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On May 13, 2024, the Commission announced two major transmission reform final rules: Building for the Future Through Electric Regional Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation (“Order No. 1920”) and Applications for Permits to Site Interstate Electric Transmission Facilities (“Order No. 1977”). Order No. 1920, which adopts specific requirements for how transmission providers must conduct long-term planning and allocate costs for regional transmission facilities, was the subject of significant debate at today’s meeting and only mustered two votes in support from the three sitting commissioners. The Commission unanimously approved Order No. 1977, which updates the process FERC will use in the limited circumstances in which it must exercise its authority over siting electric transmission lines, as directed by Congress in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (“IIJA”).Continue Reading Divided FERC Announces Much-Anticipated Transmission Rules

On April 18, 2024, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) introduced the Making Pipelines Accountable to Consumers and Taxpayers Act (“MPACT Act”) (S. 4171) that, if adopted, would grant FERC authority to order refunds under section 5 of the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”). Specifically, the MPACT Act amends section 5 of the NGA to give FERC authority to order a pipeline to issue retroactive refunds for charges FERC determines are unjust and unreasonable. The MPACT is intended to align FERC’s authority over the gas and electric industries and protect customers from unjust and unreasonable rates. At this time, a companion bill has not been introduced in the House of Representatives.Continue Reading Senate Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Give FERC Retroactive Refund Authority Under Section 5 of the Natural Gas Act

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (“D.C. Circuit”) recently upheld two FERC orders granting natural gas pipeline developers’ requests to extend their construction deadlines. The D.C. Circuit denied the Sierra Club’s petitions for review of the extension orders because the court determined that FERC’s decisions were reasonable and adequately supported by the record. The D.C. Circuit further provided that FERC has broad discretion in determining whether a developer has demonstrated good cause for an extension and whether circumstances have changed enough to warrant revisiting FERC’s original findings.Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC Orders Granting Natural Gas Pipeline Companies’ Requests to Extend Project Deadlines

Executive Summary

On March 21, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission) issued Order No. 2023-A (Final Rule), which reaffirmed aspects of Order No. 2023 — the Commission’s landmark order updating its generator interconnection procedures. As detailed further in this summary, the Commission largely upheld Order No. 2023, including some of the more controversial aspects of the order, such as penalties and the transmission capacity “heat map,” and provided further clarity on other aspects.Continue Reading Troutman Pepper Summary of FERC Order No. 2023-A on Generator Interconnections

On January 30, 2024, FERC approved, subject to condition, PJM’s proposal to reform its Reliability Pricing Model, including resource adequacy risk modeling, capacity accreditation, testing requirements for capacity resources, and the Capacity Performance stop loss (“Modeling Enhancements Filing”). In that same order, FERC approved PJM’s proposal to replace its previously effective average Effective Load Carrying Capability (“ELCC”) capacity accreditation method with a marginal approach, effective December 12, 2023. The order directed PJM to submit a compliance filing to make certain revisions to its proposal, which PJM subsequently submitted on February 16, 2024. Additionally, on February 6, 2024, FERC rejected a companion PJM proposal to modify the rules governing its Market Seller Offer Cap and Capacity Performance construct and adopt a forward-looking Energy and Ancillary Service (“EAS”) offset for purposes of calculating the Minimum Offer Price Rule (“MOPR”) and offer cap.Continue Reading FERC Approves Changes to PJM Capacity Accreditation Rules; Rejects Proposed Changes Seeking to Better Reflect Risk in Capacity Market Offers.

On November 30, 2023, the Commission denied a waiver request and a request for remedial relief from Ridgeview Solar LLC (“Ridgeview Solar”). Ridgeview Solar had sought a waiver or remedial relief from the procedural deadline in section 212.4 of the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) Open Access Transmission Tariff (“Tariff”) to post security after the deadline outlined in the section.Continue Reading FERC Rejects Solar Developer’s Request for Waiver of Security Posting Requirements After Using the Wrong Form; FERC Urges Tariff Changes

On November 30, 2023, the Commission denied the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency’s (“MMPA”) complaint alleging that Northern Natural Gas Company (“Northern”) violated the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”) by refusing to execute an interconnection agreement for MMPA’s planned renewable natural gas (“RNG”) facility in Elk River, Minnesota (“Elk River Project”).  The Commission denied MMPA’s complaint without prejudice because the complaint was unripe since Northern has yet to act on MMPA’s interconnection request.Continue Reading FERC denies Muni Complaint on Proposed RNG Interconnection Request

On October 13, 2023, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) submitted two filings with FERC proposing revisions to its Open Access Transmission Tariff (“Tariff”) and its “Reliability Assurance Agreement” (“RAA”) designed to improve resource adequacy and grid reliability. PJM requested the Commission to accept both filings concurrently, with an effective date of December 12, 2023, so that PJM may implement the proposed reforms for the upcoming Base Residual Auction (“BRA”) associated with the 2025/2026 Delivery Year.Continue Reading PJM Files Capacity Market Overhaul for Resource Adequacy and Grid Reliability

On October 19, 2023, FERC accepted ISO New England Inc.’s (“ISO-NE”) proposal to allow electric storage facilities to be planned and operated as transmission-only assets (“SATOAs”) to address system needs identified in the regional system planning process. FERC determined that the ISO-NE’s proposal established a just and reasonable framework for electric storage resources to be considered a transmission asset for regional planning purposes and thus be eligible for cost-based rate recovery. Continue Reading FERC Accepts ISO-NE’s Proposal to Treat Electric Storage Facilities as Transmission-Only Assets

On September 29, 2023, FERC approved Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C.’s (“TGP”) proposal to lease intrastate capacity from Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline LLC (“Kinder Morgan”) to offer a new hourly transportation “PowerServe” service. According to the parties’ joint application, PowerServe will offer increased flexibility to shippers serving gas-fired power generation facilities that backstop renewable energy sources. Commissioner Danly concurred in part and dissented in part with a separate statement that has not been issued at the time of this article.Continue Reading FERC Accepts Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s New PowerServe Rate Schedule and Authorizes Capacity Lease Agreement with Kinder Morgan