On December 30, 2016, FERC accepted the California Independent System Operator Corporation’s (“CAISO”) proposed revisions to the definition of “Load Serving Entity” under its tariff. In particular, CAISO’s proposed tariff revisions seek to add a new class of end user Load Serving Entities that: (1) are the ultimate consumers of electricity; (2) have legal authority to serve load through the purchase of energy from an entity that is not a Load Serving Entity; and (3) have exercised their right to purchase electricity from a party that is not serving as the Load Serving Entity for the transaction. Continue Reading FERC Approves Revised Definition of “Load Serving Entity” in CAISO

On January 4, 2017, FERC issued an order conditionally accepting certain Open Access Transmission Tariff (“Tariff”) revisions submitted by the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (“SPP”) in November 2016. The proposed Tariff revisions amend Attachment AE of the SPP Tariff, including the sections governing the Auction Revenue Right (“ARR”) Allocation and Transmission Congestion Right (“TCR”) Offer and Bid submittal processes in SPP’s Integrated Marketplace. Continue Reading FERC Conditionally Accepts Modifications to SPP Integrated Marketplace

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 6, 2016, FERC issued an order partially denying and partially granting a complaint brought by a coalition of transmission customers (“Coalition”) of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (“MISO”). The Coalition argued that MISO misapplied portions of its open access transmission tariff (“OATT” or “Tariff”) regarding the 2016/2017 planning year resource auction. Although the Commission rejected the Coalition’s argument that MISO utilized an unjust and unreasonable methodology for calculating Sub-Regional Export and Import constraints for the 2016/2017 auction, FERC found that prospective application of those methodologies was no longer just and reasonable, and directed MISO to modify its Tariff accordingly. Continue Reading FERC Partially Denies and Grants Customer Complaint Regarding MISO Planning Auction and Sub-Regional Export and Import Constraints

On November 30, 2016, FERC issued an order accepting tariff revisions filed by Public Service Company of Colorado (“PSCo”) regarding penalty charges for energy imbalance and generator imbalance services under Schedules 4 and 9 of PSCo’s open access transmission tariff (“OATT”). FERC found the revisions, which PSCo filed to address the influx of variable wind generation on its system, to provide incentives for accurate scheduling from transmission customers. Continue Reading FERC Approves PSCo Tariff Revisions Regarding Energy and Generator Imbalance Penalty Charges

On November 17, 2016, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) in which it proposed to amend its regulations to require each Regional Transmission Organization and Independent System Operator (“RTO/ISO”) to revise its tariff to: (i) establish a participation model consisting of market rules that, recognizing the physical and operational characteristics of electric storage resources, accommodates their participation in organized wholesale electric markets; and (ii) define distributed energy resource aggregators as a type of market participant that can participate in organized wholesale electric markets under the participation model that best accommodates the physical and operational characteristics of its distributed energy resource aggregation. FERC stated that it was taking this action “to remove barriers to the participation of electric storage resources and distributed energy resource aggregations” in RTO/ISO markets, pursuant to its statutory obligation under the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) to ensure that RTO/ISO tariffs are just and reasonable and not unduly discriminatory or preferential. Continue Reading FERC Issues NOPR Proposing to Better-Integrate Electricity Storage into Organized Wholesale Markets

On November 17, 2016, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) in which it proposed modifications to its pro forma interconnection agreements that would require new generating facilities to install and enable primary frequency response equipment as a condition of interconnection. FERC explained that the proposed modifications are intended to address industry-wide reliability concerns related to declining frequency response performance. Continue Reading FERC Issues NOPR Proposing to Include Primary Frequency Response Provisions in <em>Pro Forma</em> Generation Interconnection Agreements

On November 4, 2016, FERC issued an order denying a complaint filed by HORUS Central Valley Solar 1, LLC and HORUS Central Valley Solar 2, LLC (jointly, “HORUS”) against the California Independent System Operator Corporation (“CAISO”). In the complaint, HORUS requested that the Commission prevent CAISO from imposing interconnection procedures and study requirements in addition to those already imposed on HORUS by the Western Area Power Administration (“WAPA”). In denying the complaint, FERC reaffirmed its existing policy that generators must obtain transmission service at or beyond the point where facility ownership changes, as well as beyond the interconnection point with the wider integrated grid. Because HORUS sought to connect to WAPA-owned interconnection facilities, and those facilities in turn interconnected with CAISO, HORUS was required to comply with both WAPA’s and CAISO’s interconnection procedures. Continue Reading FERC Upholds Applicability of CAISO Interconnection Procedures for Third-Parties Directly Interconnecting to WAPA-Owned Facilities

On November 1, 2016, FERC dismissed a complaint filed by the Vote Solar Initiative and the Montana Environmental Information Center (collectively, “Vote Solar”) against the Montana Public Service Commission (“Montana Commission”) alleging that the Montana Commission violated section 210 of the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (“PURPA”) by suspending NorthWestern Energy’s (“NorthWestern”) obligation to adhere to a standard rate for solar qualifying facilities (“QFs”) with a nameplate capacity between 100 kW and 3 MW. FERC dismissed the complaint on the grounds that: (i) it does not have jurisdiction to order the Montana Commission to take or not take particular actions; and (ii) Vote Solar is neither a QF nor an electric utility, and therefore is not permitted to file a petition for enforcement pursuant to section 210 of PURPA. Continue Reading FERC Dismisses Vote Solar PURPA Complaint Against Montana Commission, Citing Lack of Jurisdiction and Standing

On October 28, 2016, FERC issued an order that both partially accepted compliance filings and also denied rehearing requests from PJM Interconnection, LLC (“PJM”), Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (“MISO”) and MISO Transmission Owners regarding Order No. 1000 interregional compliance filings. Of particular concern for the Commission was the parties’ MISO-PJM Joint Operating Agreement (“MISO-PJM JOA”), and whether it failed to satisfy certain required Interregional Cost Allocation Principles. This is the third such order to address the parties’ compliance with the interregional transmission coordination and cost allocation requirements of Order No. 1000. Continue Reading FERC Denies Rehearing of PJM and MISO Order No. 1000 Interregional Compliance Filings