At the July 27, 2023, Open Meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued long-awaited Order No. 2023, the Final Rule on Improvements to Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements in Docket No. RM22-14-000. The rulemaking arose from the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Building for the Future Through Electric Regional Transmission Planning and Cost
On December 6, 2021, the California ISO issued an issue paper and straw proposal (“Straw Proposal”) for its Interconnection Process Enhancements stakeholder proceeding. The California ISO initiated this stakeholder proceeding on September 30, 2021 with the issuance of a preliminary issue paper. The stakeholder process comes at a time when an unprecedented level of energy procurement in California has caused dramatic increases in the number of projects in the California ISO’s interconnection queue. The California ISO’s most recent cluster, cluster 14, saw a record number of 373 interconnection requests being submitted, representing 150,000 megawatts of generating capacity, compared to 155 requests submitted in 2020. Ultimately, the volume of interconnection requests forced the California ISO to seek authority from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to extend its interconnection process by approximately one year.
The Interconnection Process Enhancements initiative will have two phases. Phase 1 will focus on near-term enhancements for cluster 14 and before the summer of 2022. The proposals in Phase 1 are scheduled be submitted to the California ISO Board of Governors in May 2022. Phase 2 will focus on longer term modifications and broader reforms to align interconnection processes with procurement activities. Those proposals are scheduled to be submitted to the Board in November 2022.
Continue Reading California ISO Issues Straw Proposal in Interconnection Process Enhancements Stakeholder Proceeding
On September 24, 2021, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order (176 FERC ¶ 61,207) approving tariff revisions to amend the California ISO’s (CAISO) interconnection procedures for its current queue cluster (Cluster 14). The CAISO had requested changes to its interconnection procedures due to the massive increase in the number of interconnection requests it received this year—373 interconnection requests representing 150,000 megawatts of generating capacity, as compared to the 155 requests in 2020. Prior to 2021, the average number of interconnection requests that the CAISO received each year over the past 10 years was 113. The volume of interconnection requests in 2020 caused the CAISO to issue a market notice to delay the publication of Phase I interconnection study results by one month, pursuant to its tariff authority to extend the timing for providing study results under Sections 6.6 and 8.5 of its Generator Interconnection and Deliverability Allocation Procedures (GIDAP, Tariff Appendix DD).
Rather than rely on these tariff provisions to extend the study timelines for Cluster 14, however, the CAISO sought approval to establish extensions for various interconnection deadlines early in the process, to provide generators with advance notice of the timing for Cluster 14. Per the approved tariff revisions, Cluster 14 deadlines will be extended as follows:
Continue Reading FERC Approves Changes to CAISO Interconnection Procedures; Next Queue Cluster Application Window Not Scheduled to Open Until 2023
In the wake of Governor Newsom’s July 30, 2021 Emergency Proclamation intended to mitigate the strain on the California energy grid, the California Department of Water Resources (CDWR) and the California Energy Commission have been reaching out to generation owners that could accommodate the addition of 30 MW gas turbines generators, an effort now referred to as the State Power Augmentation Project. So far, two sites have been found: Greenleaf 1 in Yuba City and Roseville Energy Park. Each site will accommodate two turbines. The units were supposed to come online in mid-September.
The two turbines at Roseville Energy Park will be interconnected through the Balancing Authority of Northern California and will participate in the California ISO’s (CAISO) energy imbalance market. The two turbines at Greenleaf 1 will interconnect to the CAISO. Under current tariff provisions, the CAISO can interconnect 50 MWs of the 60 MW total. The Greenleaf 1 site has cogeneration facilities that are currently mothballed but still retain existing interconnection capacity of 49.2 MWs. Because both the cogeneration facilities and the new gas turbines are gas-fired, there will be no change to the electrical characteristics, and the CAISO can therefore interconnect the two turbines under the repowering provisions of the tariff, but only up to 49.2 MWs.
Continue Reading FERC Grants Limited Waiver to the CAISO to Immediately Interconnect Gas Turbines
FERC issues a proposed rulemaking that impacts the owners of gen-tie lines, and the rulemaking is particularly important to renewable energy developers who are interested in maintaining priority to gen-tie capacity for multi-phase projects.
Continue Reading FERC Initiates Proposed Rulemaking Affecting Interconnection Facilities
The East Kern Wind Resource Area (EKWRA)–it’s a mouthful–and it’s also a hotbed for renewable energy development and the location of a fight over millions of dollars among Southern California Edison (SCE), the California ISO, and independent power developers (IPPs). Late last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) scored that fight in favor of…
Ameren is dusting off a discriminatory method for interconnection customers to fund network upgrades in the Midcontinent ISO region, using two past victories in support of its campaign. But there are key differences between this dispute and those before it, and FERC should deny Ameren’s latest attempt to breathe life into the Option 1 funding that met its fate years ago.
Continue Reading Ameren Should LOSE the Latest Battle Over Option 1 Network Upgrade Funding in the Midcontinent ISO Region
Qualifying facility interconnection conversions can be an effective way to bypass the interconnection queue, even during a repower. But there are groundrules to a conversion, and today FERC applied those rules and determined that qualifying facility owners may not be entitled to as much converted capacity as they might think.
Continue Reading Qualifying Facility Conversions – It’s What All the Kids Are Talking About
Like other Independent System Operators have done before it, the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) is back at the drawing board in an effort to further refine its generator interconnection procedures and improve on queue reforms initially put in place in 2009. And also like other ISOs that have continued to tinker with queue reform, SPP…
Interconnection customers: be on notice. Your interconnection agreement may not be just a transmission provider service agreement that allows your project to interconnect with the transmission system. It may also be a rate schedule–your rate schedule–that you must file with FERC or suffer the consequences for violating the Federal Power Act.