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On March 12, 2024, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld a prospective rule change to PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.’s (“PJM”) annual capacity auction but struck down attempts by PJM and FERC to apply the rule change to the ongoing auction held in December 2022.  Although the rule change permits PJM to adjust the Locational Deliverability Area (“LDA”) Reliability Requirement downward to reflect the lack of participation in the December 2022 auction by certain resources to correct for distortions to the auction results, the Third Circuit held that FERC could not permit the change to go into effect in the middle of an ongoing auction.Continue Reading Third Circuit Upholds PJM Capacity Market Change but Prevents Retroactive Application

On March 21, 2024, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing to consider President Biden’s three recent nominations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”): (1) David Rosner for the term expiring June 30, 2027; (2)Lindsay S. See for the term expiring June 30, 2028; and (3)Judy W. Chang for the term expiring June 30, 2029.Rosner is an energy industry analyst at FERC and led efforts related to the Commission’s rulemaking on energy storage resources, electric transmission, offshore wind integration, fuel security, and natural gas-electric coordination. See is the Solicitor General of West Virginia, and manages West Virginia’s civil and criminal appellate dockets, with a focus on regulatory and administrative law matters. Chang is an energy economics and policy analyst and was the former Undersecretary of Energy and Climate Solutions for Massachusetts, where she set policies for the Commonwealth’s energy sector.Continue Reading Senate Committee Considers Three New FERC Nominees

At the February 15, 2024, FERC open meeting and in four orders issued the same day, FERC established a new policy governing its issuance of preliminary permits under section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”), pursuant to which it will not issue preliminary permits for projects located on Tribal lands if the Tribe on whose land the project is proposed to be located opposes the permit. FERC explained that this policy change is based on the agency’s commitment to ensuring that Tribal concerns and interests are considered whenever FERC’s actions or decisions have the potential to adversely affect Tribes or Tribal trust resources. To avoid future permit denials, FERC emphasized that potential applicants should fully inform Tribes about proposed projects on their lands before filing the permit application.Continue Reading FERC Establishes New Policy to Reject Hydropower Preliminary Permit Applications Based on Tribal Opposition to Projects Located on Their Tribal Lands

On December 19, 2023, the Department of Energy (“DOE”) Grid Deployment Office released final guidance on how it will designate National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors (“NIETC”) pursuant to Section 216(a) of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) and opened the first submission window for public participation and recommendations. The guidance explains that NIETCs will be narrow geographic areas where DOE has identified present or expected transmission capacity constraints or congestion that adversely affects consumers. Designation as a NIETC opens federal funding and financing opportunities, pursuant to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“IIJA”) and the Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”) and conveys eminent domain rights to developers in certain circumstances where FERC is authorized to permit and site the project. Public comments and recommendations are due February 2, 2024.Continue Reading Department of Energy Issues Final Guidance on National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor Designation

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 17, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) denied petitions challenging FERC’s approval of recent changes to the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.’s (“PJM”) Open Access Transmission Tariff. The changes permit Transmission Owners in PJM to plan for “asset management projects” and certain End of Life (“EOL”) projects without satisfying PJM regional planning criteria. The D.C. Circuit also dismissed certain petitions for lack of standing.Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Upholds PJM Tariff Changes to Planning of Asset Management and End of Life Projects

On November 16, 2023, FERC staff issued the 2023-2024 Winter Energy Market and Electric Reliability Assessment report, projecting trends and identifying considerations for energy markets and electric reliability for the upcoming winter (December through February). The report focuses on weather outlook, the state of the natural gas and electricity markets, and initiatives implemented in the wake of Winter Storm Elliott.Continue Reading FERC Staff Issues Winter Reliability Assessment Report

On October 30, 2023, FERC accepted the California Independent System Operator Corporation’s (“CAISO”) revisions to its wheeling tariff provisions. The revised provisions allow external load serving entities to obtain, in advance, on a monthly and daily basis, rights to transmit electricity (also known as “wheeling”) through self-schedule priorities equal to the scheduling priority of CAISO demand. The revised provisions also update CAISO’s calculation of Available Transfer Capability (“ATC”).Continue Reading FERC Approves CAISO Revisions to Wheeling Through Priority Tariff Provisions, Amending ATC Calculations to Account for Transmission Capacity Needed to Serve Native Load

On October 19, 2023, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (“NOPR”) proposing various changes to its Electric Quarterly Report (“EQR”) filing requirements. According to FERC, the proposed changes are designed to update the data collection process, improve data quality, increase market transparency, decrease costs of preparing necessary data for submission, and streamline compliance with future filing requirements. The following is a summary of the primary reforms proposed.Continue Reading FERC Proposes Changes to Filing Requirements and Data Collection for Electric Quarterly Report