On May 23, 2024, FERC issued an Order denying Lackawanna Energy Center LLC’s (“Lackawanna”) complaint against PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) alleging that PJM failed to reimburse Lackawanna for lost opportunity costs (“LOC”) incurred following allegedly improper curtailment orders from PJM during a 2023 transmission line outage.  Lackawanna argued that PJM’s curtailment of its generation output violated the Federal Power Act and the PJM Tariff, which typically allow for LOC payments when generator output is reduced due to transmission constraints or reliability issues.  FERC dismissed all claims raised in the complaint.Continue Reading FERC Dismisses Lackawanna Complaint Against PJM Seeking “Stability Limit”-Related Lost Opportunity Costs

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

On March 28, 2024, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (“MISO”) submitted a filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) proposing revisions to its Open Access Transmission, Energy and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff (“Tariff”) to implement a direct loss of load (“DLOL”) based accreditation methodology.  The DLOL methodology will be used to accredit resources for MISO’s annual Planning Resource Auction and to determine a load serving entity’s resource adequacy for each season during the applicable year.  According to MISO, the proposal will better account for how different resources bolster grid reliability during stress periods.  MISO requests that the tariff revisions take effect on September 1, 2024.Continue Reading MISO Seeks to Reform Resource Accreditation Requirements

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 18, 2024, FERC granted a certificate of public convenience and necessity to Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (“Transco”) to construct and operate the Texas to Louisiana Energy Pathway Project (“Texas to Louisiana Project”), an approximately $91.8 million expansion project designed to provide 364,400 dekatherms per day of firm transportation service to EOG Resources, Inc. (“EOG Resources”). The Texas to Louisiana Project will provide firm transportation service to EOG Resources through a combination of (1) the conversion of Transco’s IT Feeder System to firm transportation service, (2) the turnback of certain firm transportation service by Transco’s existing customers, and (3) the addition of incremental firm transportation service made possible by the construction of a new compressor station and modifications to existing compressor stations in Texas. The Texas to Louisiana Project is fully subscribed by EOG Resources pursuant to a fifteen-year precedent agreement (“Project Precedent Agreement”).Continue Reading FERC Grants Certificate to Transco’s Texas to Louisiana Energy Pathway Project

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

In its May 26, 2023 opinion in Sierra Club v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (an article on the rest of the opinion regarding FERC’s environmental review of the Mountain Valley Pipeline can be found here), the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit addressed challenges to its jurisdiction to hear appeals of Commission rehearing orders when they are denied by operation of law and the Commission subsequently modifies the underlying order after said denial.Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Addresses Appeals of Rehearings Denied by Operation of Law

On May 26, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion in Sierra Club v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission largely denying challenges to several FERC orders authorizing the resumption of construction of Mountain Valley Pipeline (“MVP”) but remanded, without vacatur, all but one of the orders on review insofar as FERC failed to adequately explain its decision not to prepare a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) for MVP. (See related article on the Court’s finding with regard to hearing appeals of FERC’s rehearing orders, here).Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Finds FERC Failed to Justify Not Preparing a Supplemental EIS for Mountain Valley Pipeline

A group of 17 states, through their Attorneys General (“State AGs”), filed a motion (“Motion”) on May 10, 2023, requesting that the Commission audit and investigate whether BlackRock is acting as an “activist” investor, thereby violating Section 203 of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) and the Commission’s latest reauthorizations for BlackRock to acquire public utility securities. The Motion comes shortly after Commissioners Danly and Christie issued a joint statement regarding a different investment company, Vanguard Group, Inc. (“Vanguard”), questioning whether Vanguard’s “enormous accumulation” of utility assets may enable it to exercise “profound control” over those utilities.Continue Reading State Attorneys General Argue BlackRock is Violating its FERC Blanket Authorization

On May 16, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) issued an opinion in Center for Biological Diversity v. Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, affirming FERC’s authorization for Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (“AGDC”) to construct and operate liquified natural gas (“LNG”) facilities in Alaska’s North Slope region (“Project”).Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC’s NEPA Review of Alaskan LNG Project