Washington Energy Report > Troutman Sanders LLP

FERC Proposes Policy Clarifying Hold Harmless Commitments

On January 22, 2015, FERC issued a proposed policy statement to clarify FERC’s policy regarding the use of hold harmless commitments in Federal Power Act section 203 applications.  Under the proposed policy statement, applicants will still be required to demonstrate that the proposed transaction does not have an adverse effect on rates, but FERC will define with greater specificity what costs will be considered transaction-related costs and how hold harmless commitments will apply. [Read more →]

January 26, 2015   Comments Off

FERC Approves Protection System Maintenance Reliability Standard

On January 22, 2015, the Commission issued Order No. 803, approving a new version of Reliability Standard PRC-005 (“PRC-005-3”) that requires applicable entities (Transmission Owners, Generator Owners, and Distribution Providers) to test and maintain certain autoreclosing relays as part of their protection system maintenance program. [Read more →]

January 26, 2015   Comments Off

FERC Approves PJM Energy Offer Cap Increase for 2014/2015 Winter

On January 16, 2015, FERC approved PJM Interconnection LLC’s (“PJM”) request to raise its cap on cost-based energy offers from $1,000/MWh to $1,800/MWh for the winter season.  According to PJM, the increase is designed to ensure that generators can recover all their costs in the event of severe cold during the 2014/2015 winter.  PJM’s requested increase was based on last winter’s highest cost-based offer of $1,725/MWh. [Read more →]

January 26, 2015   Comments Off

Obama Administration Announces Actions to Cut Methane Emissions

On January 14, 2015, the Office of the Press Secretary released a fact sheet announcing the Obama Administration’s “new goal to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by 40-45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025.”  In furtherance of this goal, the fact sheet also sets out a list of specific actions the Administration intends to complete.  The initiative will be run primarily by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), which will operate in coordination with the Department of Energy (“DOE”), the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”), and the Department of Transportation (“DOT”). [Read more →]

January 20, 2015   Comments Off

FERC Accepts Integration of Demand Response into ISO-NE Market, Despite Uncertain Fate of Order No. 745

On January 9, 2015, FERC accepted proposed modifications to the ISO New England Inc. (“ISO-NE”) Transmission, Markets and Services Tariff (“Tariff”) designed to fully integrate demand response into ISO-NE’s wholesale energy and reserve markets.  The Commission’s action comes several months after the D.C. Circuit’s ruling in Electric Power Supply Association v. FERC in which it vacated FERC Order No. 745—the foundational order in which the Commission required organized wholesale energy markets administered by a Regional Transmission Organization or Independent System Operator to compensate demand response resources at the market price for energy (see May 27, 2014 edition of the WER). [Read more →]

January 20, 2015   Comments Off

FERC Announces Dates for Regional Conferences on EPA’s Clean Power Plan

On January 6, 2015, FERC announced the dates of four technical conferences to discuss implications of different compliance approaches to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.  The technical conferences will focus on issues related to electric reliability, wholesale electric markets and operation, and energy infrastructure. [Read more →]

January 20, 2015   Comments Off

Colette Honorable Sworn in as FERC Commissioner

On January 5, 2015, Colette Honorable was sworn in as a FERC Commissioner.  Commissioner Honorable’s nomination was approved by the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on December 11, 2014 (see December 15, 2014 edition of the WER), and confirmed by the Senate on December 16, 2014 (see December 22, 2014 edition of the WER). [Read more →]

January 12, 2015   Comments Off

NERC Proposes to Streamline Emergency Operation Rules with New Reliability Standard

On December 29, 2014, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) submitted Reliability Standard EOP-011-1 to the Commission for approval.  If approved, EOP-011-1 would streamline the requirements for Emergency Operation of the Bulk Electric System, according to NERC. [Read more →]

January 12, 2015   Comments Off

FERC Approves Multiple Settlement Agreements for Alleged Manipulation in the MISO Market

On December 30, 2014, FERC approved four separate Stipulation and Consent Agreements (“Agreements”) between its Office of Enforcement (“Enforcement”) and subsidiaries of Twin Cities Power Holdings – Twin Cities Power-Canada, Ltd., Twin Cities Energy, LLC, and Twin Cities Power, LLC (collectively, “Twin Cities”) – as well as traders Jason Vaccaro, Allan Cho, and Gaurav Sharma (collectively, “Traders”) that resolve allegations of market manipulation in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (“MISO”) from January 2010 through January 2011. [Read more →]

January 9, 2015   Comments Off

FERC Declares the City of Boulder must seek FERC Approval in order to Condemn Xcel Transmission Facilities

On December 18, 2014, FERC granted a Petition for Declaratory Order filed by the Public Service Company of Colorado (“PSCo”) which requested certain clarifications regarding the application of FERC’s prior approval jurisdiction under section 203 of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) in the context of the assertion of eminent domain by a political subdivision of a state over the transmission assets of a public utility.  In granting the Petition, FERC clarified that transfers by condemnation, regardless of the fact that they are involuntary, are appropriately within the domain of FERC’s 203 prior approval authority. [Read more →]

January 9, 2015   Comments Off