Washington Energy Report > Troutman Sanders LLP

FERC to Hold Technical Conference on Version 5 Critical Infrastructure Protection Reliability Standards

On February 27, 2014, FERC announced it will hold a technical conference to explore Critical Infrastructure Protection (“CIP”) Issues identified in Order No. 791.  The conference will be held at FERC on April 29, 2014 beginning at 10:00 a.m. The technical conference will be led by Commission staff and will include prepared remarks to be presented by invited panelists. [Read more →]

April 18, 2014   Comments Off

NRC Refuses to Expand Emergency Planning Zones around Nuclear Facilities

On April 7, 2014, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”) denied a petition for rulemaking filed by the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (“NIRS”) and 37 co-petitioners asking the NRC to amend its regulations that would expand emergency planning zones (“EPZs”) and the scope of emergency drills around nuclear facilities.   The NRC concluded that the current size of the EPZs is appropriate for existing reactors and that emergency plans will provide an adequate level of protection of the public health and safety in the event of an accident at a nuclear power plant. [Read more →]

April 14, 2014   Comments Off

PHMSA Announces Record Amount of Proposed Civil Penalties in 2013

On April 7, 2014, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”) announced the agency proposed an all-time high of more than $9.7 million in civil penalties in 2013 to pipeline operators for violations of safety regulations.  PHMSA’s summary of cases involving civil penalties indicated that of the 266 initiated enforcement matters in 2013, 63 advanced to the civil penalty stage and accounted for the record amount of penalties. [Read more →]

April 14, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Holds a Technical Conference on the 2013-14 Winter Operations and Market Performance in RTOs and ISOs

On April 1, 2014, FERC held a technical conference on “2013-14 Winter Operations and Market Performance in Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators.”  The conference explored the impacts of recent cold weather events that led to record highs in electricity and natural gas demand and prices on Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTOs”) and Independent System Operators (“ISOs”), as well as the actions taken in response to those impacts (see February 28, 2014 edition of the WER). [Read more →]

April 7, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Announces Technical Conference on Real-Time and Day-Ahead Market Efficiency

On March 28, 2014, FERC announced it will hold a technical conference to explore opportunities for increasing real-time and day-ahead market efficiency though improved software.  FERC’s announcement stated that the discussion at the June 23-25, 2014 conference will include the research and steps required to implement improvements to market modeling in a variety of areas. [Read more →]

April 7, 2014   Comments Off

FERC’s Web-Based EQR Filing Process Now Live

FERC’s new web-based approach for the Electric Quarterly Report (“EQR”) filing process went live on April 1st.  In Order No. 770, FERC revised the EQR filing process, eliminating filing through FERC-distributed software and introducing a web-based approach that allows users to file directly through FERC’s website (see March 10, 2014 edition of the WER). [Read more →]

April 7, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Issues PURPA Declaratory Order; Declines Enforcement Action against the Montana PSC

On March 20, 2014, FERC issued a declaratory order holding that the Montana Public Service Commission’s (“Montana PSC”) implementation of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (“PURPA”) was inconsistent with PURPA and FERC’s regulations.  However, FERC declined to exercise its enforcement authority under PURPA and initiate an enforcement action against the Montana PSC. [Read more →]

April 1, 2014   Comments Off

CFTC Division Issues Temporary “No Action” Guidance Regarding Swaps with Public Power Entities

On March 21, 2014, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (“Division of Oversight”) issued a letter (“CFTC Letter No. 14-34”) concluding, subject to certain conditions, it would not recommend enforcement action against a party for failure to register as a swap dealer with respect to utility business-related swaps with public power utilities. [Read more →]

April 1, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Issues Pilot License for Admiralty Intel Tidal Project

On March 20, 2014, FERC issued a pilot project license to Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County, Washington (“Snohomish PUD”) for the 600-kilowatt Admiralty Intel Pilot Tidal Project in Puget Sound, Washington.  Snohomish PUD proposes to install and operate a hydrokinetic turbine for a 10-year period to investigate whether tidal energy is commercially viable in Puget Sound.  The project will evaluate the performance, cost, and environmental effects of hydrokinetic tidal energy.  [Read more →]

April 1, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Clarifies Version 5 CIP Standards, Denies Rehearing

On March 20, 2014, FERC partially clarified and denied rehearing of Order No. 791, which approved the Version 5 Critical Infrastructure Protection (“CIP”) Reliability Standards.  The Commission clarified issues surrounding the implementation of the order as well as the requirement that the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (“NERC”) conduct a survey of certain types of cyber assets. [Read more →]

March 21, 2014   Comments Off