On November 9, 2017, FERC issued an order conditionally accepting proposed revisions to Attachment AE of the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (“SPP”) Open Access Transmission Tariff (“Tariff”).  SPP’s proposed Tariff revisions modify SPP’s so-called “scarcity pricing” methodology in response to FERC Order No. 825.  Under this newly-approved methodology, SPP will institute variable demand curves that will more accurately reflect the value of resources during times of shortages, thereby reducing price signal distortions that can reduce incentives for resources to respond to dispatch signals.  In its order conditionally accepting the Tariff revisions, FERC directed SPP to make a compliance filing to show that certain provisions be placed in SPP’s Tariff as opposed to its Marketplace Protocols. Continue Reading FERC Conditionally Accepts SPP Tariff Revisions to Implement Contingency and Regulation Reserve Demand Curves

On October 31, 2017, FERC accepted proposed revisions to the ISO New England, Inc. (“ISO-NE”) Transmission, Markets and Services Tariff (“Tariff”) to incorporate a methodology for interconnection request cluster studies, which were filed by ISO-NE, the New England Power Pool Participants Committee, and the Participating Transmission Owners Administrative Committee on behalf of the Participating Transmission Owners (collectively, the “Filing Parties”).  Under the new revisions, which became effective on November 1, 2017, interconnection requests for resources located in the same electrical part of the ISO-NE system and that meet certain other criteria, will be studied together, as opposed to individually.  As part of the stakeholder discussions preceding the filing, ISO-NE developed a strategic infrastructure study to identify the transmission upgrades needed to interconnect remotely-located wind resources in Maine, which will serve as the first cluster study to proceed under the newly-accepted methodology. Continue Reading FERC Accepts ISO-NE Methodology for Interconnection Cluster Studies

On October 23, 2017, FERC approved San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s (“SDG&E”) and Sempra Gas & Power Marketing, LLC’s (“Sempra”; collectively, “Applicants”) request for authorization for SDG&E to purchase Resource Adequacy capacity at market-based rates from its affiliate, Sempra, pursuant to a competitive solicitation process.  In doing so, FERC concluded that the solicitation did not unduly favor Sempra and thus satisfied FERC’s concerns regarding affiliate abuse. Continue Reading FERC Approves Affiliate Transaction Between SDG&E and Sempra

On October 19, 2017, FERC ordered Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (“SPP”) to revise its Open Access Transmission Tariff (“OATT”) to provide that network customers with service subject to redispatch can only obtain Auction Revenue Rights (“ARRs”) and Long-Term Congestion Rights (“LTCRs”) for those times and in the amounts that service can be provided without redispatch. Continue Reading FERC Directs SPP to Change Eligibility for Certain Transmission Rights

On October 6, 2017, FERC rejected without prejudice Southwest Power Pool, Inc.’s (“SPP”) proposed tariff revisions and a cost sharing agreement related to two transmission projects with Associated Electric Cooperative (“AECI”), a rural electric cooperative that has member cooperatives in Missouri, Iowa, and Oklahoma, and City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri (“City Utilities”), a non-public utility that is a transmission-owning member of SPP.  AECI is not a member of SPP.  FERC found that SPP’s proposal did not allocate the costs of the proposed transmission projects to its beneficiaries in a “roughly commensurate” manner.  For this reason, FERC rejected SPP’s tariff revisions and cost sharing agreement without prejudice.  FERC’s action is notable in that cross-border projects have been few and far between in the post-Order No. 1000 world of transmission planning, and FERC might be expected to tout the success of its planning initiatives.  FERC nonetheless found the cost allocation proposals to have serious shortcomings.  Continue Reading FERC Rejects SPP’s Cost Allocation Plan for Two Interregional Transmission Projects

On October 6, 2017, FERC accepted a tariff filing from ISO New England Inc. (“ISO-NE”) proposing updated calculations for various Forward Capacity Market input values, including Cost of New Entry (“CONE”), Net CONE, and Offer Review Trigger Price (“ORTP”).  As part of its order, FERC also approved ISO-NE’s choice of a simple cycle gas turbine as the reference technology for establishing CONE and Net CONE values—thereby replacing the combined cycle natural gas turbine that had been used as a reference technology by ISO-NE since 2014. Continue Reading FERC Accepts ISO-NE’s Updated CONE and Other Forward Capacity Market Values

On October 4, 2017, FERC issued two separate orders clarifying its jurisdiction under sections 203 and 205 of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) related to certain project development activities.  In Ad Hoc Renewable Energy Financing Group, FERC granted a petition for declaratory order and confirmed that certain tax equity interests in public utilities do not constitute “voting securities” for purposes of FPA section 203 and therefore do not require prior FERC approval.  Separately, in ALLETE, Inc., FERC disclaimed jurisdiction under FPA section 205 over certain pre-construction activities and thereby found that ALLETE, Inc. did not need to file three pre-construction agreements with the agency.  Continue Reading FERC Issues Orders Clarifying Jurisdiction Over Specific Project Development Activities

On September 27, 2017, FERC issued an order granting a request from the New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (“NYISO”) to waive certain sections of its Market Administration and Control Area Services Tariff (“Tariff”) as they pertain to particular transmission shortage cost provisions.  NYISO submitted the waiver request in January 2017 to allow time to correct certain discrepancies with its Tariff and software used to resolve transmission constraints.  Continue Reading FERC Grants NYISO Waiver Request on Transmission Shortage Cost Provisions While NYISO Resolves Inconsistencies

On September 28, 2017, FERC accepted the change in status filing submitted by Portland General Electric Company (“Portland General”) and granted Portland General authorization to transact at market-based rates in the Energy Imbalance Market (“EIM”) administered by California Independent System Operator Corporation (“CAISO”).  Portland General’s change in status filing included a market power analysis examining the entire EIM footprint, as well as an analysis that the Portland General balancing authority area (“BAA”) will not be a submarket within the EIM, once Portland General begins its participation in the EIM on October 1, 2017. Continue Reading FERC Confirms Portland General Electric Company’s Market-Based Rate Authority to Bid into EIM

On September 20, 2017, FERC rejected the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“MISO”) proposed revisions to Attachment FF-6 of its Open Access Transmission, Energy and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff (“Tariff”).  Specifically, as part of its Order No. 1000 interregional planning and cost allocation efforts, MISO filed a proposed cost allocation plan for interregional projects that terminate wholly outside of MISO.  Ultimately, FERC found that MISO did not demonstrate how its proposed cost allocation plan was just and reasonable and therefore rejected MISO’s filing.  Continue Reading FERC Rejects MISO Tariff Revisions on Interregional Transmission Project Cost Allocation