Pioneering Energy Attorney Authors Primer on Electric Transmission in the U.S. and the Death of the Utility Monopoly Model
“One must not, however, underestimate the power and influence of the incumbent utility sector as they fight to protect [what is left of] their one remaining monopoly. Although it has become clear that independent and non-incumbent transmission providers will play an increasingly important role in the overhaul of our country’s electrical grid and the country’s rapidly evolving transmission needs, one cannot minimize the forces of the status quo and their ability to delay what they view as an existential threat.” —Excerpt from James Broder, Bernstein Shur
Leading energy attorney, James Broder, a pioneer in the new merchant transmission area, and more specifically, with High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) undersea cables projects, debuted his primer on “The Millennial Revolution in Electric Transmission: From Monopoly to the Marketplace” as a chapter in a new book on energy regulation published by Thomson Reuters as part of its Inside the MindTM series (ISBN 9780314291721.) Broder’s chapter provides a first-hand account of the revolutionary changes in who develops electric transmission infrastructure and how it is financed starting in the year 2000.
“Once the sole province of the ratepayer supported public utility monopoly, billions of dollars of transmission investment has been made in the last decade by independent non-utility companies willing to assume the risk for success of their projects,” said Broder. “Once thought impossible, competition will become the norm as the paradigm shifts from monopoly to the marketplace. The concept of the “natural” monopoly in electric transmission is no more valid today than the claims of the Bell System were to a natural monopoly in telecommunications. The proof is that thousands of megawatts of power are being transmitted reliably and efficiently by non-utility, non-rate based players throughout the nation. This is our new energy future.”
James Broder has served as general counsel and a principal in some of the country’s first merchant transmission projects, including the 660 megawatt Neptune Project completed in 2007 connecting New Jersey to Long Island and as a principal and counsel to the 660 megawatt Hudson Transmission Project completed in 2013 delivering power directly to the heart of the Manhattan load center at West 49th Street. His resume includes the Hawaii Interisland Cable project, now under consideration by the State of Hawaii, among other projects. Broder, together with the Energy Law Practice Group, is a leader in providing legal counsel to the merchant transmission industry. The Energy Law Practice Group has deep expertise and a proven track record, specifically in HVDC projects involving terrestrial transmission and submarine cables, both of which are becoming important components of critical electrical interconnection projects.
About Bernstein Shur
Widely regarded as one of New England’s most entrepreneurial law firms, Bernstein Shur has more than 100 attorneys in offices in Maine and New Hampshire. Founded in 1915, the firm provides practical and innovative counsel in the areas of business law, litigation, and municipal law to clients throughout the region and around the world. Bernstein Shur is Maine’s exclusive member of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading association of independent law firms. More information is available at www.bernsteinshur.com.