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 November 2, 2017, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nominations of Kevin McIntyre and Richard Glick to join FERC.  McIntyre will serve as Chairman once he is officially sworn in.  Together, McIntyre and Glick will fill the five-member Commission board for the first time since October 2015. Continue Reading Senate Confirms McIntyre, Glick to FERC, Filling Remaining Commissioner Seats

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 25, 2017, FERC issued an order explaining the market consequences when a resource loses certain participation rights in the New York Intendent System Operator, Inc. (“NYISO”) Installed Capacity (“ICAP”) market.  The order on clarification, which was requested by NRG Power Marketing LLC and GenON Energy Management, LLC (collectively, “NRG”), followed a January 27, 2017 decision in which FERC largely accepted NYISO’s proposed revisions to its Market Administration and Control Area Services Tariff (“Tariff”) to correct a pricing inefficiency in its ICAP market design.  As FERC clarified in this most recent order, when a capacity resource loses its ability to participate in NYISO’s ICAP market, certain benefits or discounts tied to that participation ability—here, a so-called “Locality Exchange Factor”—fall away. Continue Reading FERC Clarifies Impacts from Lost Capacity Market Rights in NYISO

On October 23, 2017, FERC approved San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s (“SDG&E”) and Sempra Gas & Power Marketing, LLC’s (“Sempra”; collectively, “Applicants”) request for authorization for SDG&E to purchase Resource Adequacy capacity at market-based rates from its affiliate, Sempra, pursuant to a competitive solicitation process.  In doing so, FERC concluded that the solicitation did not unduly favor Sempra and thus satisfied FERC’s concerns regarding affiliate abuse. Continue Reading FERC Approves Affiliate Transaction Between SDG&E and Sempra

On October 25, 2017, FERC released a final report regarding whether its policies materially burden the development and use of domestic energy resources (“Final Report”).  While FERC concluded that most agency actions are not materially burdensome or are necessary to administer its statutory mandates, FERC recommended certain changes to licensing processes, exemption processes, and determinations on deficient applications for hydropower resources.  Continue Reading FERC Releases Final Report on Review of Agency Actions

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

In a policy statement issued October 19, 2017, FERC revised its longstanding approach to setting the license terms for hydroelectric projects.  The new policy establishes a default term of 40 years for non-federal projects.  The default term can be shortened or extended in certain identified circumstances. Continue Reading FERC Issues Policy Statement Extending License Terms for Hydro Projects

On October 19, 2017, FERC ordered Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (“SPP”) to revise its Open Access Transmission Tariff (“OATT”) to provide that network customers with service subject to redispatch can only obtain Auction Revenue Rights (“ARRs”) and Long-Term Congestion Rights (“LTCRs”) for those times and in the amounts that service can be provided without redispatch. Continue Reading FERC Directs SPP to Change Eligibility for Certain Transmission Rights

On October 13, 2017, a group of transmission owners in the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (“SPP”) filed a complaint with FERC under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act alleging that SPP’s Open Access Transmission Tariff (“Tariff”) is unjust and unreasonable because it lacks cost-shifting protections when new transmission owners join existing SPP transmission pricing zones.  To correct this alleged “loophole,” the complainants propose a new rate schedule for new transmission owners that are placed into existing zones. Continue Reading SPP Transmission Owners File FERC Complaint Over Alleged Cost Shifting