On September 1, 2017, FERC rejected without prejudice the California Independent System Operator Corporation’s (“CAISO”) April 18, 2017 proposal to revise the CAISO Tariff to create a new class of participating transmission owner (“PTO”) called the “Certified Small PTO,” whose low-voltage, generator-interconnection-driven network upgrade costs would be allocated regionally, rather than locally. Continue Reading FERC Rejects CAISO Tariff Amendments Creating New Class of Participating Transmission Owner

On July 25, 2017, two weeks after an Illinois federal judge issued a similar ruling, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York (“District Court”) issued an order dismissing challenges to a New York state “zero emission credit” (“ZEC”) program established by the New York Public Service Commission (“NYPSC”).  As with the Illinois court’s decision regarding the Illinois ZEC program (see July 25, 2017 edition of the WER), the District Court found the New York ZEC program constitutional and determined that the challengers lacked a private right of action to challenge the New York ZEC program on preemption and dormant commerce clause grounds.  Nevertheless, the District Court reached, and rejected, the merits of those challenges. On August 24, 2017 the case was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Continue Reading Federal District Court Dismisses Challenges to New York ZEC Program

On July 14, 2017, the New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (“NYISO”) filed proposed revisions to its Market Administration and Control Area Services Tariff (“Tariff”) designed to: (i) enhance the rules governing the forecasts determined and used by the NYISO in the course of making determinations under its Buyer-Side Market Power Mitigation Measures for Installed Capacity (“BSM Rules”); and (ii) improve the rules governing the use of escalation factors and inflation rates under the BSM Rules (“July 14 Filing”).  NYISO requested that the revisions become effective September 12, 2017, and stated that this effective date would enable NYISO to apply the revised Tariff provisions when making its determinations under the BSM Rules for resources in Class Year 2017. Continue Reading NYISO Proposes Enhancements to Buyer-Side Mitigation Rules for Installed Capacity Market

On July 7, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) vacated and remanded a set of FERC orders that revised the minimum offer price rule (“MOPR”) of PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”).  The D.C. Circuit held that FERC exceeded its role under Federal Power Act (“FPA”) Section 205 by imposing changes that amounted to an “entirely new rate scheme” for PJM. Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Rejects FERC’s use of FPA Section 205 to Revise PJM Minimum Offer Price Rule

On June 30, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) denied a petition by Seminole Electric Cooperative, Inc. (“Seminole”) seeking to increase the refund amount FERC ordered Florida Power & Light Company (“FP&L”) to pay Seminole for overcharges related to energy imbalance services.  Seminole raised two challenges to FERC’s refund order: (1) FERC improperly restricted the refund period to twenty-four months, as opposed to the full four and a half year period for which FP&L overcharged Seminole for energy imbalance services; and (2) FERC failed to require that energy imbalance charges be apportioned among the three tiers established in Schedule 4 of FP&L’s Tariff. Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Rejects Seminole Electric Cooperative’s Appeal for Additional Refunds

On June 22, 2017, both chambers of the New York State Legislature unanimously passed legislation—Senate Bill 5190 and Assembly Bill 6571 (collectively, the “Bill”)—which would require the New York Public Service Commission (“NYPSC”) to commence a proceeding to establish an Energy Storage Deployment Program for the State of New York within ninety days of the Bill’s effective date.  The Bill would also require that, no later than January 1, 2018, the NYPSC establish a target for the installation of energy storage systems through 2030, and programs that will enable the State of New York to meet those targets.  The Bill now heads to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signature. Continue Reading New York Legislature Unanimously Passes Bill Directing NYPSC to Establish Energy Storage Target by January 1, 2018

On June 8, 2017, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) released a report on the August 2016 Blue Cut Fire, which resulted in the loss of 1,200 megawatts (“MW”) of solar photovoltaic (“PV”) power generation.  NERC’s report contains recommendations for avoiding similar incidents by reconfiguring solar inverters, the devices that convert solar energy from direct current to alternating current. Continue Reading NERC Recommends Inverter Changes After California Fire Disrupts Solar Generation

On June 6, 2017, the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources voted to advance the nominations of FERC Nominees Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to the Senate floor.  The Committee approved both Nominee Chatterjee and Nominee Powelson by a vote of 20-3 each.  The vote follows the Nominees’ public testimony before the Committee on May 25, 2017 (see May 31, 2017 edition of the WER).

If the Nominees are confirmed by the Senate and sworn in, FERC will have a three-Commissioner quorum that is required to conduct business under the Department of Energy Organization Act (see February 21, 2017 edition of the WER).

On June 1, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) dismissed LSP Transmission Holdings, LLC’s and LS Power Transmission, LLC’s (collectively, “LS Power”) challenges to Southwest Power Pool, Inc.’s (“SPP”) tariff revisions regarding the criteria SPP considers in its Order No. 1000 planning process to select developers for transmission projects identified for cost allocation through the Order No. 1000 planning process.  In doing so, the D.C. Circuit held that LS Power lacked standing to challenge FERC’s orders approving SPP’s tariff revisions because LS Power has no active bids to build a transmission project, nor has LS Power had a bid rejected by SPP. Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Dismisses Challenge to FERC’s Approval of SPP’s Order No. 1000 Tariff Revisions

On May 25, 2017, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominees Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, marking their first joint appearance before the Committee since their nomination by President Trump (see May 9, 2017 edition of the WER). Continue Reading FERC Nominees Chatterjee and Powelson Testify before Senate Energy Committee