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 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 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 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.
On January 19, 2017, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) proposing to reform approaches to real-time uplift cost allocation and transparency practices by Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTO”) and Independent System Operators (“ISO”). FERC stated that the proposed reforms to uplift cost allocation should incentivize market participants to schedule sufficient resources to satisfy the system’s real-time needs, thus avoiding RTO’s/ISO’s need to procure additional resources after the day-ahead market has cleared. Meanwhile, FERC stated that the proposed reforms to transparency practices will help market participants understand how prices reflect the actual marginal cost of serving load and the operational constraints of reliably operating the system.
On January 6, 2017, FERC accepted PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.’s (“PJM”) proposal to change its pricing methodology for the release of excess capacity in its upcoming Third Incremental Auction for the 2017/18 Delivery Year. FERC concluded that PJM will be permitted to use the revised pricing rules to release excess capacity exclusively for PJM’s Third Incremental Auction for the 2017/18 Delivery Year.
On January 3, 2017, FERC accepted the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“MISO”) proposed revisions to its Generator Interconnection Procedures (“GIP”) and its pro forma Generator Interconnection Agreement (“GIA”) contained in Attachment X of its Open Access Transmission, Energy and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff (“Tariff”). MISO’s revisions result from an extensive stakeholder process intended to improve the efficiency of its queue for generator interconnection projects. Continue Reading FERC Accepts MISO’s Revisions to Generator Interconnection Procedures
On December 15, 2016, FERC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NOPR”) that proposed to establish a set of fast-start pricing requirements applicable to regional transmission organizations (“RTO”) and independent system operators (“ISO”). FERC indicated it was issuing the NOPR to address concerns that rates for fast-start resources in RTO and ISO day-ahead and real-time markets do not reflect the value of fast-start resources. Continue Reading FERC Proposes Fast-Start Resource Pricing Rules for RTOs and ISOs
On December 5, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (“Eighth Circuit”) ruled that the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota (“District Court”) did not have federal question jurisdiction over the breach of contract suit filed in Great Lakes Transmission Limited Partnership v. Essar Steel Minnesota., LLC. The Eighth Circuit vacated the lower court’s $32.9 million judgment in favor of the pipeline and remanded for dismissal. Continue Reading Eighth Circuit Rules No Federal Question Jurisdiction Over Breach of Contract Claim Involving Pipeline Transportation Agreement
On November 29, 2016, FERC granted Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc’s. (“MISO”) request for waiver of (1) the $1,000/MWh energy offer price cap (“Offer Cap”) on incremental energy offers in MISO’s day-ahead and real-time energy markets established in its Open Access Transmission, Energy, and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff (“Tariff”), and (2) the process that MISO’s Independent Market Monitor (“Market Monitor”) uses to establish reference levels for generation resources in MISO. Going forward, MISO resources will be allowed to include costs above the $1000/MWh Offer Cap in their supply offers from December 1, 2016, through April 30, 2017.