On March 9, 2017, FERC issued notice that FERC staff will convene a technical conference on June 26, 27, and 28, 2017 to explore opportunities for increasing market and planning efficiency through improved software. FERC staff will facilitate a discussion regarding advances in market modeling that have the potential to improve efficiency. FERC will accept comments following the conference, with a deadline of July 31, 2017. Continue Reading FERC to Convene Technical Conference on Increasing Real-Time and Day-Ahead Market Efficiency through Improved Software
On March 3, 2017, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (“SPP”) filed revisions to its Open Access Transmission Tariff (“Tariff”) to implement a Resource Adequacy Requirement (“RAR”) applicable to all entities responsible for serving load (“LREs”) within the SPP Balancing Authority Area (“BAA”). SPP seeks to implement the RAR for the forthcoming summer period from June 1, 2017 through September 30, 2017, while delaying the assessment of penalties for non-compliance until the 2018 RAR cycle.
On February 24, 2017, the Balancing Authority of Northern California (“BANC”) – acting on behalf of its member, Sacramento Municipal Utility District – entered into an Implementation Agreement with the California Independent System Operator Corporation (“CAISO”) to participate in CAISO’s western Energy Imbalance Market (“EIM”). BANC had announced in October of 2016 that it would begin negotiations on behalf of its members to develop the Implementation Agreement. Going forward, participation in the EIM will require participating transmission service providers in the BANC balancing authority area to revise their open access transmission tariffs to reflect CAISO’s rules and procedures governing the EIM and to execute service agreements associated with the EIM.
ISO New England, Inc. (“ISO New England”) has published its 2017 Regional Electricity Outlook, an annual report intended to keep stakeholders informed about issues affecting the grid and the ISO’s actions to ensure a modern, reliable power system for New England. The report includes an address from each of ISO New England’s Board Chair and its Chief Executive Officer. Both addresses warn against the threat that inadequate supply of natural gas to fuel generators poses to the ISO New England transmission system’s reliability. Additionally, the report examines the challenge of balancing competitive markets with state environmental policies. The report also provides performance metrics and updates on ISO New England’s initiatives related to cyber security, stakeholder processes, and compliance with the standards and directives issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, and the Northeast Power Coordinating Council.
ISO New England’s 2017 Regional Electricity Outlook can be found here.
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.