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

On September 20, 2018, FERC dismissed Nevada Hydro Company, Inc.’s (“Nevada Hydro”) request that (1) the Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage (“LEAPS”) facility is a transmission facility and (2) LEAPS is entitled to cost-based rate recovery under the California Independent System Operator Corporation’s (“CAISO”) Transmission Access Charge.  FERC found that Nevada Hydro’s request is premature because LEAPS has not been studied in the CAISO Transmission Planning Process (“TPP”) to determine whether it addresses a transmission need identified through that process, and, if such a need were met, how the facility would be operated. Continue Reading FERC Finds Request to Treat Pumped Storage as Transmission Facility Premature

On September 6, 2018, FERC mostly denied rehearing of its February 20, 2018 order (“Proposal Order”) that accepted PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.’s (“PJM”) proposal to reduce the number of bidding points at which virtual transactions may be submitted by market participants (“Virtual Transactions Proposal”), finding PJM’s Virtual Transactions Proposal just and reasonable.  However, FERC did grant rehearing with respect to PJM’s request to modify the effective date of the revisions accepted in the Proposal Order to February 22, 2018. Continue Reading FERC Mostly Denies Rehearing of Order Accepting PJM Proposal to Reduce Bidding Points for Virtual Transactions