On November 18, 2021, FERC issued a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) inviting comments on reactive power capability compensation and market design.  The NOI highlights various issues with reactive power filings that have resulted from significant changes to electric markets and the generation resource mix, including the potential for overcompensation.  The NOI seeks comment on various aspects of reactive power compensation, as well as potential alternative approaches that could be used to develop reactive power capability revenue requirements.   Continue Reading FERC Issues Notice of Inquiry on Reactive Power

On November 29, 2021, FERC issued a notice stating that the requests for rehearing on PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.’s Focused Minimum Offer Price Rule (“Focused MOPR”) policy, which went into effect by operation of law on September 29, 2021 (see October 29, 2021 edition of the WER) were deemed denied by operation of law. FERC’s notice triggers a 60-day clock under the Federal Power Act for parties to petition for appellate review. The November 29 notice followed rehearing requests filed by parties including the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Electric Power Supply Association, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, Vistra Corporation, and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. In addition to the rehearing requests, the PJM Power Providers Group has already appealed the Focused MOPR to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and submitted comments responding to Chairman Glick’s and Commissioner Clements’ joint statement in support of the Focused MOPR. Continue Reading Parties Request Rehearing of PJM’s Focused MOPR Policy

On November 16, 2021, staff from FERC, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”), and certain Regional Reliability Entities issued a final report on the 2021 winter storms that severely impacted the bulk electric systems in Texas and the South Central United States. The report recommended, among other things, strengthening regulations and the grid for cold weather preparedness and enhancing coordination between natural gas and electric systems to prevent winter blackouts. Continue Reading FERC and NERC Issued Final Report on the 2021 Winter Freeze

On October 26, 2021, FERC issued an order accepting a California Independent System Operator Corporation (“CAISO”) tariff filing designed to improve CAISO’s markets by optimizing the performance of storage and demand response resources. CAISO proposed three distinct tariff revisions: (1) creating biddable state of charge parameters for energy storage; (2) applying market power mitigation to energy storage; and (3) enabling demand response resources to specify maximum daily run times. Continue Reading FERC Accepts CAISO Proposal Regarding Storage and Demand Response Resources

On October 25, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) released a report regarding the lessons learned from the electric industry’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. NERC’s report described the industry’s response and provided possible solutions and paths for the industry’s future based on its findings.

Continue Reading NERC Issues Report on Lessons Learned from Utilities Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

On November 5th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the more than $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the bipartisan infrastructure framework (BIF).  The Senate had already approved the bill back in August, and it now heads to the President’s desk for signature.  The BIF represents a core piece of President Biden’s agenda and provides significant funding for infrastructure improvements in energy and water, including over $900M in waterpower incentives for new and existing hydropower, pumped storage, and marine energy.  Additional spending is provided for dam safety and removal. Continue Reading Infrastructure Bill Provides Opportunities for Hydroelectric Industry

On October 21, 2021, FERC denied multiple complaints against Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Company, LP (“Panhandle”) regarding its refusal to waive all penalties associated with Operational Flow Orders (“OFO”) issued during the extreme Storm Uri weather event in February 2021. In doing so, FERC upheld penalties levied against Panhandle customers who argued they were forced to use the pipeline contrary to the OFO order to ensure reliable service for their own end-use customers. Continue Reading FERC Rejects Attempts to Waive $75 Million in Pipeline Penalties During Storm Uri

On September 29, 2021, FERC recognized that PJM’s Minimum Offer Price Rule (“MOPR”) replacement proposal, previously filed with FERC on July 30, 2021, went into effect by operation of law after the Commission failed to act on PJM’s filing within the 60-day statutory deadline. FERC’s notice stated that FERC did not act on PJM’s filing because the Commissioners are divided two-to-two as to the filing’s lawfulness. Consistent with the Federal Power Act (“FPA”), the Commissioners each issued a statement explaining his or her view on PJM’s MOPR replacement proposal. Going forward, PJM’s MOPR replacement proposal has already been appealed based on an emergency request for rehearing of FERC’s September 29 notice. Additional requests for rehearing continue to be filed prior to the October 29 deadline. Continue Reading PJM MOPR Replacement Takes Effect by Operation of Law; Commissioners Issue Separate Statements

On October 21, 2021, during the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s monthly open meeting, each Commissioner released an explanatory statement regarding their views of the Southeast Energy Market Exchange (“SEEM”) proposal. Ultimately, the proposal took effect by operation of law on October 12 after the Commission was divided two-two on the lawfulness of the proposal. Under such circumstances, the Federal Power Act requires each Commissioner to issue a written statement explaining their views with respect to the changes. The Commissioners were split on multiple issues, including whether the proposal provided enough protection for competition and whether the Mobile-Sierra presumption should apply to SEEM transactions. Continue Reading FERC Commissioners Each Explain Southeast Energy Market Exchange Impasse

On September 23, 2021, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), for the first time, issued two orders reserving the right to require future license measures to ensure that licensees have adequate financial reserves “to carry out the terms of the license and Commission orders pertaining thereto.”  FERC’s orders follow its January 2021 Notice of Inquiry, in which it solicited public comments on whether and how it should impose financial assurance requirements on hydropower licensees to ensure licensees have sufficient financial resources to maintain their projects in safe condition. Continue Reading FERC Includes Financial Assurance Requirement in Recent Licensing Orders