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FERC Proposes Changes to 20 Largest Purchaser Reporting Requirements

On December 18, 2014, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) proposing modifications to Part 46 of its regulations regarding the reporting of a utility’s twenty largest purchasers.  The NOPR proposes to eliminate the need to file FERC-566 – an annual report that lists the reporting utility’s twenty largest purchasers – for certain public utilities.  In doing so, FERC stated that the NOPR would reduce the regulatory burden of filings while enhancing the quality of information collected. [Read more →]

December 19, 2014   Comments Off

Senate Confirms Colette Honorable’s Nomination to FERC

On December 16, 2014, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Barack Obama’s nomination of Colette Honorable to serve as a FERC Commissioner (see December 15, 2014 edition of the WER).  Ms. Honorable is the current Chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission and immediate past president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.  Once she is officially sworn-in, Ms. Honorable will serve the remainder of a five-year term, expiring in June 2017.

December 19, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Chief ALJ Announces New Procedures for Handling Exhibits and Developing Electronic Hearing Record

On December 12, 2014, FERC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”), Curtis L. Wagner, Jr., released a Notice to the Public on procedures for handling exhibits and developing the electronic hearing record in FERC hearings before an ALJ.  [Read more →]

December 18, 2014   Comments Off

DC Circuit Remands FERC Order Denying Refunds, Citing Failure to Explain Departure from Precedent

On December 5, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit remanded a 2013 Commission order, finding that FERC had failed to adequately explain its reasoning in departing from its “general policy” of ordering refunds when consumers have paid unjust and unreasonable rates. [Read more →]

December 15, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Announces Series of Technical Conferences on EPA’s Clean Power Plan

On December 9, 2014, FERC announced that it would hold a series of technical conferences to discuss what implications are involved with a variety of compliance approaches used to satisfy the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan rule.  The technical conferences will begin on February 19, 2015 and generally focus on issues related to electric reliability, wholesale electric markets and operations, and energy infrastructure.  [Read more →]

December 15, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Nominee Colette Honorable Testifies before Senate Energy Committee; Nomination Advanced to Full Senate

On December 4, 2014, FERC Nominee Colette Honorable, who has been nominated to fill the vacancy left by former Commissioner John Norris, testified before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (“Committee”).  Currently, Ms. Honorable serves as the Chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission. [Read more →]

December 15, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Approves Changes to PJM Capacity Market

On November 28, 2014, the Commission conditionally accepted PJM Interconnection’s (“PJM”) proposed modifications to several of the key pricing elements used to clear PJM’s capacity market auctions, subject to PJM making a compliance filing removing a proposal relating to location-specific price elements.  The Commission found that these changes were reasonably needed for PJM to achieve an acceptable level of reliability over the long-term. [Read more →]

December 5, 2014   Comments Off

FERC, NERC and CAISO Settle 2011 Southwest Blackout Claims

On November 28, 2014, FERC approved a Stipulation and Consent Agreement (“Agreement”) between its Office of Enforcement (“Enforcement”), the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) and the California Independent System Operator Corporation (“CAISO”) relating to the 2011 Southwest blackout in Southern California, Arizona and Northern Baja Mexico that affected 2.7 million customers.  Under the terms of the Agreement, CAISO will pay a combined civil penalty of $6,000,000, with $2,000,000 divided equally among NERC and the U.S. Treasury, and $4,000,000 invested in reliability enhancements measures.  CAISO also agreed to commit to mitigation and compliance measures, and to submit semi-annual compliance reports to Enforcement for at least one year. [Read more →]

December 5, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Approves Constitution Gas Pipeline Project and Related Iroquois Project

On December 2, 2014, FERC authorized Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC (“Constitution”) to construct and operate its proposed approximately 124-mile-long, 30-inch diameter interstate pipeline, and related facilities, extending from Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, to a proposed interconnection with Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P. (“Iroquois”) in Schoharie County, New York (the “Constitution Pipeline”).  In the same order, FERC also authorized Iroquois to construct and operate compression facilities, and modify existing facilities, in the town of Wright, New York (the “Wright Interconnect Project”), and to lease the associated incremental capacity associated with the Wright Interconnect Project to Constitution. [Read more →]

December 5, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Proposes Policy Allowing for Cost Recovery on Natural Gas Facilities Modernization

On November 20, 2014, FERC issued a proposed policy statement that would allow interstate natural gas pipelines to use a surcharge or tracker mechanism to recover certain capital expenditures made to modernize pipeline system infrastructure in order to enhance reliability, safety and regulatory compliance. [Read more →]

November 24, 2014   Comments Off