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

On September 14, 2017, the Subcommittee on Energy of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on defining reliability in a transforming electricity industry.  During the hearing, committee members raised concerns about reliability and grid transformation in the face of cybersecurity threats and extreme weather.  FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee testified at the hearing that FERC would continue its role in ensuring “world-class reliability” during this grid transformation.  Continue Reading FERC Chairman Addresses Reliability in House Testimony

On September 1, 2017, FERC rejected without prejudice the California Independent System Operator Corporation’s (“CAISO”) April 18, 2017 proposal to revise the CAISO Tariff to create a new class of participating transmission owner (“PTO”) called the “Certified Small PTO,” whose low-voltage, generator-interconnection-driven network upgrade costs would be allocated regionally, rather than locally. Continue Reading FERC Rejects CAISO Tariff Amendments Creating New Class of Participating Transmission Owner

On July 25, 2017, two weeks after an Illinois federal judge issued a similar ruling, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York (“District Court”) issued an order dismissing challenges to a New York state “zero emission credit” (“ZEC”) program established by the New York Public Service Commission (“NYPSC”).  As with the Illinois court’s decision regarding the Illinois ZEC program (see July 25, 2017 edition of the WER), the District Court found the New York ZEC program constitutional and determined that the challengers lacked a private right of action to challenge the New York ZEC program on preemption and dormant commerce clause grounds.  Nevertheless, the District Court reached, and rejected, the merits of those challenges. On August 24, 2017 the case was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Continue Reading Federal District Court Dismisses Challenges to New York ZEC Program

On July 14, 2017, the New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (“NYISO”) filed proposed revisions to its Market Administration and Control Area Services Tariff (“Tariff”) designed to: (i) enhance the rules governing the forecasts determined and used by the NYISO in the course of making determinations under its Buyer-Side Market Power Mitigation Measures for Installed Capacity (“BSM Rules”); and (ii) improve the rules governing the use of escalation factors and inflation rates under the BSM Rules (“July 14 Filing”).  NYISO requested that the revisions become effective September 12, 2017, and stated that this effective date would enable NYISO to apply the revised Tariff provisions when making its determinations under the BSM Rules for resources in Class Year 2017. Continue Reading NYISO Proposes Enhancements to Buyer-Side Mitigation Rules for Installed Capacity Market

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 30, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) denied a petition by Seminole Electric Cooperative, Inc. (“Seminole”) seeking to increase the refund amount FERC ordered Florida Power & Light Company (“FP&L”) to pay Seminole for overcharges related to energy imbalance services.  Seminole raised two challenges to FERC’s refund order: (1) FERC improperly restricted the refund period to twenty-four months, as opposed to the full four and a half year period for which FP&L overcharged Seminole for energy imbalance services; and (2) FERC failed to require that energy imbalance charges be apportioned among the three tiers established in Schedule 4 of FP&L’s Tariff. Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Rejects Seminole Electric Cooperative’s Appeal for Additional Refunds

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 8, 2017, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) released a report on the August 2016 Blue Cut Fire, which resulted in the loss of 1,200 megawatts (“MW”) of solar photovoltaic (“PV”) power generation.  NERC’s report contains recommendations for avoiding similar incidents by reconfiguring solar inverters, the devices that convert solar energy from direct current to alternating current. Continue Reading NERC Recommends Inverter Changes After California Fire Disrupts Solar Generation