On June 12, 2018, FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, through a concurrence in an order denying rehearing (“Rehearing Order”), announced that going forward she will try to consider and disclose the upstream and downstream greenhouse gas (“GHG”) impacts of proposed pipeline projects, even if such information is generic and ignored, as part of FERC’s public interest determination.  In the Rehearing Order, Commissioner LaFleur calculated her own estimation of the total downstream GHG emissions as part of her environmental review in the proceeding, even though the majority did not. Continue Reading Commissioner LaFleur Calculates Downstream GHG Impacts of Pipeline Project in Concurrence

On June 12, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) rejected challenges to FERC orders modifying PJM’s financial transmission right (“FTR”) and auction revenue right (“ARR”) designs.  FERC had ordered changes to PJM’s FTR/ARR designs to address PJM’s inability to make all of the payments owed to FTR owners. Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC’s Changes to PJM’s FTR and ARR Designs

On May 29, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and FERC argued in a joint brief (“Joint Brief”) filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (“Seventh Circuit”) that Illinois’ plan to provide credits to nuclear power plants does not interfere with FERC’s authority over wholesale electricity markets.  DOJ and FERC filed the Joint Brief in response to the Seventh Circuit’s request asking the agencies for their views on whether the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) preempts Illinois’ zero emission credits program (“Illinois ZEC Program”). Continue Reading FERC/DOJ Argue that Federal Power Act Does Not Preempt Illinois’ Zero Emission Credits Program

On May 22, 2018, GlidePath Power Solutions LLC (“GlidePath”) filed a complaint with FERC under sections 206 and 306 of the Federal Power Act alleging that PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) improperly rejected GlidePath’s interconnection request for a proposed battery storage facility (the “Project”).  GlidePath alleged that PJM relied on an impermissible interpretation of its generator interconnection rules, which require demonstration of site control, to unjustly deny interconnection service for the Project, resulting in cancellation of the Project’s interconnection request.  In its complaint, GlidePath requested that FERC find that PJM unjustly, unreasonably, and incorrectly applied its rules regarding site control, and that PJM must restore the queue position held by the Project.  Continue Reading Complaint Asserts PJM Impermissibly Revised Generation Site Control Requirements

On May 17, 2018, FERC issued Order No. 833-A wherein it denied rehearing of Order No. 833 and granted, in part, Edison Electric Institute’s (“EEI”) request for clarification of Order No. 833.  Order No. 833 amended FERC’s regulations regarding Critical Energy Infrastructure Information (“CEII”), as directed by the FAST Act.  The FAST Act, signed into law on December 4, 2015, added section 215A to the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) to improve the security and resilience of energy infrastructure in the face of emergencies.  The FAST Act also directed FERC to issue regulations on the procedures for designating certain material as CEII, provided for the imposition of sanctions on any party who knowingly discloses CEII, and authorized the voluntary sharing of CEII material. Continue Reading FERC Clarifies CEII Rules

On May 8, 2018, FERC rejected PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.’s (“PJM”) proposed revisions to its Open Access Transmission Tariff (“Tariff”) and Reliability Assurance Agreement Among Load Serving Entities in the PJM Region.  PJM stated that these revisions would reform its Incremental Auctions and its method for addressing excess capacity in the PJM region (“Incremental Auction Proposal”).  PJM specified that its current market rules do not protect against, and may in fact provide an incentive to engage in, speculative behavior, which distort price signals on the value of capacity.  FERC rejected PJM’s Incremental Auction Proposal because, according to FERC, PJM did not support its argument that speculative behavior is actually transpiring, and PJM already had procedures in place to address this activity if it is actually occurring. Continue Reading FERC Rejects PJM Tariff Proposal to Reduce Capacity Market Arbitraging

On April 27, 2018 (“April 27 Order”), FERC denied a rehearing request of Basin Electric Power Cooperative (“Basin Electric”), Heartland Consumers Power District (“Heartland”), and Missouri River Energy Services (“Missouri River”; collectively, “Rehearing Parties”).  The Rehearing Parties contended that their grandfathered agreement regarding the Missouri Basin Power Project was eligible for carve-out treatment under the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (“SPP”) Open Access Transmission Tariff (“SPP Tariff”).  In this proceeding, “carve-out treatment” refers to an exemption from congestion charges and marginal losses.  FERC ultimately rejected the rehearing request because it found, among other reasons, that Rehearing Parties are not similarly situated to another party, who had already been given carve-out treatment. Continue Reading FERC Rejects Rehearing Request Regarding SPP Congestion Charge Exemptions

On April 24, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) held that FERC lacks jurisdiction over certain of the City of Clarksville, Tennessee’s (“Clarksville”) interstate sales of natural gas for resale, because the plain language of the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”) excludes sales by municipalities from FERC’s jurisdiction, which extends to interstate sales of natural gas for resale under NGA section 7. Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Holds that FERC Lacks Jurisdiction over Certain Interstate Gas Sales by Municipalities

On April 19, 2018, FERC issued a final rule (“Order No. 844”) addressing transparency in markets operated by Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTOs”) and Independent System Operators (“ISOs”).  FERC required that each RTO/ISO establish in its tariff: requirements to report information about uplift payments for each resource and transmission zone; requirements to report information on each operator-initiated commitment; and the transmission constraint penalty factors used in its market software.  Order No. 844 will become effective 75 days after publication in the Federal Register. Continue Reading FERC Issues Final Rule Regarding Transparency in Price Formation

On April 10, 2018, FERC approved a Stipulation and Consent Agreement (“Settlement”) among the Office of Enforcement (“OE”), ETRACOM LLC (“ETRACOM”), and Michael Rosenberg (together, with ETRACOM, “Respondents”) as in the public interest.  OE claimed that Respondents violated federal law and FERC’s rules against anti-manipulation in the California Independent System Operator Corp. (“CAISO”) wholesale electric market.  FERC determined that the Settlement was fair and reasonable and resolved all outstanding claims and proceedings between OE and the Respondents. Continue Reading FERC Approves Settlement with ETRACOM for Market Manipulation Allegations