On March 5, 2013, FERC conditionally approved the ISO New England, Inc. (“ISO-NE”) and New England Power Pool Participants Committee’s (“Power Pool Committee”) proposal to share confidential information with other Independent System Operators (“ISOs”), Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTOs”), or their respective market monitors if such information is requested by the ISO, RTO, or market monitor as part of an investigation.  According to FERC’s letter order, any requested confidential information will be subject to appropriate confidentiality protections while in the possession of the requesting entity.  Additionally, FERC’s order stated that ISO-NE’s market monitor will have access to any confidential information the ISO-NE receives as part of an investigation from another ISO, RTO, or their respective market monitors.

In its proposal to FERC, ISO-NE and the Power Pool Committee clarified that confidential information may be shared if the information is requested as part of an investigation into potential market power concerns, market design flaws, or “Market Violations,” defined as “a tariff violation, violation of a [FERC]-approved order, rule or regulation, market manipulation, or inappropriate dispatch that creates substantial concerns regarding unnecessary market inefficiencies.”  ISO-NE and the Power Pool Committee also stated that their proposal is nearly identical to a similar information sharing proposal made by the New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (“NYISO”) previously accepted by FERC in August 2011.

FERC conditionally approved ISO-NE and the Power Pool Committee’s proposal, effective March 13, 2013.  However, similar to FERC’s August 2011 order approving NYISO’s information sharing proposal, FERC stated that ISO-NE must include a provision that requires ISO-NE to also provide the confidential information to the applicable market monitor if the requesting entity is a jurisdictional ISO or RTO, and clarify that the market monitor receiving such information must follow the confidential requirements of ISO-NE’s tariff.  ISO-NE must submit these additional provisions to FERC within 30 days of FERC’s letter order.

A copy of FERC’s letter order is available here.