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Wellinghoff Discusses FERC Accomplishments

On April 26, 2012, FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff met with reporters to discuss the Commission’s accomplishments over the last year.  Wellinghoff focused on the steps FERC has taken in the past year to fulfill its mission of “ensuring consumers have reliable, efficient and sustainable energy.”  In addition, FERC’s Office of Energy Projects released a list of Energy Infrastructure Issuances from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012, which noted that FERC licensed 50 hydropower projects, certificated 22 natural gas pipeline projects and 13 natural gas storage projects.

In the roundtable with reporters, Wellinghoff discussed several Final Rules issued by the Commission, including the Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation Final Rule (Order No. 1000), the Frequency Regulation Service Compensation Final Rule (Order No. 755).  Wellinghoff highlighted the key aspects of Order No. 1000, including regional development of transmission plans and cost allocation methods which consider benefits of new transmission facilities.  Chairman Wellinghoff also discussed the cost allocation principles outlined in Order No. 1000 (see July 22, 2011 edition of the WER).  Order No. 755 addressed maintaining frequency of the transmission system.  Wellinghoff explained how Order No. 755 will require Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTOs”) and Independent System Operators (“ISOs”) to compensate resources based on the actual services provided.  

In addition to transmission planning, cost allocation and frequency regulation issues, Wellinghoff highlighted the Commission’s efforts concerning electric market transparency and surveillance.   He focused particularly on Order No. 760 concerning electronic delivery of data from RTOs and ISOs.   Further, Wellinghoff described the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking aimed at extending electronic quarterly report filing requirements to certain non-public utilities.  Wellinghoff also noted several Notices of Inquiry, one concerning transmission pricing reform and the need for comment concerning FERC’s incentive rate program and one concerning the ability of resources to provide ancillary services.

At the Reporters Roundtable, Wellinghoff also described the issue of coordination between natural gas and electricity, and in particular, comments sought by Commissioner Philip Moeller on this issue (see February 13, 2012 edition of the WER).  In terms of natural gas market regulation, Wellinghoff highlighted Order Nos. 757 and 894 which address elimination of duplicative semi-annual storage reporting requirements and bidding by affiliates in open seasons (see January 23, 2012 edition of the WER).

A copy of the summary is available here.