On May 9, 2014, FERC conditionally approved PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.’s (“PJM”) proposed tariff revisions to enable sharing of operational data with natural gas pipelines and local distribution companies (“LDCs”).  The tariff revisions are in accordance with FERC’s Order No. 787 regarding information sharing and allow PJM to share non-public information with pipelines for purposes of operational planning or reliability.

PJM filed proposed tariff revisions on March 12, 2014 after operating pursuant to a temporary FERC-approved waiver of its tariff rules concerning confidential information since January 2014.  PJM sought that temporary waiver in advance of its stakeholder process in order to utilize Order No. 787’s communication tools during the extreme winter weather conditions (see January 24, 2014 edition of the WER).  In the more recent March filing, PJM noted that it has broadly utilized the information sharing process to enhance its operations and system reliability since receiving the temporary waiver in January.

In the May 9 order, FERC noted that PJM’s revisions would allow for improved communication and coordination among PJM and natural gas pipelines in the PJM region. FERC was unclear, however, about a particular term in the PJM filing that prohibited information sharing with LDC or pipeline “marketing function employees”.  In particular, FERC noted that the definition of marketing function employee in the Standards of Conduct is narrow and has a direct link between a transmission provider and its marketing function employees, or a pipeline and its marketing function employees.  FERC was unsure how PJM would apply the definition and directed PJM to clarify which LDC or pipeline employees would be prohibited from receiving non-public information from PJM.

A copy of the order is available here.