On October 20, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an Order rejecting a request by the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) seeking a rehearing of a Justification Order. FERC’s Order declining rehearing comes after an October 7, 2020 filing where Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. (“Tri-State”) filed its justification for spot market sales that exceeded the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (“WECC”) soft price cap of $1,000/MWh during the summer months of 2020. On May 20, 2022, the Commission issued an order finding that Tri-State had sufficient justification for certain spot market sales above the soft price cap but had not justified amounts charged above the relevant index price. Ultimately, the Commission rejected the CPUC’s rehearing request.
On September 22, 2022, FERC denied a complaint filed on October 14, 2020 by Cricket Valley Energy Center LLC and Empire Generating Company, LLC. Complainants alleged that the New York Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“NYISO’s”) capacity market offer floor rules—termed buyer-side market power mitigation rules (“BSM Rules”)—were unjust and unduly discriminatory because they failed to address price suppression in NYISO’s installed capacity (“ICAP”) spot market auctions. Complainants requested that FERC require NYISO to implement a minimum offer price rule (“MOPR”) that applies to all new and existing resources that receive out-of-market subsidies, with few or no exceptions. In denying the complaint, FERC relied on a May 2022 order accepting changes to NYISO’s BSM Rules to automatically exclude wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, fuel cells that do not use fossil fuel, and demand response resources from adhering to an offer floor when bidding into NYISO’s capacity market. Commissioner James Danly issued a dissenting statement and Commissioner Mark Christie issued a concurring statement.…
On August 19, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) denied a Petition for Review from LS Power and two other organizations (“Petitioners”) challenging FERC’s rejection of an earlier-submitted complaint against the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“MISO”) method of allocating costs for certain transmission construction projects identified as Baseline Reliability Projects in MISO’s transmission planning process. As the D.C. Circuit determined, FERC’s rejection of the Petitioners’ complaint was not arbitrary and capricious, as the Petitioners had failed to demonstrate that MISO’s cost-allocation method was unjust and unreasonable.
Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Denies Transmission Developer Challenge to MISO Baseline Reliability Project Cost Allocation
On June 16, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) focused on updating procedures for interconnecting large generating facilities (20MW and above) and small generating facilities (under 20MW). The NOPR proposes significant updates to FERC’s pro forma interconnection procedures, which were first established in the early 2000s. In the intervening years, however, the nation’s generation fleet has evolved, new technologies have emerged, and interconnection wait-times have steadily increased. The NOPR proposes various reforms to help address growing interconnection queue backlogs and process delays. Comments are due 100 days after the NOPR’s publication in the Federal Register. Reply comments are due 130 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Below is a summary of the primary reforms outlined in the NOPR, which fall into three broad categories: (1) implement a first-ready, first-served cluster study process; (2) increase the speed of interconnection queue processing; and (3) incorporate technological advancements into the interconnection process. FERC’s proposed reforms are discussed further in the full summary, linked below.
Continue Reading Summary of FERC Interconnection NOPR
On May 19, 2022, FERC issued Order No. 881-A responding to arguments raised on rehearing of Order No. 881, which revised the pro forma OATT and FERC regulations to increase the accuracy and transparency of electric transmission line ratings. FERC ultimately sustained the result of Order No. 881, denying all requests for rehearing, but did provide a number of clarifications regarding the new requirements. …
Continue Reading FERC Clarifies Order on Transmission Line Ratings
On April 21, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) to reform its policies regarding Regional Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation. The NOPR follows from an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANOPR) on these reforms, which FERC issued in July 2021. Representing FERC’s most significant action on transmission planning and cost allocation in more than a decade, the NOPR outlines six major proposals:…
Continue Reading Summary of FERC’s April 2022 NOPR on Transmission Planning, Cost Allocation, and Generator Interconnection
On March 24, 2022, FERC issued an order granting a motion to extend the deadline for submitting the cost justification filings required for spot market sales in the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (“WECC”) region that exceed FERC’s $1,000/MWh energy price cap. Sellers will now have 30 days after the end of the month in which any such sales occurred rather than seven days.
Continue Reading FERC Provides Additional Time to Prepare WECC Cost Justification Filings
On February 17, 2022, FERC set aside its September 2020 order rejecting the New York Independent System Operator Corporations (“NYISO’s”) tariff revisions to the “Part A Test,” a component of NYISO’s buyer-side mitigation (“BSM”) rules. The now-approved changes on rehearing permit NYISO to prioritize entry of renewable resources, battery storage, and other zero emission resources (“Public Policy Resources”) in New York’s Installed Capacity (“ICAP”) Market, rather than prioritizing new resources purely on a least-cost basis. FERC also ordered NYISO to submit a compliance filing within 30 days proposing a new effective date for its tariff revisions. Commissioner James Danly issued a separate dissenting statement, arguing that the reversal was a “cynical attempt” to preference renewable resources. Commissioner Mark Christie issued a separate concurring statement, agreeing with the majority that the result was just and reasonable in NYISO after concluding that the costs of the change would be confined to New York.
Continue Reading FERC Reverses Prior Order, Allows NYISO to Prioritize Entry of Zero Emission Resources in New York’s Capacity Market
On January 25, 2022, FERC announced that FERC staff will hold a technical conference on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, regarding whether the Commission should require additional financial assurance mechanisms in the licenses and other authorizations that FERC issues for hydroelectric projects, to ensure that licensees have the capability to carry out license requirements and, particularly, to maintain their projects in safe condition.
Continue Reading FERC to Host Technical Conference on Financial Assurance Measures for Hydroelectric Projects
On December 30, 2021, FERC accepted the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (“MISO”) revisions to its Generator Interconnection Procedures (“GIP”), which MISO proposed to, among other things: (1) classify fuel type change requests made during the three-phase Definitive Planning Phase (“DPP”) of MISO’s generator interconnection study process as a material modification, and (2) allow interconnection customers to request surplus interconnection service earlier in the interconnection study process. As FERC found, MISO’s proposed changes represented a “reasonable compromise” to allow interconnection customers to request an earlier review of fuel change request through the surplus process, while minimizing disruptions to the formal DPP process posed by fuel type changes.
Continue Reading FERC Accepts MISO’s Revisions to its Generator Interconnection Procedures Regarding Fuel Type Changes