On February 21, 2013, FERC issued the first two orders concerning Order No. 1000 Compliance Filings.  In its first order, FERC rejected compliance filings by Duke Energy Carolinas LLC and Carolina Power and Light Company, d/b/a Progress Energy Carolinas (“Duke-Progress”) and Alcoa Power Generating, Inc. (“Yadkin”) for failing to form a compliant transmission planning region.  In its second order, FERC granted Maine Public Service Company (“MPS”) waiver of the regional transmission planning and cost allocation requirements of Order No. 1000 and conditionally accepted additional Open Access Transmission Tariff (“OATT”) changes MPS submitted regarding its local transmission planning process, subject to further compliance.

On October 11, 2012, Duke-Progress and Yadkin submitted revisions to their respective OATTs to satisfy local and regional transmission planning and cost allocation requirements.  Duke-Progress argued in its Order No. 1000 Compliance Filing that the North Carolina Transmission Planning Cooperative (“NCTPC”) region should be an Order No. 1000-compliant transmission planning region.  The Commission stated in its February 21 Order that a transmission planning region must include more than one transmission provider, and Duke and Progress are not separate transmission providers despite their separate zonal rates, North American Electric Reliability Corporation registrations, and OASIS sites.  Further, the Commission found that adding Yadkin to the NCTPC did not satisfy the requirements of Order No. 1000, given Yadkin’s limited transmission facilities that only serve its hydroelectric plant.  The Commission concluded that Duke-Progress and Yadkin failed to form a compliant transmission planning region and therefore rejected their compliance filings, directing the parties to make revised filings within 90 days of the issuance of the February 21 Order.  The Commission did not evaluate the other aspects of Duke-Progress and Yadkin’s Order No. 1000 Compliance Filings.

Also on October 11, 2012, MPS submitted revisions to its OATT to comply with local and regional transmission planning and cost allocation requirements of Order No. 1000.  MPS indicated in its compliance filing that MPS is a participant in the Northern Maine Independent System Administrator, Inc. (“NMISA”), a Commission-approved Regional Transmission Group.  Accordingly, MPS stated that it must comply with the terms of NMISA’s Commission-approved Tariff and Market Rules.  MPS explained that while NMISA was not making its own Order No. 1000 filing, the NMISA regional transmission planning process satisfied the applicable requirements for regional transmission planning of Order No. 1000.  To the extent the NMISA regional planning process was not deemed fully compliant with Order No. 1000, MPS requested waiver, as MPS is unable to make unilateral modifications to the NMISA Tariff and Market Rules.  MPS further stated that it is in a “unique” situation, as MPS is not directly interconnected to the United States transmission grid, and is the only FERC-jurisdictional transmission provider in northern Maine.  The Commission found that given MPS’s “unique circumstances” it was appropriate to grant waiver with respect to Order No. 1000’s regional transmission planning and cost allocation requirements.

In addition to regional planning issues, MPS’s Order No. 1000 compliance filing addressed consideration of transmission needs driven by public policy at the local level.  MPS explained that “public policy requirements” included those established by enacted state or federal law or regulation.  MPS also proposed a cost allocation method for public policy projects which presumes the party that requests the project will be the beneficiary and will pay all costs of the project, and that if production cost benefits related to the project exceed the cost of the project, project costs would be allocated to all transmission customers on a load ratio share basis.  FERC accepted MPS’s proposed cost allocation method for public policy projects.  FERC conditionally accepted MPS’s proposed Attachment R concerning other local transmission planning requirements, directing MPS to: (1) provide a definition of Public Policy Requirements; (2) revise the proposed tariff language to describe the process by which MPS will select transmission needs driven by Public Policy Requirements for further evaluation; and (3) make a compliance filing that describes how MPS complies with Order No. 1000’s requirement that it establish procedures to evaluate at the local level potential solutions to identify transmission needs driven by Public Policy Requirements.

A copy of the Duke-Progress/Yadkin Order is available here.  A copy of the MPS Order is available here.