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 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 District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) denied petitions for review and upheld FERC’s interpretation of a transmission agreement (the “Operation Agreement”) between the Transmission Agency of Northern California (“TANC”) and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (“PG&E”). Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC’s Interpretation in TANC/PG&E Contract Dispute

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

On May 8, 2017, the nation’s Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators (“RTOs/ISOs”) submitted their respective compliance filings to implement the directives from FERC Order No. 831, which revised FERC’s regulations regarding incremental energy offer caps imposed by RTOs/ISOs. Continue Reading RTOs/ISOs Submit Order No. 831 Compliance Filings

President Donald Trump will nominate Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson as FERC Commissioners, the White House announced on Monday.

Chatterjee has been the energy policy adviser to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell since 2012.  Prior to that, Chatterjee worked as a lobbyist for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.  Powelson has served as a Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (“Pennsylvania PUC”) since 2008 and was Chairman of the Pennsylvania PUC for four years.  Powelson is also currently serving a one-year term as president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

If Chatterjee and Powelson are confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn in, FERC will no longer be without a quorum (see February 21, 2017 edition of the WER).

A copy of the White House’s announcement may be found here.

On April 21, 2017, the California Independent System Operator Corporation (“CAISO”) requested that FERC find CAISO’s current tariff just and reasonable, and that CAISO no longer needed to implement several outstanding directives that were issued in a 2006 order conditionally approving CAISO’s Market Redesign and Technology Upgrade (“MRTU”) tariff amendments, which were designed to, among other things, implement a nodal market in the CAISO footprint. Continue Reading CAISO Requests Removal of Remaining MRTU Directives

On April 14, 2017, Renewable Energy Systems Americas (“RES) and Invenergy Storage Development LLC (“Invenergy”) (collectively, the “Complainants”) filed a complaint with FERC against PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”), alleging that changes PJM made to a dispatch signal used in its Regulation market were unjust, unreasonable, and unduly discriminatory, and therefore in violation of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) and FERC precedent. Continue Reading RES and Invenergy Allege PJM’s Change to Regulation Market Dispatch Signal Harms Storage Resources

On April 13, 2017 the Energy Storage Association (“ESA”) filed a complaint with FERC, alleging that PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) had unilaterally implemented a series of changes to its Regulation market without FERC’s review and approval, in violation of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”).  ESA contended that its members who participate in the Regulation market had “suffered significant and detrimental financial harm” as a result of PJM’s changes, and that ESA was filing its complaint “to compel PJM to give the Commission the opportunity to determine whether each of these changes are just and reasonable and not unduly discriminatory.” Continue Reading Energy Storage Association Alleges Changes to PJM Regulation Market Violate FPA

On March 31, 2017, a group of California parties, consisting of various public power utilities and the California Public Utilities Commission (the “Complainants”), alleged in their complaint at FERC that Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (“PG&E”) proposed transmission rates in its eighteenth rate filing (“TO-18”) contained significant errors and overstated expenses.  The Complainants requested that FERC investigate the proposed TO-18 rates, which FERC had already set for hearing and settlement judge procedures in a separate proceeding. In addition, the Complainants requested that FERC exercise its authority to supplement the refund effective date established for the proposed TO-18 rates, in the event that the record eventually justified establishing a revenue requirement below PG&E’s last “clean” rate, established through settlement in its seventeenth rate filing (“TO-17”). Continue Reading California Parties Request Refunds from PG&E Based on Alleged Errors in Proposed Transmission Revenue Requirement