Washington Energy Report > Troutman Sanders LLP

U.S. Senate Confirms LaFleur and Bay

On July 15, 2014, the U.S. Senate approved President Obama’s nominations of Norman Bay and Cheryl LaFleur to the Commission.  [Read more →]

July 21, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Staff Releases Guidance on Formula Rate Updates

On July 17, 2014, FERC released informal staff guidance on preparing annual formula rate updates.  The guidance follows several recently released orders that required certain public utilities to submit formula rate protocols or revise their current protocols. [Read more →]

July 21, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Proposes to Approve a Physical Reliability Standard

On July 17, 2014, FERC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NOPR”) proposing to approve the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) Reliability Standard CIP-014-1.  The goal of the Reliability Standard is to enhance physical security measures for the most critical Bulk-Power System facilities and thereby lessen the overall vulnerability of the Bulk-Power System facilities against physical attacks.  FERC also proposed to direct NERC to develop two modifications to the standard. [Read more →]

July 21, 2014   Comments Off

D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC Rulings in ISO-NE’s Forward Capacity Market

On July 8, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) issued an order denying petitions for review of FERC’s January 19, 2012 order requiring certain market mitigation measures in ISO New England Inc.’s (“ISO-NE”) Forward Capacity Market (“FCM”).  The D.C. Circuit instead deferred to FERC’s reasoning, holding that FERC based its buyer-side and supplier-side mitigation measures on substantial evidence and undertook its balancing responsibilities with appropriate consideration.  Notably, the D.C. Circuit upheld FERC’s prior decision that the FCM must have an offer-floor mechanism to keep “out of market” capacity from bidding as a price-taker and depressing market-clearing prices. [Read more →]

July 11, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Requests En Banc Rehearing of Demand Response Ruling

On July 7, 2014, FERC petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) for an en banc rehearing of the D.C. Circuit’s opinion that vacated FERC’s Order No. 745, which required organized wholesale energy markets to compensate demand response resources at the market price for energy (see June 13, 2014 edition of the WER). [Read more →]

July 11, 2014   Comments Off

FERC, NERC and Arizona Public Service Company Settle 2011 Southwest Blackout Claims

On July 7, 2014, FERC approved a Stipulation and Consent Agreement between its Office of Enforcement (“Enforcement”), the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”), and Arizona Public Service Company (“APS”) relating to the September 2011 Southwest power outage that affected approximately 2.7 million customers in Southern California, Arizona and Northern Baja Mexico.  [Read more →]

July 10, 2014   Comments Off

Supreme Court Partially Affirms, Partially Reverses, EPA in Greenhouse Gas Case

On June 23, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) “Tailoring Rule,” but affirmed EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions under the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (“PSD”) permit program.  Writing for a five-member majority, Justice Antonin Scalia notably ruled that EPA could not “tailor” the PSD statutory permitting thresholds to exclude small GHG emitters from PSD program requirements. [Read more →]

June 30, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Proposes Refinements to Electric Market-Based Rate Program

On June 19, 2014, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) intended to streamline and simplify its market-based rate policies and procedures for wholesale sales of electric energy, capacity, and ancillary services. [Read more →]

June 30, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Issues Orders Approving CAISO Energy Imbalance Market

On June 19, 2014, FERC conditionally accepted the California Independent System Operator Corporation’s (“CAISO”) proposed creation of a real-time market for imbalance energy, referred to as the Energy Imbalance Market (“EIM”).  The result of a broad stakeholder process in the Western U.S., the EIM provides a venue where participants are able to buy and sell five-minute real-time energy to meet energy imbalance needs.  The EIM allows for neighboring balancing authorities to voluntarily participate on the CAISO EIM platform.  [Read more →]

June 27, 2014   Comments Off

FERC Adopts New DCF Methodology to Calculate ROE for Public Utilities and Tentatively Sets ISO-NE Base ROE at 10.57 Percent

On June 19, 2014, FERC announced a new methodology to calculate the return on equity (“ROE”) for jurisdictional electric utilities and used that methodology to tentatively set the base ROE at 10.57 percent for the New England Transmission Owners (“NETOs”) operating in the ISO New England Inc. (“ISO-NE”).  FERC’s new methodology will incorporate both short-term and long-term measures of growth projections in estimating a company’s cost of equity, thus incorporating the two-step discounted cash flow (“DCF”) methodology FERC uses in setting ROEs for natural gas and oil pipelines. [Read more →]

June 20, 2014   Comments Off