At its June 16, 2022, open meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR), Improvements to Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements, 179 FERC ¶ 61,194 (2022), proposing reforms to the Commission’s standard generator interconnection procedures and agreements. The goal of the NOPR is to reduce queue
Biden Administration Proposes Rollback of Trump Administration Migratory Bird Rule
This post was co-authored by Stoel Rives summer associate Lydia Heye.
In May, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) announced a proposed rule revoking the Trump administration’s final rule on incidental take under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (“MBTA”). In the January 7, 2021 final regulation, the Trump administration interpreted the MBTA’s take prohibition…
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…
California Public Utilities Commission Opens Rulemaking to Consider Expansion of Direct Access
At its March 14, 2019 voting meeting, the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) voted out an Order Instituting Rulemaking (“OIR”) to Implement Senate Bill 237 (“SB 237”) Regarding Direct Access and to Consider Changes to Existing Direct Access Procedures. The Rulemaking will address the expansion of Direct Access, as required by SB 237.
Direct Access permits customers of a California investor-owned utility (“IOU”) (e.g., Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison) to obtain their electricity from an electric service provider registered with the CPUC. The IOU continues to provide transmission and distribution service to the customer. Direct access was instituted in 1998 as part of California’s efforts to deregulate the electric sector.
As part of California’s efforts to recover from the energy crisis in 2000-2001, the California legislature passed Assembly Bill 1X (“AB1X”), which authorized the Department of Water Resources (“DWR”) to begin procuring electricity on behalf of IOU customers, and required the CPUC to allow DWR to recover the costs of such procurement from IOU ratepayers. AB1X also authorized the CPUC to suspend Direct Access, motivated by a concern that IOU ratepayers would flee to Direct Access to avoid paying the cost of DWR procurement.…
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Key Energy Related Bills Introduced in the 2019-2020 Legislative Session
The 2019-2020 California Legislative Session has reached its first deadline. February 22, 2019 marked the deadline by which bills could be introduced for the first half of the Legislative Session. Lawmakers will begin Spring Recess April 12 and reconvene April 22. The last day for bills to be passed out of the house of origin is May 31, 2019.
Below is a list of some of the key bills Stoel Rives’ Energy Team will be monitoring throughout the Legislative Session. We note that some bills do not contain language beyond the “intent of the Legislature.” However, we will continue to monitor these bills in case of substantive amendments. These bills are set forth separately below under the heading “Legislative Intent.”
The majority of the bills introduced this Legislative Session relate in some way to California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move to cleaner sources of generation, including legislation governing electric vehicles, energy storage, and renewable energy. A number of bills introduced in February also attempt to address the impacts of wildfires, or to reduce wildfire risk.
AB 40 (Ting, D) Zero-emission vehicles: comprehensive strategy.
Status: Introduced December 3, 2018; referred to Committees on Transportation and Natural Resources January 24, 2019.
AB 40 would require by no later than January 1, 2021, the State Air Resources Board to develop a comprehensive strategy to ensure that the sales of new motor vehicles and new light-duty trucks in the state have transitioned fully to zero-emission vehicles, as defined, by 2040, as specified.
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STAYING LOCAL: FEDERAL COURT AFFIRMS CONSTITUTIONALITY OF MINN. STAT. § 216B.246 AND ADOPTS SUPREME COURT TRACY RULE
On June 21, 2018, the United States District Court, District of Minnesota issued an order and memorandum rejecting a challenge to the constitutionality of Minn. Stat. § 216B.246 and granting defendants’ motions to dismiss. The statute, which was enacted after FERC Order 1000 (and eliminating the federal right of first refusal or “ROFR”), provides incumbent…
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 adopts reforms that are designed to address three goals: (1) improving certainty for interconnection customers, (2) promoting more informed interconnection decisions, and (3) enhancing the interconnection process.
Order 845 revises FERC’s pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Procedures (“LGIP”) and Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (“LGIA”) to recognize the changing landscape of technology and is intended to provide interconnection customers with new opportunities to interconnect their projects faster and more cost-effectively. For example, transmission providers must now allow interconnection customers (at the interconnection customer’s option) to build the needed transmission owner interconnection facilities and stand-alone network upgrades in all cases. Previously, interconnection customers only had this option if the transmission owner could not meet the dates proposed by the interconnection customer. Thus, an interconnection customer has newly granted flexibility in the construction of the transmission owner interconnection facilities and stand-alone network upgrades. If the transmission owner returns a high cost estimate, then the interconnection customer can manage the construction of the transmission owner interconnection facilities. On the other hand, if the transmission owner cost estimate is reasonable, the interconnection customer can choose to leave the construction responsibilities for the transmission owner interconnection facilities and stand-alone network upgrade with the transmission owner. Interconnection customers can now make these decisions based on both timing and cost considerations.…
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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…
Updates to Energy Related Bills in the 2017-2018 California Legislative Session
Stoel Rives’ Energy Team has been monitoring and providing summaries of key energy-related bills introduced by California legislators since the beginning of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session. June 2, 2017 was the deadline by which the legislature was required to pass bills out of the house of origin. Failing to meet that deadline does not automatically prevent a bill from proceeding through the legislative process; however, such failure will prevent the bill from being considered by the full legislature or the Governor during the first half of the Legislative Session. Below is a summary of bills we have been following that have most recently changed. We will continue to monitor and update these energy-related bills as the legislative session proceeds.
AB 79 (Levine, D): Electrical generation: hourly greenhouse gas emissions: electricity from unspecified sources.
STATUS: Ordered to Senate June 1, 2017.
- Initially introduced as a bill to decrease the amount energy consumed from coal-fired generation resources, AB 79 was revamped to require, by January 1, 2019, the State Air Resources Board (CARB), in consultation with the Independent System Operator (ISO), to regularly update its methodology for the calculation of emissions of greenhouse gases associated with electricity from unspecified sources. The bill would require the CPUC and the CEC to incorporate the methodology into programs addressing the disclosure of the emissions of greenhouse gases and the procurement of electricity by entities under the respective jurisdiction of each.
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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”) under the CAISO tariff. The DC Circuit’s ruling was narrow, based on finding ambiguity in the relevant contract and tariff provisions where FERC determined there was none. The court’s decision highlights the importance of addressing potential regulatory cost recovery options in a FERC-jurisdictional contract.
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