Washington Energy Report > Troutman Sanders LLP

Commissioner Moeller Announces Resignation

On May 13, 2015, Commissioner Philip Moeller announced his intent to resign from FERC upon the confirmation of his successor by the U.S. Senate.  Commissioner Moeller joined FERC in 2006.  He is currently serving the final months of his second term, set to expire on June 30 of this year (see June 25, 2010 edition of the WER). [Read more →]

May 18, 2015   Comments Off

FERC Proposes New Geomagnetic Disturbance Reliability Standard

On May 14, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) in which it proposed to approve Reliability Standard TPL-007-1 regarding Geomagnetic Disturbance (“GMD”) Events.  According to the Commission, the Reliability Standard requires applicable Bulk-Power System (“BPS”) owners and operators to conduct initial and on-going vulnerability assessments regarding the potential impact of a benchmark (i.e.,1-in-100 year) GMD event on the BPS as a whole, and on BPS components individually.  In addition, the Commission stated that the proposed Reliability Standard requires applicable entities to develop and implement corrective action plans to mitigate any vulnerabilities identified by such assessments. [Read more →]

May 18, 2015   Comments Off

FERC Issues NOPR Proposing Change to Start Date for Hydropower Project Annual Charges

On May 14, 2015, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) proposing to change the date on which FERC begins to assess annual charges for hydropower licenses and exemptions that authorize unconstructed projects and unconstructed new capacity.  The Federal Power Act and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 require that FERC collect annual charges from such licensees and exemptees in order to cover the costs of administering the hydropower portion of the Federal Power Act. [Read more →]

May 15, 2015   Comments Off

Ninth Circuit Finds Scope of FERC’s California Energy Crisis Remand Proceedings Too Narrow, Remands for Further Proceedings

On April 29, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (the “Ninth Circuit”) held that FERC failed to comply with the court’s remand order in a 2004 case involving the California Energy Crisis—California ex rel. Lockyer v. FERC (“Lockyer”)—by improperly structuring its administrative fact-finding proceeding to focus solely on the accumulation by wholesale power sellers of excessive market share, and not including an analysis of possible deficiencies in transaction reporting by those sellers.  The court remanded the case back to FERC for further proceedings. [Read more →]

May 13, 2015   Comments Off

D.C. Circuit Reverses and Remands Portions of EPA Backup Generator Rules

On May 1, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) held that the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it modified its National Emissions Standards and New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”) to allow backup generators to operate without emission controls for up to 100 hours per year in emergency demand-response programs.  As a result of the ruling, the D.C. Circuit reversed the 100-hour exemption and remanded the rules back to EPA for further action. [Read more →]

May 11, 2015   Comments Off

FERC Fines Maxim Power $5 million for Market Manipulation; Commissioner Clark Dissents

On May 1, 2015, FERC issued an order assessing civil penalties against Maxim Power Corporation, Maxim Power (USA), Inc., Maxim Power (USA) Holding Company Inc., Pawtucket Power Holding Co., LLC, Pittsfield Generating Company, LP (collectively “Maxim”) and an Energy Marketing Analyst at Maxim, Kyle Mitton (“Mitton”), finding that Maxim and Mitton violated section 222(a) of the Federal Power Act and FERC’s Anti-Manipulation Rule, 18 C.F.R. § 1c.2.  FERC assessed civil penalties of $5,000,000 against Maxim and $50,000 against Mitton.  [Read more →]

May 8, 2015   Comments Off

D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC Approval of Gas Compressor Station for Allegheny Storage Project

On April 24, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) denied Petitioners’ (Citizens of the town of Myersville) review challenging FERC’s orders approving Dominion Transmission, Inc.’s (“Dominion”) “Allegheny Storage Project,” and specifically FERC’s approval of the construction of a new natural gas compressor station in Myersville, Maryland (the “Myersville Compressor”).   In denying the petition, the D.C. Circuit concluded that each of the Petitioners’ challenges lacked merit. [Read more →]

May 5, 2015   Comments Off

Second Circuit Upholds FERC’s Approval of NERC’s BES Definition

On April 22, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (the “Second Circuit”) upheld the Commission’s approval of NERC’s Bulk Electric System (“BES”) definition—a regulatory mechanism that plays a key role in determining which facilities are subject to NERC mandatory Reliability Standards. [Read more →]

May 5, 2015   Comments Off

FERC Approves Delay of PJM Capacity Auction

On April 24, 2015, FERC approved PJM Interconnection LLC’s (“PJM”) request for waiver of its tariff to delay its 2015 Base Residual Auction (“BRA”) for the 2018-2019 delivery year.  As a result of the waiver, PJM’s BRA will not take place as originally scheduled, but rather during a week that is 30 to 75 days after FERC rules on the merits of PJM’s pending capacity performance proposal, but no later than the week of August 10-14, 2015. [Read more →]

May 5, 2015   Comments Off

Bay Assumes FERC Chairmanship; Parkinson to Head Enforcement

On Wednesday, April 15, 2015, Commissioner Norman Bay formally assumed the chairmanship of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”), succeeding Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, who will remain on the Commission. [Read more →]

April 17, 2015   Comments Off