On April 27, 2018 (“April 27 Order”), FERC denied a rehearing request of Basin Electric Power Cooperative (“Basin Electric”), Heartland Consumers Power District (“Heartland”), and Missouri River Energy Services (“Missouri River”; collectively, “Rehearing Parties”).  The Rehearing Parties contended that their grandfathered agreement regarding the Missouri Basin Power Project was eligible for carve-out treatment under the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (“SPP”) Open Access Transmission Tariff (“SPP Tariff”).  In this proceeding, “carve-out treatment” refers to an exemption from congestion charges and marginal losses.  FERC ultimately rejected the rehearing request because it found, among other reasons, that Rehearing Parties are not similarly situated to another party, who had already been given carve-out treatment. Continue Reading FERC Rejects Rehearing Request Regarding SPP Congestion Charge Exemptions

On May 2, 2018, staff from FERC, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”), and the NERC Regional Entities (the “Joint Study Team”), issued a joint report titled “FERC-NERC-Regional Entity Joint Review of Restoration and Recovery Plans” (“Joint Report”), which evaluated blackstart resources and planning by a representative sample of nine volunteer utilities registered with NERC (the “Participants”).  According to the Joint Report, the Participants verified that they currently have sufficient blackstart resources in their system restoration plans, as well as comprehensive strategies for mitigating against loss of any additional blackstart resources going forward.  The Joint Report also made a number of recommendations for users, owners, or operators of the bulk-power system (“Registered Entities”) and others responsible for system restoration.

Continue Reading FERC, NERC, and Regional Entity Staff Issue Joint Report on Registered Entity Restoration and Recovery Plans

On April 25, 2018, FERC approved a Stipulation and Consent Agreement (“Settlement”) between the Office of Enforcement (“OE”) and PSEG Resources & Trade, LLC (“PSEG).  The Settlement resolves an investigation into whether PSEG violated certain sections of the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) Tariff, Operating Agreement, and FERC’s Market Behavior Rule, when PSEG submitted incorrect cost-based offers into the PJM energy market between 2005 and 2014.  FERC determined that the Settlement was a fair and equitable resolution of the matter, and that the penalty imposed upon PSEG reflected the nature and seriousness of the violations.  Continue Reading FERC Approves Settlement with PSEG Subsidiary over Allegations of Inaccurate Cost-Based Offers in PJM Energy Market

On April 24, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) held that FERC lacks jurisdiction over certain of the City of Clarksville, Tennessee’s (“Clarksville”) interstate sales of natural gas for resale, because the plain language of the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”) excludes sales by municipalities from FERC’s jurisdiction, which extends to interstate sales of natural gas for resale under NGA section 7. Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Holds that FERC Lacks Jurisdiction over Certain Interstate Gas Sales by Municipalities

On April 20, 2018, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”) denied the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC’s (“Transco”) application (“Application”) for a Water Quality Certification (“WQC”) for the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project (“Project”).  The NYSDEC denied the Application without prejudice, asserting that the Application provided incomplete information upon which to make a determination.   Continue Reading New York Denies Water Permit for Transco’s Northeast Supply Enhancement Project

On April 19, 2018, FERC issued a final rule (“Order No. 844”) addressing transparency in markets operated by Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTOs”) and Independent System Operators (“ISOs”).  FERC required that each RTO/ISO establish in its tariff: requirements to report information about uplift payments for each resource and transmission zone; requirements to report information on each operator-initiated commitment; and the transmission constraint penalty factors used in its market software.  Order No. 844 will become effective 75 days after publication in the Federal Register. Continue Reading FERC Issues Final Rule Regarding Transparency in Price Formation

In two orders concurrently issued on April 17, 2018, FERC reaffirmed its jurisdiction over the participation of energy efficiency resources (“EERs”) in wholesale electricity markets and accepted an EER-related tariff filing from PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”).  In one order, FERC denied rehearing and granted clarification of a December 1, 2017 order (“Declaratory Order”) asserting jurisdiction over EERs, rejecting claims that FERC had overstepped its “directly affects” jurisdiction under the Federal Power Act (“FPA”), and in the second order, FERC applied that understanding to find PJM’s proposal to integrate EERs into PJM’s wholesale markets just and reasonable. Continue Reading FERC Reaffirms Jurisdiction over Wholesale EERs and Accepts PJM EER-Related Tariff Filing

On April 19, 2018, FERC issued a final rule (“Order No. 845”) revising its pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Procedures (“LGIP”) and the pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (“LGIA”) to address reforms of generator interconnection procedures and agreements for generators of more than 20 megawatts.  FERC adopted a majority of the reforms proposed in FERC’s December 15, 2016 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”). Continue Reading FERC Finalizes Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements Reforms

On April 19, 2018, FERC issued a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) seeking information regarding whether—and if so, how—to revise its policy for determining if a proposed natural gas pipeline is in the public convenience and necessity.  Specifically, the NOI requests information in four areas related to FERC’s policy for reviewing such certificate applications: (1) determining need for a pipeline project; (2) eminent domain issues; (3) evaluating environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and climate change; and (4) changes that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of FERC’s review. Continue Reading FERC Issues Notice of Inquiry into Pipeline Certificate Policy

On April 9, 2018, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) filed two alternative proposals to address supply-side state subsidies that, as PJM argues, could otherwise depress prices in PJM’s capacity market, the Reliability Pricing Model (“RPM”).  As presented by PJM, its “Capacity Repricing” proposal would establish a two-stage capacity market to accommodate subsidized resources, while the other proposal, the “MOPR-Ex proposal,” would expand PJM’s use of the Minimum Offer Price Rule (“MOPR”) to address subsidized resource entry.  With PJM’s filing, the issue of how to address out-of-market capacity market subsidies returns again to FERC exactly one month after a divided Commission approved a similar filing from the ISO New England Inc. (“ISO-NE”) (see March 20, 2018 edition of the WER). Continue Reading PJM Files Two Alternate Proposals to Address State-Subsidized Resources in Capacity Markets