On November 16, 2017, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) in which it proposed to approve two Reliability Standards—PRC-027-1 (Coordination of Protection Systems for Performance During Faults) and PER-006-1 (Specific Training for Personnel)—that the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) submitted in a petition on September 2, 2016, and which are intended to replace currently-effective Reliability Standard PRC-001-1.1(ii) (System Protection Coordination).  FERC also proposed to direct NERC to modify PRC-027-1 to require an initial protection system coordination study to ensure that applicable entities will perform (or have performed), as a baseline, a study demonstrating proper coordination of their protection systems.  Lastly, FERC proposed in the NOPR to approve new and revised definitions to the NERC Glossary of Terms, the associated violation risk factors, violation severity levels, implementation plans, and effective dates for PRC-027-1 and PER-006-1, and the retirement of currently-effective PRC-001-1.1(ii). Continue Reading FERC Proposes Approval of Two Reliability Standards

The California Independent System Operator Corp. (“CAISO”) is moving forward on a slate of proposals which are intended to enhance grid reliability.  These proposals include addressing issues related to generation retirement, entering into a specific reliability must-run contract, modifications to incentives related to the resource adequacy program, as well as adjusting the compensation given to its Board of Governors (the “Board”).  On November 2, 2017, the Board approved the four proposals, and CAISO will file any resulting tariff related changes with FERC at a later date.   Continue Reading CAISO Board Approves Proposals to Enhance Grid Reliability

On October 20, 2017, FERC approved the California Independent System Operator Corporation’s (“CAISO”) proposal to revise tariff language as it relates to the procurement and cost allocation of black start capability.  Under the proposed changes, black start capability will be redefined as a reliability service instead of an ancillary service, with costs for black start services to be allocated to the participating transmission owner in the service area the resource is located.  The revisions will go into effect on November 1, 2017. Continue Reading FERC Approves CAISO Proposal on Generating Unit Black Start Capabilities

On October 25, 2017, FERC conditionally accepted the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“MISO”) December 16, 2016 proposed revisions to the MISO Tariff, which were designed to improve the efficiency of MISO’s process for charging interconnection customers for “Quarterly Operating Limit” studies.  FERC directed MISO to provide additional clarity in its proposed Tariff language and submit a compliance filing within thirty days. Continue Reading FERC Accepts MISO Proposal on Interconnection Study Deposits

On October 19, 2017, FERC accepted modifications to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“MISO”) Open Access Transmission, Energy, and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff (“Tariff”), subject to certain conditions and further compliance in response to FERC’s January 3, 2017 order (“January 3 Order”) directing MISO to modify certain provisions of its Generator Interconnection Procedures concerning how MISO provides interconnection service to two classes of interconnection customers.   Continue Reading FERC Conditionally Accepts MISO Interconnection Changes

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 3, 2017, FERC conditionally approved proposed revisions to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (“MISO”) and PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) Joint Operating Agreement (“JOA”) to create a new category of small interregional transmission projects, termed target market efficiency projects (“TMEPs”), intended to address congestion along both regional transmission organizations’ (“RTOs”) seams.  FERC approved the RTOs’ proposal, but required further revisions to ensure that the RTOs’ stakeholders receive adequate information regarding how each RTO evaluates proposed TMEP projects and determines their value as a solution to identified congestion points.  In a concurrent order released the same day, FERC approved MISO’s proposed plan for the assignment of TMEP costs within its region. Continue Reading FERC Conditionally Approves New Category of Interregional Transmission Projects Between MISO and PJM

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 19, 2017, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (“ENR Committee”) unanimously advanced FERC nominees Kevin McIntyre and Richard Glick to a full vote on the Senate floor.  If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. McIntyre and Mr. Glick will join current FERC Commissioners Cheryl A. LaFleur, Robert F. Powelson, and Chairman Neil Chatterjee to fill all five seats at the Commission.  Upon confirmation, Mr. McIntyre will become the new Chairman of FERC. Continue Reading Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Advances FERC Nominees for Confirmation

On September 7, 2017, FERC accepted an Implementation Agreement between the California Independent System Operator Corporation (“CAISO”) and Powerex Corp. (“Powerex”), setting forth the terms under which CAISO will work toward Powerex’s participation in CAISO’s Energy Imbalance Market (“EIM”). Continue Reading FERC Accepts Implementation for Powerex Participation in Western Imbalance Market