On June 29, 2018, FERC rejected proposals by Calpine Corporation (“Calpine”) and PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) to address what they view as shortcomings in PJM’s capacity markets resulting from what they characterize as state subsidy programs that suppress capacity prices (the “June 29 Order”).  Continue Reading FERC Rejects PJM’s Proposed Tariff Revisions and Initiates Section 206 Proceeding

On June 29, 2018, FERC approved the California Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“CAISO”) revisions to its congestion revenue rights (“CRR”) auction intended to address the shortfall between CRR auction revenues and amounts owed by CAISO to holders of auctioned CRRs.  Specifically, CAISO proposed to (1) require CAISO transmission owners to submit all known transmission maintenance outages for the next year by July 1, rather than October 15; and (2) limit the allowable source and sink pairs eligible for the CRR auction to pairs associated with supply delivery and to exclude non-delivery CRR pairs. Continue Reading FERC Approves Changes to CAISO’s Congestion Revenue Rights Auction

On June 15, 2018, in separate opinions, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) affirmed two FERC rulings that denied utilities’ requests to be made whole for purchasing natural gas at inflated prices to comply with their PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) capacity resource obligations during the 2014 Polar Vortex.  Specifically, the D.C. Circuit upheld FERC’s holdings that (1) permitting the utility in one case to recover costs retroactively would violate the filed rate doctrine and the rule prohibiting retroactive ratemaking and (2) the utility in the second case was not entitled to indemnification for its losses resulting from PJM requesting the utility to comply with its capacity resource obligations. Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Affirms Denial of Recovery of Gas Purchase Costs During 2014 Polar Vortex

On June 21, 2018, FERC approved tariff provisions proposed by the California Independent System Operator (“CAISO”).  Specifically, the Commission’s order approved, subject to compliance filing, CAISO’s proposals to revise the definition of which resources qualify as use-limited and to allow those resources to include opportunity cost adders in their bids, while rejecting CAISO’s proposed revisions relating to the Master File, an electronic database of generator-provided data on resources participating in CAISO markets, as well as its proposal to remove ramp rates as components of daily bids. Continue Reading FERC Approves CAISO’s Creation of Opportunity Cost Adder for Use-Limited Resources

On June 12, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) rejected challenges to FERC orders modifying PJM’s financial transmission right (“FTR”) and auction revenue right (“ARR”) designs.  FERC had ordered changes to PJM’s FTR/ARR designs to address PJM’s inability to make all of the payments owed to FTR owners. Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC’s Changes to PJM’s FTR and ARR Designs

On June 8, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) upheld FERC’s re-examination of an order regarding the effective rate for network upgrades in an Interconnection Agreement (“IA”) with the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”).  A power developer, West Deptford Energy, LLC (“West Deptford”), requested interconnection with PJM.  After the negotiations for the IA commenced, PJM’s effective rate changed, triggering a dispute between the parties as to the appropriate effective rate for the IA: the rate in effect at the start of negotiations or the rate in effect at the time the IA was completed. The D.C. Circuit agreed with FERC’s finding that the governing rate is the rate in effect at the time the IA was completed. Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC’s Decision Regarding the Timing of the Application of an Effective Rate

On June 5, 2018, FERC granted the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) independent market monitor’s (“IMM”) request to compel the American Electric Power Services Corporation (“AEP”) to provide certain information related to cost-based offers to the IMM.  The IMM stated in its petition that it needed the information to determine whether AEP’s total costs of variable operations and maintenance (“VOM”) included in its capacity offer raise any market power concerns in the PJM Energy Market.  FERC determined that because the IMM had broad authority under PJM’s Open Access Transmission Tariff (“Tariff”) to request such information, it would grant the IMM’s petition. Continue Reading FERC Approves PJM IMM’s Request for Access to AEP Cost Data for Market Power Analysis

On May 31, 2018, CPV Power Holdings, L.P., Calpine Corporation, and Eastern Generation, LLC (together, “Complainants”) filed a complaint against PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”), contending that PJM’s Open Access Transmission Tariff (“Tariff”) does not prevent the suppression of prices in PJM’s Reliability Pricing Model (“RPM”) market by resources receiving state subsidies, and that the solutions that PJM had proposed to FERC—“Capacity Repricing” and “Minimum Offer Price Rule (“MOPR”)-Ex”—are “inadequate and unjust and unreasonable.”  The Complainants argued that FERC should instead require PJM to adopt a “Clean MOPR”—meaning a MOPR “applicable to all subsidized resources and without categorical exemptions like those in PJM’s MOPR-Ex proposal.” Continue Reading Complaint Proposes “Clean MOPR” as an Alternative to PJM’s Proposals to Address State Subsidies in Capacity Markets

On May 29, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and FERC argued in a joint brief (“Joint Brief”) filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (“Seventh Circuit”) that Illinois’ plan to provide credits to nuclear power plants does not interfere with FERC’s authority over wholesale electricity markets.  DOJ and FERC filed the Joint Brief in response to the Seventh Circuit’s request asking the agencies for their views on whether the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) preempts Illinois’ zero emission credits program (“Illinois ZEC Program”). Continue Reading FERC/DOJ Argue that Federal Power Act Does Not Preempt Illinois’ Zero Emission Credits Program

On May 24, 2018, FERC denied a complaint filed by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (“NJBPU”) alleging unjust and unreasonable cost allocations for the Bergen-Linden Corridor transmission project (the “Project”) within the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) footprint.  FERC rejected NJBPU’s claims that, among other alleged problems, PJM’s implementation of certain provisions in its tariff and the Joint Operating Agreement (the “JOA”) with the New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (“NYISO”) unfairly insulated New York ratepayers from costs associated with the Project, at the expense of New Jersey ratepayers and in violation of FERC’s Order No. 1000.   Continue Reading FERC Denies NJBPU Complaint Regarding Bergen-Linden Corridor Project in PJM