On October 2, 2019, revisions to the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (“SPP”) Membership Agreement went into effect without an order, as FERC lacked a quorum to rule on SPP’s proposal due to Commissioner Richard Glick’s ongoing recusal in certain proceedings at FERC (see October 3, 2019 edition of the WER). SPP’s filing on August 2, 2019 proposed new definitions for the terms Load Serving Entity (“LSE”) and non-LSE to its Membership Agreement. A joint statement from Chairman Neil Chatterjee and Bernard McNamee indicated that they would have accepted the revisions as requested.
Since 2013, SPP has required members submitting a notice of intent to withdraw from SPP to also pay a deposit to defray costs SPP would incur while processing the withdrawal. While the Membership Agreement specifies that in such cases LSEs must pay a $150,000 deposit and non-LSEs must pay a $50,000 deposit, it did not define those entities. SPP’s proposed revisions therefore were intended to provide clarity as to which level of withdrawal deposit applies in the event a member submits a notice of intent to withdraw from SPP.
Commissioner Glick issued a statement referencing his pledge to recuse himself from any matters in which Avangrid, Inc. or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries (“Avangrid”) is a party until November 29, 2019. Although Avangrid is not a party to this proceeding, Commissioner Glick explained that the substantive issues presented relate directly to a contested issue in a separate FERC docket where Avangrid has intervened. Thus, out of an abundance of caution, Commissioner Glick chose not to take part in the SPP proceeding.
If FERC does not act on a section 205 filing within the 60-day period established therein because FERC lacks a quorum, the filing becomes effective by operation of law. In such cases, each Commissioner is required under section 205(g)(1)(B) to provide a written statement explaining his or her views, which are then added to the official record.