On May 1, 2020, FERC accepted two agreements—an unexecuted Network Integration Transmission Service Agreement (“NITSA”) and a Network Operating Agreement (“NOA”) (together, “Agreements”)—filed by Southwest Power Pool Inc. (“SPP”) to be effective February 1, 2020, subject to the outcome of pending rehearing proceedings. Consistent with FERC’s prior notice policies, SPP had requested waiver of the 60-day prior notice requirement to permit the Agreements to become effective February 1, 2020. While Commissioner Danly concurred with the decision to grant an effective date prior to the filing date, he noted that this practice appears to run afoul of the rule against retroactive ratemaking and urged FERC to reexamine its practice.
In SPP’s March 2, 2020 filing, it submitted: (1) a revised unexecuted NITSA with American Electric Power Service Corporation (“AEP”) as agent for Public Service Company of Oklahoma (“PSO”) and Southwestern Electric Power Company (“SWEPCO”) as network customer; and (2) an executed NOA with AEP as agent for PSO and SWEPCO as both network customer and host transmission owner and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative as host transmission owner. SPP requested a February 1, 2020 effective date for both Agreements.
FERC accepted the Agreements, effective February 1, 2020, subject to the outcome of the pending rehearing proceeding. With respect to the requested effective date, FERC reasoned that waiver of its prior notice requirement was appropriate because SPP had filed the Agreements within 30 days of the commencement of service. This is consistent with FERC’s Prior Notice Order, which found that FERC may waive prior notice for service agreements under an umbrella tariff if such agreements are filed within 30 days after service commences, as well as recent precedent applying that order. As noted above, Commissioner Danly issued a separate statement concurring with FERC’s May 1 order because, as he recognized, SPP had relied upon FERC precedent in making its request. However, Commissioner Danly expressed concern that this policy may violate the rule against retroactive ratemaking and urged FERC to reexamine its practice of allowing rate schedules to go into effect before they are filed.
A copy of the order is available here.