On January 6, 2017, FERC accepted PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.’s (“PJM”) proposal to change its pricing methodology for the release of excess capacity in its upcoming Third Incremental Auction for the 2017/18 Delivery Year. FERC concluded that PJM will be permitted to use the revised pricing rules to release excess capacity exclusively for PJM’s Third Incremental Auction for the 2017/18 Delivery Year.

Continue Reading FERC Accepts Revisions to PJM Capacity Market Pricing Methodology

As part of the ongoing legal fallout from the 2000-2001 California energy crisis, on January 9, 2017, FERC issued an order clarifying that, for purposes of that proceeding, “pricing umbrella” evidence is relevant only for contextual purposes and cannot serve as a basis for finding refund liability. In this order, FERC clarified that “pricing umbrella” evidence may be introduced solely for the purposes of providing context for FERC’s consideration, and that such evidence should not constitute the basis for finding refund liability. Continue Reading FERC Clarifies the Relevance of “Pricing Umbrella” Evidence in the California Energy Crisis Proceeding

On January 9, 2017, FERC approved ISO New England Inc.’s (“ISO-NE”) proposed revisions to its Transmission, Markets and Services Tariff (“Tariff”) to change the source of natural gas prices used in calculating the daily energy market offer threshold for Import Capacity Resources, the Peak Energy Rent Strike Price, and the Forward Reserve Threshold Price under ISO-NE’s Tariff. In doing so, FERC found that ISO-NE’s proposal to calculate these thresholds using the Intercontinental Exchange’s (“ICE”) AGT-CG (Non-G) hub instead of ICE’s AGT-CG hub was just and reasonable because it changes the natural gas price index from one that is rarely liquid to one that is reliably liquid and satisfies FERC’s requirements for using price indices in tariffs. Continue Reading ISO-NE Modifies Natural Gas Price Source Used to Calculate Market Thresholds

On January 11, 2017, the United States House of Representatives (“House”) passed the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, which would, among other things, end the Chevron doctrine of requiring judicial deference toward administrative agencies with respect to the interpretation of statutes that the agency is charged with administering. Continue Reading House Passes Bill That Would End <em>Chevron</em> Deference

On January 3, 2017, FERC accepted the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“MISO”) proposed revisions to its Generator Interconnection Procedures (“GIP”) and its pro forma Generator Interconnection Agreement (“GIA”) contained in Attachment X of its Open Access Transmission, Energy and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff (“Tariff”). MISO’s revisions result from an extensive stakeholder process intended to improve the efficiency of its queue for generator interconnection projects. Continue Reading FERC Accepts MISO’s Revisions to Generator Interconnection Procedures

In December, 2016, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) released its 2016 Long-Term Reliability Assessment (“LTRA”). Among its key findings, NERC projected that the capacity reserve margin—the primary metric used to measure resource adequacy—would fall below its target level in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (“MISO”) region, and could also fall below its target level in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (“ERCOT”) region, depending on the outcome of certain pending regulatory proceedings. NERC also made a number of recommendations designed to address identified reliability issues. Continue Reading NERC Publishes 2016 Long-Term Reliability Assessment, Warns of Shortages in MISO and ERCOT

On December 30, 2016, FERC accepted the California Independent System Operator Corporation’s (“CAISO”) proposed revisions to the definition of “Load Serving Entity” under its tariff. In particular, CAISO’s proposed tariff revisions seek to add a new class of end user Load Serving Entities that: (1) are the ultimate consumers of electricity; (2) have legal authority to serve load through the purchase of energy from an entity that is not a Load Serving Entity; and (3) have exercised their right to purchase electricity from a party that is not serving as the Load Serving Entity for the transaction. Continue Reading FERC Approves Revised Definition of “Load Serving Entity” in CAISO

On January 4, 2017, FERC issued an order conditionally accepting certain Open Access Transmission Tariff (“Tariff”) revisions submitted by the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (“SPP”) in November 2016. The proposed Tariff revisions amend Attachment AE of the SPP Tariff, including the sections governing the Auction Revenue Right (“ARR”) Allocation and Transmission Congestion Right (“TCR”) Offer and Bid submittal processes in SPP’s Integrated Marketplace. Continue Reading FERC Conditionally Accepts Modifications to SPP Integrated Marketplace

On December 15, 2016, FERC issued a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) requesting comments regarding how FERC can ensure that partnerships that own and operate jurisdictional pipelines or public utilities, or similar pass-through entities (collectively, “Partnerships”), are not receiving “a double recovery of [income] taxes” based on FERC’s current income tax allowance (“ITA”) and return on equity (“ROE”) policies. FERC’s NOI comes in response to United Airlines, Inc. v. FERC, 827 F.3d 122 (2016), where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) held that FERC had not “adequately justified” its current policy of granting such Partnerships an ITA – that is, the authority to recover from their ratepayers as a “cost” the income taxes paid by partner-investors on their shares of partnership income. Continue Reading FERC Questions Recovery of Income Tax Costs by Partnerships and Other Pass-Through Entities

On December 15, 2016, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) in which it proposed to revise its regulations and the pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Procedures (“LGIP”) and pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (“LGIA”). According to FERC, the proposed reforms could help “improve the efficiency of processing interconnection requests for both transmission providers and interconnection customers, maintain reliability, increase energy supply, balance the needs of interconnection customers and transmission owners, and remove barriers to needed resource development.” Comments on the proposed reforms in FERC’s NOPR are due 60 days after publication of the NOPR in the Federal Register. Continue Reading FERC Proposes Generator Interconnection Changes