On January 17, 2014, FERC granted PJM Interconnection, L.L.C (“PJM”) a temporary waiver of certain provisions of PJM’s Amended and Restated Operating Agreement (“Operating Agreement”) to share non-public, operational information with natural gas pipelines in the PJM region.  The temporary waiver of information sharing provisions of PJM’s Operating Agreement is effective until the earlier of PJM’s effective date of implementing FERC’s Order No. 787 tariff revisions or March 31, 2014.

In Order No. 787, FERC announced it would allow natural gas pipelines and electric transmission operators to voluntarily share non-public information with each other to promote reliability and operational planning (see November 22, 2013 edition of the WER).  While Order No. 787 became effective on December 23, 2013, PJM had not yet filed the required tariff revisions to allow for non-public information sharing.  On January 3, 2014, PJM concurrently requested an emergency tariff waiver for information sharing in anticipation of extreme weather conditions, and a longer temporary waiver to extend until the end of the winter season or until PJM’s Order No. 787 tariff revisions became effective.  PJM stated that it was currently engaged in its stakeholder process to develop proposed tariff revisions.  On January 6, 2014, FERC approved the emergency waiver, effective from January 4. 2014 through January 10, 2014.

FERC’s January 17 order grants PJM’s requested longer temporary waiver.  This will permit PJM to utilize additional communication tools, as provided for in Order No. 787, to confirm whether there are adequate supplies of natural gas available to PJM generators during the winter heating season. FERC concluded that PJM had demonstrated good cause in its request for the waiver.  Specifically, FERC stated that the temporary waiver will ensure communication between PJM and natural gas pipelines in the PJM region and reduce potential reliability risks during the winter months.  Furthermore, FERC concluded that granting the waiver was consistent with Order No. 787 provisions.

A copy of the order is available here.