On February 21, 2018, FERC accepted PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.’s (“PJM”) Order No. 825 compliance filing, subject to condition.  In Order No. 825, FERC directed each regional transmission organization (“RTO”) and independent system operator (“ISO”) to align settlement and dispatch intervals, and modify certain rules regarding when shortage pricing is triggered. Continue Reading FERC Conditionally Accepts PJM’s Order No. 825 Compliance Filing on Shortage Pricing and Settlement and Dispatch Alignment

On February 15, 2018, FERC issued a notice that staff will hold a technical conference on April 10-11, 2018 to discuss the participation of distributed energy resources (“DER”) in markets operated by Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators.  As FERC stated in the notice, the two-day conference will host several panels on two broad DER-related agendas: first, to continue considering the DER-related reforms initially proposed in the rulemaking culminating in the concurrently-issued Order No. 841 on electric storage participation in organized markets; and second, to broadly explore issues related to the potential effects of DERs on the bulk power system.

Additional details will be provided in a supplemental notice to be issued closer to the conference date.  The deadline to submit a nomination form to participate in the conference as a panelist is March 15, 2018.  Those interested in attending in person are encouraged to register online by April 3, 2018.

A copy of FERC’s notice, and a description of the panels to be convened during the conference, can be found here.

In response to concerns regarding the changing nature of the nation’s energy supply portfolio and the emergence of promising energy storage technologies, the Commission in recent years issued several notices of inquiry, notices of proposed rulemaking, and policy statements regarding various energy storage and ancillary service supply issues.  Additionally, the Commission considered but ultimately declined to pursue the Department of Energy-initiated rulemaking on grid resiliency and reliability.  On February 15, 2018, however, the Commission took concrete action by issuing a pair of Final Rules, addressing (i) storage participation in regional markets; and (ii) the provision of primary frequency response, a critical grid support service. Continue Reading FERC Issues Final Rules on Electric Storage Participation in RTOs/ISOs and Primary Frequency Response for New Generators

On February 2, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) remanded FERC’s decision denying complaints that the ISO New England, Inc.’s (“ISO-NE”) rules locking in prices for new entrants to ISO-NE’s Forward Capacity Market (“FCM”) result in price suppression and discriminatory rates for existing suppliers.  In doing so, the D.C. Circuit held that FERC did not adequately explain why its prior decision to reject a similar proposal did not apply to ISO-NE’s rules. Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Remands FERC Decision Upholding ISO-NE FCM Rules Locking in Prices for New Entrants

On February 5, 2018, FERC conditionally accepted a proposal by the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) to amend its Open Access Transmission Tariff (“OATT”) and Amended and Restated Operating Agreement (“Operating Agreement”) to accommodate additional pseudo-tied and dynamically scheduled resources into the PJM region.  FERC accepted the proposal and provided an effective date of November 9, 2017, provided that PJM submits a compliance filing addressing FERC’s limited concerns in the order. Continue Reading FERC Conditionally Accepts PJM Tariff Amendments Related to Pseudo-Ties and Dynamic Schedules

On January 26, 2018, a divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) vacated a series of FERC orders that removed from transmission owners in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (“MISO”) the ability to elect to fund the construction of network upgrades on their transmission systems to accommodate the interconnection of new generation.  The D.C. Circuit vacated FERC’s orders and remanded the case back to FERC for further proceedings. Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Vacates FERC Orders on Transmission Owner Funding for Network Upgrades in MISO

On January 12, 2018, FERC denied authorization to transfer a 1,159 MW coal-fired generation facility (“Pleasants Facility”) owned by Allegheny Energy Supply Company, LLC (“AE Supply”) to its affiliate, Monongahela Power Company (“Mon Power”).  After considering the applicable tests for affiliate transfers under the Federal Power Act (“FPA”), FERC determined that the parties’ proposed transaction was not in the public interest because it presented potential concerns of captive ratepayers cross-subsidizing non-regulated entities and because certain solicitation criteria were not met.  The denial is without prejudice, so Mon Power and AE Supply may resubmit an application that corrects the shortcomings identified by FERC. Continue Reading FERC Rejects Allegheny’s Proposal to Transfer Power Plant to Regulated Affiliate

On December 1, 2017, FERC concluded that it has exclusive jurisdiction over the participation of energy efficiency resources (“EERs”) in wholesale electricity markets.  FERC also found that: (1) state or local regulators may not bar or restrict EER participation in wholesale electricity markets, unless given express authority to do so by FERC; and (2) FERC’s previous Order No. 719 on demand response may not be interpreted to permit a state or local regulator to exercise an opt-out and bar or restrict the participation of EERs. Continue Reading FERC Claims Exclusive Jurisdiction Over Energy Efficiency Resources in Wholesale Electricity Markets

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 November 3, 2017, FERC largely denied rehearing requests from a group of generation developers (“Generation Developers”) regarding the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“MISO”) revisions to its Generator Interconnection Procedures (“GIP”) and its pro forma Generator Interconnection Agreement (“GIA”).  With the exception of one issue, FERC otherwise rejected the Generation Developers requests that FERC reconsider prior MISO revisions regarding the efficiency and timeliness of MISO’s generator interconnection queue process contained in Attachment X of its Open Access Transmission, Energy and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff (“Tariff”). Continue Reading FERC Largely Denies Rehearing Request to Change Existing MISO Generator Interconnection Procedures