mr. Greene’s endeavors exemplifies GreeneHurlocker’s commitment to community service.  In addition to his involvement with RTA, Mr. Greene is the Vice President of the Herb Cohen Memorial Fund, which provides scholarships for kids in need to attend summer camps.  Since 2001, the Fund has given out more than 210 scholarships for children to attend overnight summer camp and also to sponsor children to attend the Variety Club’s Camp for Children with Disabilities.

About GreeneHurlocker

GreeneHurlocker, PLC, located in Richmond, Virginia, provides a broad range of litigation, energy law, transactional, administrative/regulatory law, and corporate services. GreeneHurlocker is committed to delivering the highest quality legal services to its clients in a professional, effective and cost-efficient manner.  Please contact us for more information, and you can also follow us on Twitter.

New Richmond, Virginia Law Firm Created to Serve Energy and Business Community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:

Brian R. Greene

Eric W. Hurlocker

Main: (804) 864-1100

Email: BGreene@GreeneHurlocker.com 

Email: EHurlocker@GreeneHurlocker.com

 New Richmond, Virginia Law Firm Created to Serve

Energy and Business Community

RICHMOND, VA, July 13 – Today a new law firm, GreeneHurlocker, PLC, announced that it has opened for business in Richmond, Virginia.  The firm has been established to represent the energy and business needs of clients in a wide range of regulatory, transactional and litigation matters.

GreeneHurlocker brings together the complementary practices of two experienced Richmond energy and business lawyers, Brian R. Greene and Eric W. Hurlocker.  Brian Greene has practiced law for nearly 18 years, most recently as the managing partner of The Greene Firm representing energy and other entities in administrative law, commercial litigation and corporate transactions.  Brian appears regularly before the Virginia State Corporation Commission, as well the Public Service Commissions of Maryland and Washington, DC.  For the past six years, Brian has been recognized by his peers as a Super Lawyer and, for the past three years, he has been named to Virginia Business Magazine’s Legal Elite.

Most recently, Eric Hurlocker practiced with the corporate and energy teams in the Richmond, Virginia office of Williams Mullen.  At Williams Mullen, Eric focused his practice on the regulatory and transactional needs of large manufacturing companies, renewable energy development companies and a wide range of start-up service and technology companies.   Before coming to Williams Mullen, he was a partner in the energy and administrative law groups with the Richmond, Virginia office of Hunton & Williams.  Before rejoining Hunton & Williams in 2006, Eric was in-house counsel in the Office of General Counsel at PPL Corporation, a Pennsylvania-based energy company.  In his nearly twenty years of practice, he has represented energy, manufacturing, consulting and general business clients in a variety of corporate, transactional and regulatory matters.

“Eric and I share a vision of value-added, innovative, and personalized client service,” said Brian Greene.  “Our combined capabilities will allow us to offer our energy, business, and litigation clients a broad range of experience and resources.  This is an exciting and challenging time in the energy and business communities, and Eric and I are confident that, with GreeneHurlocker, we will be strategically positioned to meet our clients’ growing needs.”

Eric Hurlocker added, “Brian and I understand the legal needs of large energy, utility and manufacturing companies, but also the unique needs of smaller companies that may be in start-up mode or looking to expand their existing business.  We think GreeneHurlocker provides a platform to address the legal needs of a wide-range of clients, building on the relationships that Brian and I have developed in Virginia and across the Mid-Atlantic region.”

In addition, Ruth E. Nathanson will serve as Counsel to the firm.  Ruth’s practice includes civil and appellate litigation, administrative law, and energy matters.  Ruth is a seasoned appellate lawyer, having served as a law clerk to the Honorable Justice Barbara Milano Keenan of the Supreme Court of Virginia.  She has combined her persuasive legal writing and oral advocacy skills in the successful representation of clients before the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Court of Appeals of Virginia, the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission, and the Virginia State Corporation Commission

GreeneHurlocker will be located at:   707 East Main Street, Suite 1025, Richmond, VA 23219, (804) 864-1100 (Main).

In addition to its vision and pledge to provide innovative, efficient and effective legal services, GreeneHurlocker’s attorneys will continue their strong support of the Richmond community.  Among their volunteer efforts, Mr. Greene currently serves as the president of Rudlin Torah Academy, Richmond’s Jewish day school, and received the 2012 William B. Thalhimer Sr. Young Leadership Award presented by the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond.  Mr. Hurlocker provides pro-bono legal services to children in Commonwealth Catholic Charities’ foster care system and is a member of the Virginia Joint Commission on Technology and Science (Energy Advisory Committee).

About GreeneHurlocker, PLC

GreeneHurlocker PLC, located in Richmond, Virginia, provides a full range of litigation, energy law, and administrative/regulatory services. GreeneHurlocker is committed to delivering the highest quality legal services to its clients in a professional, effective and cost-efficient manner. Please contact Brian Greene or Eric Hurlocker at (804) 864-1100 for more information, or visit us on the web at www.GreeneHurlocker.com.  You can also follow us on Twitter: @GreeneHurlocker.

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