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 21, 2017, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (“Sixth Circuit”) upheld FERC’s determination that American Transmission Systems (“ATS”) and Duke Energy Ohio, Inc. (“Duke”) are not required to pay for projects that the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (“MISO”) approved after ATS and Duke announced separately that they would be withdrawing from MISO, but prior to their actual departures.

Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Holds that Departing Transmission Owners are Not Responsible for MISO Multi-Value Project Costs

On June 8, 2017, the California Independent System Operator (“CAISO”) released the draft final proposal of Phase 2 of its energy storage and distributed energy resources (“ESDER”) initiative.  The aim of the proposal is to lower the barrier to entry and market participation for various transmission grid-connected energy storage and distribution-connected resources. “Integrating these resources,” the proposal states, “will help lower carbon emissions and add operational flexibility.” Continue Reading CAISO Issues Draft Final Proposal on Energy Storage and Distributed Energy Resources

On June 5, 2017, Advanced Energy Economy (“Advanced”), a national trade association representing organizations within the energy efficiency, demand response, and other advanced energy industry sectors, filed a petition for a declaratory order with FERC.  Among other things, the petition requests that FERC assert exclusive jurisdiction over how Energy Efficiency Resources (“EERs”) can participate in markets operated by Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators (“RTOs/ISOs”).  In particular, Advanced highlights a recent proposal from PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) to initiate a stakeholder process to ultimately grant state regulators the authority to bar, restrict, or otherwise condition EER participation in PJM’s capacity market.  The petition, filed while FERC still lacks a quorum to take action, came just days before the Kentucky Public Service Commission (“KYPSC”) issued an order restricting participation of EERs in PJM wholesale markets. Continue Reading AEE Requests Declaratory Rulings on Federal Preemption for Energy Efficiency Resources in FERC-Regulated Markets

In an unpublished opinion issued May 12, 2017, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (“Ninth Circuit”) affirmed the dismissal of a civil suit alleging that a JPMorgan Chase & Co. subsidiary—J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corporation (“JPM Ventures”)—fraudulently manipulated rates in the California wholesale electricity market in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Dismisses RICO Class Action Against Power Marketer on Filed-Rate Doctrine Grounds

On May 12, 2017, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) submitted to FERC revisions to the PJM Open Access Transmission Tariff (“OATT”), Attachment K-Appendix and the PJM Amended and Restated Operating Agreement, Schedule 1 to implement changes to the Operating Reserve demand curves (“ORDC”) that are embedded in PJM’s real-time market clearing engines.  According to PJM, the proposed changes to the ORDC are necessary to set clearing prices relative to the degree of severity of a reserve shortage. Continue Reading PJM Proposes Changes to Operating Reserve Demand Curves to Reduce Reserve Shortage Pricing

On May 18, 2017, ISO New England Inc. (“ISO-NE”) and the New England Power Pool Participants Committee (together with ISO-NE, the “Filing Parties”) proposed revisions to the ISO-NE/New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (“NYISO”) Coordination Agreement (the “NE/NY Coordination Agreement”) and the term sheet indicating the price of emergency energy sold to Hydro-Quebec Transenergie (“HQTE”) by ISO-NE (the “HQTE EE Pricing Schedule”) to reflect changes that were implemented to ISO-NE’s Market Rule regarding emergency energy purchases and sales.  The NE/NY Coordination Agreement specifies, among other things, the terms and conditions under which a control area will provide energy to the neighboring control area during emergency conditions.  These terms and conditions include the price one control area will charge the other for providing emergency energy.  Continue Reading ISO-NE Proposes Modifications to Pricing for Sales of Emergency Energy to NYISO, Hydro Quebec

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

On May 1-2, 2017, FERC staff held a technical conference on wholesale energy and capacity market design, focused on markets operated by ISO New England Inc. (“ISO-NE”), New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (“NYISO”), and PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) (collectively, “Eastern RTOs and ISOs”).  The goal of the conference was to explore the balance between FERC’s regulation of these competitive wholesale markets and recent efforts by states to ensure that certain categories of generating resources receive sufficient revenue to continue operating.  Stakeholders from various sectors of the electricity industry attended to express concern that these eastern organized markets require regulatory intervention of some sort—with a regulatory response from FERC unlikely to take place until at least a three-Commissioner quorum is established. Continue Reading FERC Holds Technical Conference to Explore Fundamental Design Issues in Eastern Organized Markets

On April 21, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (“Ninth Circuit”) held that: (1) FERC did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in ordering the California Independent System Operator Corporation (“CAISO”) and California Power Exchange Corporation (“Cal-PX”) to net sales and purchases over hourly intervals when calculating refunds to entities that participated in the CAISO and Cal-PX markets during the California energy crisis of 2000-2001; and (2) that FERC did act arbitrarily and capriciously in allocating a $5 million refund shortfall only to net buyers instead of all market participants.  The Ninth Circuit opinion is the latest adjudicatory decision in a series of administrative hearings and judicial appeals arising out of the California energy crisis.

Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Upholds FERC’s Hourly Netting Refund Methodology, but Overturns FERC’s Treatment of $5 Million Refund Deficit Related to California Energy Crisis