On November 19, 2018, FERC accepted ISO New England Inc.’s (“ISO-NE”) request to terminate the capacity supply obligation (“CSO”) of the Clear River Unit 1 natural gas-fired generator (“Clear River”) for the 2021–2022 Capacity Commitment Period. In doing so, FERC found that ISO-NE had the right under its Tariff to terminate Clear River’s CSO because Clear River’s project sponsor, Invenergy Energy Management LLC (“Invenergy”), had covered Clear River’s CSO for two consecutive Capacity Commitment Periods. In the same order, FERC denied Invenergy’s request for waiver of certain provisions of ISO-NE’s Tariff related to the termination of Clear River’s CSO. Continue Reading FERC Accepts ISO New England’s Termination of Planned Generator’s Capacity Supply Obligation

On October 15, 2018, FERC issued two orders involving rate of return on equity (“ROE”): the first was an order directing parties in two proceedings involving the base ROE of the transmission owning members of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (“MISO”) to submit briefs concerning a proposed change in FERC’s approach to determining the base ROE of public utilities previously outlined in Martha Coakley v. Bangor Hydro-Elec. Co. (“Coakley Briefing Order”) (see October 25, 2018 edition of the WER); the second was an order providing guidance regarding the effect of the Coakley Briefing Order on pending proceedings involving base ROE issues that have been set for hearing and settlement judge procedures.

Continue Reading FERC Directs Briefing on Application of New ROE Methodology

On November 5, 2018, FERC granted in part and denied in part a rehearing request (“Rehearing Order”) filed by Ameren Services Company (“Ameren Services”), on behalf of its affiliate Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (together with Ameren Services, “Ameren”) of a FERC order (“February 13 Order”) denying Ameren’s request pursuant to Order No. 679 for a 100 basis point incentive rate of return on equity (“ROE Incentive”) for the Illinois Rivers and Mark Twain components (“Components”) of the Grand Rivers Project (“Project”).  In the February 13 Order, FERC denied Ameren’s requested ROE Incentive for the Components, largely because of construction progress made to date on the Illinois Rivers component.  In the Rehearing Order, FERC granted rehearing in part with respect to the Mark Twain component because that component is not substantially complete and, because based on its own merits, the Mark Twain component continues to face risks and challenges that warrant an ROE Incentive.  FERC denied rehearing with respect to the Illinois River component, however, upon finding that given the substantial completion of the Illinois Rivers component and limited remaining risks and challenges Ameren faces with respect to that component, Ameren’s requested ROE Incentive for Illinois River failed to meet the nexus test. Continue Reading FERC Grants Rehearing in Part, Grants Transmission ROE Incentive Adder

On October 31, 2018, FERC accepted revisions to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“MISO”) Open Access Transmission, Energy and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff (“Tariff”) to enhance the locational aspects of its resource adequacy construct (“Filing”).  In March of 2018 (“March 2018 Filing”), MISO had proposed a similar filing, which FERC rejected, without prejudice, on August 2, 2018.  There, FERC found two elements of the March 2018 Filing to be unjust and unreasonable, but FERC provided MISO with guidance with respect to any future filing.  With the exception of those two elements, MISO stated that its Filing contains the same proposal and justification for the proposal as in its March 2018 Filing. Continue Reading FERC Accepts Revisions to the Locational Aspects of MISO’s Resource Adequacy Construct

On October 22, 2018, FERC Commissioner Kevin McIntyre announced in a letter to President Donald Trump that he would step down from his role as Chairman and would continue his work as Commissioner.  In addition, President Trump announced on October 24, 2018 that current FERC Commissioner and former Chairman Neil Chatterjee would replace Commissioner McIntyre as FERC Chairman. Continue Reading McIntyre Steps Down as FERC Chairman; President Trump Designates Chatterjee as His Replacement

On October 12, 2018, FERC rejected without prejudice a proposal submitted by Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (“MISO”) and a group of MISO Transmission Owners (“MISO TOs”) (together, “Filing Parties”) to add a new Schedule 50 to MISO’s Open Access Transmission, Energy and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff (“Tariff”) that would enable MISO TOs to recover reasonable expenses, including overhead costs, associated with operation, maintenance, and repair of a transmission owner’s interconnection facilities (“TOIF”).  FERC rejected the proposal without prejudice because it relied on estimated construction costs of the TOIF without the requirement to support the reasonableness of such estimated costs.

Continue Reading FERC Rejects New MISO Schedule for TOs to Recover Certain Interconnection Facility O&M Costs

On October 18, 2018, FERC accepted Southwest Power Pool’s (“SPP”) tariff revisions to implement a major maintenance cost component for mitigated start-up offers and mitigated no-load offers.  FERC found SPP’s proposal to be a just and reasonable means of addressing concerns over the recovery of costs resulting from the gradual deterioration of resources’ operating equipment in the SPP Integrated Marketplace.

Continue Reading FERC Accepts SPP Tariff Revisions Containing Major Maintenance Cost Components

On October 5, 2018, FERC accepted revisions to the New York Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“NYISO”) methodology used to determine Locational Installed Capacity Requirements (“LCRs”) in NYISO’s Installed Capacity (“ICAP”) market. In doing so, FERC found that the proposed Alternative LCR Methodology was just and reasonable because, among other things, the Alternative LCR Methodology results in LCRs, and thus capacity costs, that are reasonably aligned with the associated reliability benefits.

Continue Reading FERC Accepts NYISO’s Capacity Market Changes

On October 3, 3018, President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Bernard L. McNamee to fill the vacant seat on FERC, for the term expiring June 30, 2020, resulting from Commissioner Robert Powelson’s resignation. If nominated, confirmed, and sworn in, Mr. McNamee would restore the Republican majority among FERC Commissioners.

Continue Reading President Trump Nominates Bernard McNamee to Fill Vacancy at FERC

On September 20, 2018, FERC partially accepted tariff amendments proposed by the California Independent System Operator Corporation (“CAISO”) aimed at improving the efficiency of its congestion revenue rights (“CRR”) market rules.  Specifically, CAISO proposed to decrease the percentage of transmission system capacity available in the annual CRR allocation and auction processes from 75 percent to 65 percent (“Capacity Release Reduction Proposal”).  FERC accepted the Capacity Release Reduction Proposal, finding it just and reasonable.  CAISO also proposed to eliminate full funding of CRRs and instead scale CRR payouts, on a constraint-by-constraint basis, up to the extent that CAISO collects sufficient revenue through the day-ahead market congestion charges and charges to counterflow CRRs (“Scaling Proposal”).  FERC, however, rejected the Scaling Proposal as not just and reasonable. Continue Reading FERC Partially Accepts CAISO Tariff Amendments Aimed at Improving Efficiency of Congestion Revenue Rights Market Rules