On November 3, 2017, FERC largely denied rehearing requests from a group of generation developers (“Generation Developers”) regarding the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“MISO”) revisions to its Generator Interconnection Procedures (“GIP”) and its pro forma Generator Interconnection Agreement (“GIA”).  With the exception of one issue, FERC otherwise rejected the Generation Developers requests that FERC reconsider prior MISO revisions regarding the efficiency and timeliness of MISO’s generator interconnection queue process contained in Attachment X of its Open Access Transmission, Energy and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff (“Tariff”).

On January 3, 2017, FERC accepted MISO’s proposed revisions to its GIP and its pro forma GIA contained in Attachment X of its Tariff (see January 9, 2017 version of the WER).  Within this order, FERC also accepted MISO’s proposed changes to its interconnection procedures.  According to MISO, these changes are intended to facilitate customer analysis and decision-making earlier in the GIP, improve transparency, and hold the transmission provider, affected systems, and transmission owners accountable for the accuracy of study results.

On February 2, 2017, a group of Generation Developers requested rehearing of the January 3 order and also filed a motion to reopen and lodge the record for FERC’s reassessment of the earlier revisions.  The Generation Developers argued that since the January 3 order, MISO’s transition timeline as accepted by FERC had been delayed, which illustrated the inefficiency of the revisions FERC accepted.  Therefore, the Generation Developers urged FERC to require MISO to make changes to the efficiency and timeliness of the planning phases to account for such delays.  Acceptance of the motion to reopen, the Generation Developers argued, would give FERC a complete record to review before requiring MISO to make further revisions to its GIP and GIA.

FERC largely denied the Generation Developers’ requests.  Specifically, FERC denied rehearing requests regarding MISO’s proposed revisions regarding the schedule for processing interconnection requests during the final phase of the GIP, permitting restudies during the initial phases and completion of the GIA, and the amount of cash in lieu of site control needed to enter the final phase of the GIP, ruling that the arguments made by the Generation Developers were generally unsupported.  Additionally, FERC denied the Generation Developers’ motion to reopen and lodge the record after finding that the delays to the GIA project completion, while potentially a reflection that the original reforms were not working as well, did not rise to the level of “extraordinary circumstances” that FERC needs shown in order to reopen the record.

FERC did, however, accept the Generation Developers’ request for rehearing regarding the interconnection customers’ ability to withdraw from the queue penalty-free if costs increase by certain set amounts even in the final phase of MISO’s interconnection process.  FERC agreed with the Generation Developers’ concern that the January 3 Order failed to fully address customer withdrawal after this final phase and therefore, granted rehearing.

For review, a copy of the order is available here.