On September 7, 2017, FERC rejected, without prejudice, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“MISO”) proposed tariff revisions regarding its generator interconnection process.  FERC found that MISO did not provide sufficient support in its filing to demonstrate that the reductions for its study procedures timeline are just and reasonable.

In October 2016, MISO submitted a proposed restructuring of the timeline for an interconnection customer’s Generator Interconnection Agreement.  Rather than a 180-day timeframe, MISO proposed an overall 460-day review timeline, divided over three Definitive Planning Phases (“DPPs”).  MISO indicated that the new 460-day timeline reflected the minimum processing time needed for MISO to conduct mandatory studies and make decisions before extending interconnection customers a Generator Interconnection Agreement.  On January 3, FERC accepted MISO’s 460-day queue reform, finding overall benefit in preventing ad hoc restudies that otherwise lengthened the process.

MISO recognized that due to its failure to properly provide the proposed timeline reductions with its October 2016 reform filing, its Tariff indicated a 520-day interconnection review process, rather than the 460-day process MISO proffered.  To correct for this, in July 2017, MISO submitted an amended filing to reduce the specific number of days allotted for each of the DPPs in order to match the originally presented 460-day timeline.

Several protestors contended that MISO’s proposed further reductions to the review process unjustly and unreasonably burdened the interconnection customer.  Protestors argued that MISO was reducing time that was necessary for an interconnection customer to complete the DPP, without providing adequate justification.

In its order, FERC rejected MISO’s proposal to reduce the number of days attributed to each of the DPP.  FERC found that MISO failed to provide sufficient support for these reductions, and in response to protestors’ arguments, did not justify the proposal.  Specifically, FERC stated that its rationale in approving the DPP in its January 3 Order applied to the benefits of reducing ad hoc restudies and said nothing about the time allotted for each phase.  Therefore, FERC rejected, without prejudice, MISO’s proposed tariff DPP timeline reductions until MISO submits another filing with justifications.

A copy of FERC’s order can be found here.