On June 19, 2014, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) intended to streamline and simplify its market-based rate policies and procedures for wholesale sales of electric energy, capacity, and ancillary services. 

In the NOPR, FERC proposed several changes to its reporting requirements to reduce burdens on market-based rate sellers.  With regard to FERC’s horizontal market power analysis, FERC proposed two scenarios in which sellers would not have to submit the indicative screens used to assess horizontal market power: (1) if sellers are in a regional transmission organization or independent system operator market and rely on FERC-approved monitoring and mitigation, or (2) if sellers can demonstrate that their generation capacity owned or controlled by a seller in the relevant balancing authority area is fully committed.  With respect to FERC’s vertical market power analysis, the NOPR removes the requirement that market-based rate sellers file quarterly land acquisition reports and provide information, in their applications and triennial market power analysis filings, on their control of sites for development of new generation capacity.

In addition to removing certain reporting requirements, FERC proposed to amend other requirements associated with its market-based rate program.  Notably, FERC clarified that the 100 MW reporting threshold for filing a notice of change in status is not limited to markets previously studied, but applies to any relevant geographic market.  FERC’s NOPR also contained the following proposals: (1) redefining the default relevant geographic market used to analyze market power for an independent power producer in generation-only balancing authority areas; (2) requiring additional information in indicatives screens, asset appendices, and Simultaneous Transmission Import Limit submittals; and (3) requiring applicants under the market-based rate program to report all of their long-term firm purchases of capacity and/or energy if the seller has an associated long-term firm transmission reservation, which is used to determine whether the 100 MW reporting threshold was met.

Comments on the NOPR are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.  A copy of the NOPR is available here.