Unitil PURPA Mandatory Purchase Relief
We successfully sought relief for Unitil Energy Systems from the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA) mandatory purchase obligation requiring utilities to purchase power from Qualifying Facilities. Amendments to PURPA by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 allowed utilities to seek relief from this purchase requirement if they could demonstrate that the Qualifying Facilities (QF) in question has access to wholesale markets for their power. On behalf of Unitil, Pierce Atwood demonstrated to FERC that the Pinetree Fitchburg QF in Massachusetts could readily access ISO-New England markets. FERC granted Unitil’s petition, marking only the second time since 2005 that FERC relieved a utility of its purchase obligation. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities also granted Unitil’s companion petition to amend their Massachusetts tariff to reflect relief from the mandatory purchase obligation.