On February 15, 2017, the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) Board authorized more than $1.5 billion in electric transmission projects in the PJM-region as part of the Regional Transmission Enhancement Plan process. According to PJM President and CEO Andy Ott, the current round of project approvals addresses “the growing need to replace aging infrastructure, energy efficiency, and the resulting reduction in the growth of demand for electricity.” Both the list of approved projects and the proposed cost allocation for each project will be the subject of future filings with FERC.
On February 10, 2017, FERC issued a notice announcing a day-long technical conference to be held on Thursday, June 22, 2017. As stated in the notice, the purpose of the conference will be to discuss policy issues related to the reliability of the Bulk-Power System. The Commission has held similar technical conferences on policy issues related to reliability on an annual basis for the last few years (see February 8, 2016 edition of the WER).
An agenda has yet to be released. The conference is free and open to the public, but prospective attendees are encouraged to register online. March 3, 2017 is the deadline for prospective panel participants to submit their nominations through FERC’s online speaker registration form.
The notice announcing the technical conference can be found here.
Since Commissioner Norman Bay’s departure from FERC on February 3, 2017 created the absence of the requisite three-Commissioner quorum necessary for the Commission to vote (see January 31, 2017 edition of the WER), FERC Staff has continued to act on certain pending matters under the authority delegated to it by the Commission on February 3, 2017 (see February 3, 2017 Troutman Sanders Alert). Continue Reading FERC Staff Acting Under Delegated Authority in the Absence of Three-Commissioner Quorum
On February 3, 2017, FERC accepted Southwest Power Pool, Inc’s. (“SPP”) proposal to modify its Open Access Transmission Tariff (“Tariff”) to permit combined cycle resources to register as Multi-Configuration Resources (“MCR”) in its Integrated Marketplace. FERC accepted the modifications subject to SPP submitting a compliance filing to provide further clarification and refinement to address certain areas of ambiguity in SPP’s proposed tariff language.
On February 3, 2017, FERC partially granted a complaint against the New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (“NYISO”) regarding the application of buyer-side market power mitigation rules to demand response resources in NYISO’s installed capacity market (“ICAP”). In its order, FERC found that NYISO’s application of its mitigation rules was unjust and unreasonable as to future demand-side generators. FERC allowed prospective exemptions for such resources, but denied exemptions for such resources currently subject to NYISO market power mitigation. Separately, outgoing Commissioner Bay wrote a lengthy concurrence in which he argued that FERC should reconsider the rationale behind its minimum offer price rule policy (“MOPR”) and its applicability in wholesale electricity markets. Continue Reading FERC Exempts Certain Demand Response Resources from Buyer-Side Mitigation in NYISO; Bay Questions FERC’s Minimum Offer Price Rule Policy Rationale in Concurrence
On January 30, 2017, FERC granted in part a request for rehearing of its May 16, 2013 order, which accepted in part and rejected in part the New York Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“NYISO”) August 19, 2011 compliance filing implementing Order No. 745. Continue Reading FERC Grants Rehearing in Part on NYISO Order No. 745 Compliance Filing
On January 20, 2017, President Donald Trump asked the heads of executive departments and agencies temporarily to refrain from sending regulations to the Office of the Federal Register (“OFR”), withdraw regulations that have been sent to the OFR but have not yet published in the Federal Register, and postpone certain regulations that have been published in the Federal Register but have not taken effect. In addition, on January 30, 2017, President Trump ordered executive departments and agencies to identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed for every new regulation proposed for notice and comment or otherwise promulgated (“January 30 Executive Order”). In a guidance memorandum released February 2, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) clarified, among other things, that the January 30 Executive Order does not apply to independent agencies such as FERC. Continue Reading President Trump Asks Agencies to Freeze Regulations, Orders Agencies to Repeal Two Regulations for Every New Regulation Promulgated
On February 2, 2017, FERC rejected the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc’s. (“MISO”) proposed Competitive Retail Solution (“CRS Proposal”), which would have bifurcated the MISO capacity market into two distinct market clearing processes – the existing Planning Resource Auction (“PRA”) and a newly proposed, three-year forward capacity auction (“FCA”) for jurisdictions that had implemented retail choice initiatives. FERC found that the proposed bifurcated construct could potentially have adverse impacts on price formation in both the PRA and the FCA.
On February 1, 2017 FERC issued an order approving a settlement between its Office of Enforcement (“Enforcement”) and Houston-based power marketer GDF SUEZ Energy Marketing NA, Inc. (“GSEMNA”) following an investigation into whether GSEMNA violated FERC’s anti-manipulation regulations from May 2011 to September 2013. As part of the agreement, GSEMNA neither admitted to nor denied the alleged market manipulation violations, but agreed to be subject to monitoring and annual compliance reporting as well as to pay a disgorgement of $40.8 million in unjust profits and a civil penalty of $41 million to the U.S. Treasury. Continue Reading FERC and Power Marketer GSEMNA Reach $80 Million Enforcement Settlement over Alleged Market Manipulation
On January 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order and two Presidential Memoranda directing relevant federal agencies to take expedited review and approval action on various infrastructure projects, including the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects. Additionally, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum directing relevant federal agencies to develop a plan under which all new U.S. pipeline projects will use domestically sourced materials and equipment.