Category: FERC

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DC Circuit Rejects FERC’s Long-Established Practice of Issuing Tolling Orders

On June 30, the DC Circuit struck down the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) use of tolling orders to buy additional time in responding to requests for rehearing—a longstanding agency practice that had the effect of materially delaying litigants’ rights to seek judicial review of FERC’s orders.  The opinion was issued in a case that … Continue Reading

FERC Takes Additional Actions to Address Coronavirus Pandemic

On April 2, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) took several additional actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  These actions supplemented FERC’s previous actions on March 19.  In addition to the actions identified below, Chairman Chatterjee highlighted two additional procedural options for obtaining more formal enforcement or compliance-related guidance: standards of … Continue Reading

FERC Updates Operations During the Coronavirus Pandemic

On March 19, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission) announced several updates to their operations in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.  Chairman Chatterjee held a press conference and stated that FERC is fully functioning via the telework process and expects to continue to be able to complete its work considering matters … Continue Reading

FERC Rules on Order No. 841 Compliance Filings

In February 2018, as part of its efforts to remove barriers for electric storage resources, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its final rule on electric storage participation in organized markets (Order No. 841).  Order No. 841 directed Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs) to revise their tariffs to establish a … Continue Reading

FERC Issues Orders Revising Requirements for Market-Based Rate Sellers

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued two orders on July 18, 2019 revising the requirements applicable to market-based rate (“MBR”) sellers.  The first, Order No. 861, lightens the regulatory requirements for MBR sellers in certain RTO/ISO-administered markets by eliminating the requirement to submit indicative screens in the horizontal market power analysis … Continue Reading

FERC Reaffirms Concurrent Jurisdiction Over PPAs in Bankruptcy

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued an order on May 1, 2019 denying rehearing of its orders asserting concurrent jurisdiction with a bankruptcy court over wholesale power contracts. In January, prior to Pacific Gas & Electric (“PG&E”) filing for bankruptcy, NextEra Energy, Inc. and Exelon Corporation both filed complaints and petitions … Continue Reading

FERC Issues NOPR to Eliminate Horizontal Market Screens for Certain MBR Sellers

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) on December 20 proposing changes to its regulations regarding the horizontal market power analysis required for market-based rate (“MBR”) sellers.  The proposed rulemaking picks up on an earlier effort in Order No. 816 to ease the regulatory burden on MBR sellers in … Continue Reading

Helping the Hook-Up: FERC’s Generator Interconnection Procedures Reform Seeks to Improve Information Flow, Recognizes Changing Technology and Opens Further Opportunities for Storage

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC”) long-awaited Order 845 (Reform of Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements) was issued on April 19 after over two years of consideration of the issues. Order 845 is the first grid-wide major reform of FERC’s Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements since Order 2003 was issued 15 years ago.  Order 845 … Continue Reading

5 Key Takeaways from FERC’s Recent Energy Storage Order

In February, FERC issued Order 841, Electric Storage Participation in Markets Operated by Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators (the “Order”), requiring RTOs and ISOs to establish new market participation rules for energy storage that recognize the physical and operational characteristics of these resources. While the Order set forth some minimal requirements that each … Continue Reading

FERC Brushes Away Secretary Perry’s “Resiliency” NOPR, Finding It Legally Deficient

In a move that was widely anticipated across the energy industry, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today issued an order that terminated a notice of proposed rulemaking that had been initiated in October 2017 in response to a demand by Energy Secretary Rick Perry that FERC enact rules to compensate certain resources for what … Continue Reading

When the Big One Hits, We’ll All Be Thankful for Grid “Resiliency”

Or so Secretary Rick Perry and the DOE would have us believe.  Approximately three weeks ago, the DOE made its pitch to FERC and the energy industry that a lack of “resiliency” threatens the U.S. power grid.  The responses are in.  And the shock and bewilderment that immediately followed the release of the Secretary’s surprising … Continue Reading

Tax Equity Investors Wave Goodbye to FPA Section 203

Tax equity investments, and potentially other passive investments, in renewable energy just became that much easier to make.  Today, in response to a petition for declaratory order filed in January 2017 by a coalition of investors and project sponsors, FERC ruled that tax equity investments in public utilities does not trigger section 203 of the … Continue Reading

DOE Directs FERC to Enact Special Compensation Rule for Coal Power

By a notice issued yesterday, September 28, Rick Perry, the Secretary of Energy, utilized section 403 of the DOE Act to require FERC to cause organized energy market operators (ISOs/RTOs) to compensate “fuel secure generation”, i.e., coal power, for grid “resiliency”–something that apparently puts Americans at risk despite statements by NERC to the contrary or … Continue Reading

What is FPA Section 203(a)(1)(B)? American Transmission Company Reminded Us.

The US Treasury will soon be $205,000 richer due to the payment of a civil penalty by American Transmission Company (ATC) related to violations of sections 203 and 205 of the Federal Power Act.  ATC’s compliance failure stems from 21 transactions for which it had failed to file for authorization under section 203 and 29 … Continue Reading

Generator Receives Another Shot at Obtaining CAISO Congestion Revenue Rights

On April 4, 2017 (NextEra Desert Center Blythe, LLC v. FERC, Case No. 16-1003 (“NextEra”)), the DC Circuit issued a decision remanding back to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) orders denying NextEra Desert Center Blythe, LLC’s (“NextEra”) complaint against the California Independent System Operator Corporation (“CAISO”) regarding the allocation of congestion revenue rights (“CRRs”) … Continue Reading

Likely and Potential Impacts of Yesterday’s Energy Independence Executive Order

As a follow up to yesterday’s post, President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order (the “Order”) has now been posted on the White House website, a summary of which can be found here.  Over the last week, many pundits and industry insiders have speculated on its contents, with many having a fairly clear crystal ball on … Continue Reading

Brief Overview of President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order

Section 1 of the Order sets forth various policy objectives, many of which (e.g., clean, reliable, affordable, safe energy) are goals that should garner bi-partisan support.  How these policies are interpreted by the various heads of agencies will be one factor guiding America’s energy future.  Another policy factor may be critical, contained in section 1(d), … Continue Reading

President Trump Holds Press Conference and Signs Energy Independence Executive Order

President Trump and four executives of his administration held a press conference this afternoon in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) Map Room. Rick Perry (Secretary of Energy), Ryan Zinke (Secretary of Interior), Scott Pruitt (EPA Administrator), and Vice President Michael Pence provided opening remarks, flanked by coal mining representatives.  Secretary Perry started by noting it … Continue Reading

California Energy Related Bills Introduced in the 2017-2018 Legislative Session

February 17, 2017 marked the deadline by which legislators had to introduce bills for the first half of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session. The Stoel Rives’ Energy Team has been and will continue to monitor bills throughout the two-year session and will provide periodic updates as to the status of those bills. Most noteworthy here is … Continue Reading

FERC Revises Delegation Authority While It Lacks a Quorum

Today is Commissioner Norman Bay’s last day on the job at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which means that on Monday, FERC will no longer have the quorum of 3 commissioners that is necessary for it to do much of its business.  (Two other vacancies have gone unfilled for months.)  Earlier today, Acting Chairman … Continue Reading

MISO Transmission Owners’ Return on Equity Cut by FERC

Following a decision of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released last week that cuts transmission owners’ return on equity (ROE) by more than 200 basis points,[1] ratepayers in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) footprint will save an estimated $200 million per year. Spurred by industrial customers’ challenge to MISO’s ROE rate in … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds FERC Demand Response Rule in Energy Story of the Year

In the biggest consumer energy story of the day, and perhaps the decade, the U.S. Supreme Court today upheld FERC’s jurisdictional authority in FERC Order 745. Read the Decision here (PDF). The so called Demand Response Rule permits consumer energy products and services, such as demand response, to participate in wholesale energy markets, and to … Continue Reading

MISO Proposes Interconnection Queue Reform To Address Continuing Delays

Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) is proposing another round of interconnection queue reform.  On December 31, 2015, MISO filed proposed revisions to its Open Access Transmission, Energy and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The revisions, which amend MISO’s Generator Interconnection Procedures, would be MISO’s fourth significant set of queue … Continue Reading

Utah PSC Compromises, Reduces Maximum PPA Contract Terms under PURPA to 15 Years

The Utah Public Service Commission (PSC) issued its decision today on PacifiCorp’s request to shorten the maximum term of power purchase agreements (PPAs) with qualifying facilities (QFs) from 20 years to three years.  The PSC agreed to reduce the maximum term from 20 to 15 years, concluding:  “We believe a 15-year term strikes the appropriate … Continue Reading
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