On December 7, 2017, Kevin McIntyre was sworn in as FERC Chairman.  The addition of Chairman McIntyre now completes a full, five-member Commission.  On the same day, Chairman McIntyre requested a 30-day extension of the deadline for FERC to act on Department of Energy (“DOE”) Secretary Rick Perry’s proposed rulemaking concerning grid resiliency pricing. Continue Reading McIntyre Sworn in as FERC Chairman, Requests Extension to Address DOE NOPR

On November 29, 2017, Richard Glick was sworn in as the latest FERC Commissioner.  Following his nomination for the position by President Trump in August, Commissioner Glick was confirmed by the Senate on November 2, 2017 (see November 7, 2017 edition of the WER).  Commissioner Glick was previously the Democratic General Counsel for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  Commissioner Glick will serve the remainder of a term ending in June 2022.  Commissioner Glick will serve alongside current FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee and Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur and Robert Powelson.  The swearing-in of Commissioner Glick brings FERC’s Commission one step closer to a full five-member Commission.  The Senate has confirmed Kevin McIntyre to fill the last seat on the Commission, but he has not yet been sworn in.

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

On November 7, 2017, FERC approved a settlement between FERC’s Office of Enforcement and Barclays Bank PLC (“Barclays”), Daniel Brin, Scott Connelly, and Karen Levine (collectively with Barclays, “Defendants”) that resolves FERC’s claims that Defendants manipulated physical electricity markets.  Under the settlement, Barclays is required to pay $105 million in civil penalties and disgorgement, a big reduction compared to the $488 million FERC originally ordered. Continue Reading FERC Approves $105 Million Settlement with Barclays for Market Manipulation

On November 1, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) denied a petition from the Sierra Club challenging the Department of Energy’s (“DOE”) approval of liquified natural gas (“LNG”) exports from three facilities.  In doing so, the D.C. Circuit rejected arguments made by the Sierra Club that the DOE did not properly fulfill its obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) and the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”). Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Upholds DOE NEPA Reviews of LNG Export Applications

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 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

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 23, 2017, the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (“SPP”) Board of Directors and Members Committee voted to authorize SPP President and Chief Executive Officer Nick Brown to terminate the Regional Delegation Agreement (“RDA”) between SPP and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”), which would effectively dissolve the SPP Regional Entity (“SPP RE”)—an independent and functionally separate division of SPP.  The SPP RE Trustees approved a resolution on July 24, 2017, endorsing the decision.

Continue Reading SPP to Dissolve its Regional Entity Function by December 31, 2018