Washington Energy Report > Troutman Sanders LLP

FERC Grants Requests to Rescind Waivers of Its Affiliate Power Sales Restrictions that It Previously Granted to AEP and FirstEnergy

On April 27, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) granted two concurrent complaints requesting FERC rescind waivers of its affiliate power sales restrictions that it previously granted to two Ohio franchised public utilities, as those waivers relate to particular power sales contracts (“Affiliate PPAs”).  The utilities in question are AEP Generation Resources, Inc. (“AEP Generation”) and Ohio Power Company (“AEP Ohio,” and together with AEP Generation, the “AEP Respondents”) in Docket No. EL16-33; and FirstEnergy Solutions Corporation (“FE Solutions”) and FirstEnergy Corporation’s Ohio regulated utilities (“FE Ohio,” and together with FE Solutions, the “FE Respondents”) in Docket No. EL16-34.  Going forward, FERC will evaluate the transactions contemplated in the Affiliate PPAs under the standards set forth in Boston Edison Co. Re: Edgar Electric Energy Co. and Allegheny Energy Supply Co.  [Read more →]

May 2, 2016   Comments Off on FERC Grants Requests to Rescind Waivers of Its Affiliate Power Sales Restrictions that It Previously Granted to AEP and FirstEnergy

FERC Denies Complaint Alleging that PJM’s Emergency Load Response Program Forces Demand-Response Resources to Forfeit Compensation

On April 21, 2016, FERC issued an order denying Viridity Energy, Inc.’s (“Viridity”) complaint alleging that PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.’s (“PJM”) Open Access Transmission Tariff (“OATT”) and the parallel provisions of the PJM Operating Agreement are unduly discriminatory as applicable to end users that register under PJM’s Emergency Load Response Program’s Capacity Only option, as opposed to the Full Program Option, because Capacity Only resources do not receive the guaranteed energy payment that Full Program Option participants receive despite being similarly situated.  In the order, FERC found that the distinctions between the program participants are justified by the need to avoid errors in measurement and verification that may be caused by Capacity Only participants inadvertently submitting duplicate offers. [Read more →]

May 2, 2016   Comments Off on FERC Denies Complaint Alleging that PJM’s Emergency Load Response Program Forces Demand-Response Resources to Forfeit Compensation

FERC Issues Show Cause Order Against Total Gas & Power and its Employees for Alleged Cross-Market Manipulation

On April 28, 2016, FERC issued an Order to Show Cause and Notice of Proposed Penalty (“Order to Show Cause”) against Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. (“TGPNA”), Aaron Hall (“Hall”), and Therese Tran (“Tran”) for alleged natural gas market manipulation at four locations in the southwest United States between June 2009 and June 2012.  The Order to Show Cause also directs these parties to show cause why TGPNA should not be required to disgorge $9.18 million (plus interest) in unjust profits, and the parties be assessed civil penalties in the amounts of $213,600,000 for TGPNA, $1,000,000 for Hall, and $2,000,000 for Tran.  In addition, the Commission directed TGPNA’s ultimate parent company, Total, S.A. (“Total”), and TGPNA’s affiliate, Total Gas & Power, Ltd. (“TGPL”), to show cause why they should not be held liable for TGPNA’s, Hall’s, and Tran’s conduct and held jointly and severally liable for their disgorgement and civil penalties. [Read more →]

May 1, 2016   Comments Off on FERC Issues Show Cause Order Against Total Gas & Power and its Employees for Alleged Cross-Market Manipulation

U.S. Supreme Court Affirms FERC’s Jurisdiction in Face of Maryland Power Plant Subsidy

On April 19, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC affirming the decisions of the courts below that the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) vests in FERC exclusive jurisdiction over wholesale sales of electricity. As a result, the Supreme Court upheld the determination that Maryland’s state program to grant power plant subsidies was preempted by the FPA. [Read more →]

April 27, 2016   Comments Off on U.S. Supreme Court Affirms FERC’s Jurisdiction in Face of Maryland Power Plant Subsidy

FERC Upholds MISO Registration Requirements for Entergy QFs and Upholds Order Terminating in Part Entergy’s PURPA Mandatory Purchase Obligation

In two orders issued on April 21, 2016, FERC denied a complaint and upheld the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (“MISO”) registration requirements for Entergy qualifying facilities (“QFs”), and also denied rehearing and upheld termination, in part, of Entergy’s mandatory purchase obligation for QFs with access to the MISO market under Section 210(m) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (“PURPA”). [Read more →]

April 27, 2016   Comments Off on FERC Upholds MISO Registration Requirements for Entergy QFs and Upholds Order Terminating in Part Entergy’s PURPA Mandatory Purchase Obligation

FERC Denies Complaint for Identical Treatment of Demand Response Resources and Generation Resources in PJM’s Capacity Market

On April 21, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) denied a complaint from Monitoring Analytics, LLC, the independent market monitor (“Market Monitor”) for PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”), alleging that PJM’s existing capacity market rules fail to treat demand response resources in a manner comparable to generation capacity resources. Specifically, the Market Monitor asserted that demand response resources should be subject to: (i) a must-offer requirement, as applicable to PJM’s day-ahead energy market; and (ii) an offer cap on all energy offers, as applicable to generation resources.

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April 27, 2016   Comments Off on FERC Denies Complaint for Identical Treatment of Demand Response Resources and Generation Resources in PJM’s Capacity Market

FERC Conditionally Accepts PJM-MISO Proposal Implementing Coordinated Transaction Scheduling

On April 18, 2016, FERC largely accepted PJM Interconnection L.L.C. (“PJM”) and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“MISO”) proposal to implement “Coordinated Transaction Scheduling” (“CTS”) between the two Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTOs”). According to the proposal, CTS would allow market participants in both PJM and MISO to schedule coordinated buy-sell transactions across the MISO-PJM interface. [Read more →]

April 27, 2016   Comments Off on FERC Conditionally Accepts PJM-MISO Proposal Implementing Coordinated Transaction Scheduling

U.S. District Court for Massachusetts Denies Motions to Dismiss FERC Penalty Enforcement Actions and Affirms Individual’s Potential Personal Liability for Penalty Under FERC’s Anti-Manipulation Rule

On April 11, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts issued an opinion denying motions filed by Lincoln Paper and Tissue Company (“Lincoln”), Competitive Energy Services, LLC (“CES”) and Richard Silkman (“Mr. Silkman”) seeking dismissal of two federal proceedings commenced by FERC to affirm civil penalties. FERC imposed the penalties on the three respondents for allegedly manipulating ISO-New England Inc.’s (“ISO-NE”) Day-Ahead Load Response Program (“DALRP”). The court held that: (1) FERC’s enforcement actions were not barred by the applicable statute of limitations; (2) FERC clearly had jurisdiction over demand-response programs such as DALRP given the Supreme Court’s recent opinion so holding; (3) respondents received fair notice that their conduct was proscribed by Federal Power Act (“FPA”) Section 222 and FERC’s Anti-Manipulation Rule; (4) FERC plead its claims alleging fraud with the sufficient particularity required by F.R.C.P. 9(b); (5) respondents would not be liable were they mere “aiders and abbetters,” but FERC alleges they were primary violators themselves, who directly gave fraudulent information to ISO-NE; and (6) a natural person, such as Mr. Silkman, may be an “entity” subject to FPA Section 222 and FERC’s Anti-Manipulation Rule and the penalties imposed thereunder. With respect to this last holding, the court becomes the second federal court to hold that a natural person can be an “entity” under FERC’s Anti-Manipulation Rule and be personally liable for penalties imposed by FERC. [Read more →]

April 18, 2016   Comments Off on U.S. District Court for Massachusetts Denies Motions to Dismiss FERC Penalty Enforcement Actions and Affirms Individual’s Potential Personal Liability for Penalty Under FERC’s Anti-Manipulation Rule

FERC Reaffirms Renewables Exemption to ISO-NE MOPR on Voluntary Remand from the DC Circuit

On April 8, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), on voluntary remand from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“DC Circuit”), reaffirmed its approval of an exemption of up to 200 MW of renewable resources from ISO New England Inc’s (“ISO-NE”) minimum offer pricing rule (“MOPR”) in ISO-NE’s Forward Capacity Market (“FCM”). Barring further legal challenges, the renewables exemption will remain effective as of June 1, 2014.

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April 18, 2016   Comments Off on FERC Reaffirms Renewables Exemption to ISO-NE MOPR on Voluntary Remand from the DC Circuit

FERC Conditionally Accepts ISO-NE’s Tariff Revisions Regarding Retirement Pricing

On April 12, 2016, FERC conditionally accepted ISO New England Inc.’s (“ISO-NE”) proposed revisions to its Transmission, Markets, and Services Tariff (“Tariff”) relating to new pricing and market power rules for the retirement of existing resources. Specifically, the conditionally-accepted revisions are intended to (i) create a means for capacity suppliers in ISO-NE’s Forward Capacity Market (“FCM”) to price the potential retirement of existing resources, and (ii) incorporate new market rules designed to mitigate the potential exercise of market power associated with the retirement of existing resources. [Read more →]

April 18, 2016   Comments Off on FERC Conditionally Accepts ISO-NE’s Tariff Revisions Regarding Retirement Pricing