On April 22, 2022, the Commission on remand from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”), reversed its approval of the California Independent System Operator Corporation’s (“CAISO”) proposed Capacity Market Adder (“20% adder”). The Commission ordered CAISO to submit a compliance filing that removes the 20% adder from its Open Access Transmission Tariff (“OATT”) and replace it with an alternative methodology that excludes the 20% adder.
Continue Reading FERC Reverses Approval of CAISO Capacity Market Adder

On April 21, 2022, FERC directed each regional transmission organization/independent system operator (“RTO/ISO”) to submit information related to their wholesale markets, including how changing resource mixes and load profiles are affecting system needs. FERC stated it will review the reports and any public comments filed to determine whether further action is appropriate.
Continue Reading Declining to Propose a Generic Solution, FERC Directs RTOs/ISOs to File Reports on System Needs

On March 28, 2022 and March 29, 2022, FERC issued two orders approving stipulation and consent agreements between FERC’s Office of Enforcement and Dynegy Marketing and Trade, LLC (“Dynegy”) and Constellation NewEnergy Inc. (“Constellation”), respectively. Among other things, Dynegy agreed to pay a $450,000 civil penalty for alleged violations of PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) capacity tariff requirements, and Constellation agreed to pay a $2.4 million civil penalty for alleged violations of California Independent System Operator Corp. (“CAISO”) resource adequacy tariff requirements.
Continue Reading FERC Approves Civil Penalties for Alleged Violations of CAISO and PJM Market Rules

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 February 4, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“DC Circuit”) issued a per curiam order granting NTE Connecticut, LLC’s (“NTE”) petition for issuance of a writ under the All Writs Act to stay a FERC order issued January 3, 2022 (“January 3 Order”). The January 3 Order terminated the Killingly Energy Center’s capacity commitments in the ISO-New England, Inc. (“ISO-NE”) capacity market. The DC Circuit’s order stays FERC’s January 3 Order until 30 days after FERC resolves NTE’s pending request for rehearing of the January 3 Order. The DC Circuit’s order also states that an opinion will follow in due course.  As a result of the DC Circuit’s order, ISO-NE ran its Forward Capacity Auction on February 7, 2022 as scheduled but after “unwind[ing] the actions it had taken to terminate Killingly.” ISO-NE has stated that it will update the auction results if FERC confirms Killingly’s termination. 
Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Grants Emergency Petition for Stay of FERC’s Order Terminating Killingly Energy Center’s ISO-NE Capacity Commitments

On January 21, 2022, FERC accepted revisions to the Southeast Energy Exchange Market (“SEEM”) Agreement consistent with commitments made by SEEM members in response to two deficiency letters it issued before the SEEM Agreement went into effect by operation of law.
Continue Reading FERC Accepts Tariff Revisions to Southeast Energy Exchange Market, Drawing Concurrences from Chairman Glick and Commissioner Clements

On January 20, 2022, FERC issued an order on remand from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) directing PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) to remove provisions from its Tariff that applied a 10 percent adder to the energy and ancillary services (“E&AS”) offset in PJM’s net Cost of New Entry (“CONE”) calculation. FERC acknowledged that energy market rules permit generators to increase their offers into the energy market by 10 percent above estimated costs. That fact alone, FERC concluded, does not justify application of the 10 percent adder to the E&AS offset in the Net CONE calculation used to establish the Variable Resource Requirement Curve (“VRR Curve”). Moreover, FERC concluded, PJM failed to present sufficient evidence to support inclusion of the 10 percent adder. FERC directed PJM to remove the 10 percent adder from its VRR Curve determination for the 2023-2024 Base Residual Auction (“BRA”) and subsequent auctions. FERC previously directed PJM to delay the start of the 2023-2024 BRA (see January 18, 2022 edition of the WER). In the January 20 order, FERC stated its expectation that PJM propose an amended BRA schedule that would provide it adequate time to remove the 10 percent adder from its Tariff. Commissioner James Danly issued a separate dissenting statement.
Continue Reading On Remand, FERC Reverses Prior Approval of PJM 10% Net CONE Adder

On December 17, 2021, FERC affirmed a Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (“PURPA”) qualifying facility (“QF”) self-certification for the Shields Valley Solar Facility (“Shields Valley”), a hybrid solar and battery project relying on inverters to limit its net power production capacity.  In doing so, FERC reiterated its finding in its Broadview Solar rehearing order that a QF owner can use MW net output at the point of interconnection, taking into account inverter losses and other components to produce electricity, in determining whether a facility meets the 80 MW statutory maximum for QF status.  Commissioner James Danly wrote separately in dissent explaining his view that Shields Valley plainly exceeds the statutory capacity limit for a QF.
Continue Reading FERC Affirms QF Self-Certification for a Hybrid Solar and Battery Project, Prompting Dissent from Commissioner Danly

On December 22, 2021, FERC issued an order on voluntary remand from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) directing changes to PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.’s (“PJM’s”) reserve market design. FERC’s December 22 order reverses certain changes it previously ordered in May 2020 (“May 2020 Order”). The December 22 order affirmed FERC’s decision in the May 2020 Order to accept PJM’s proposal to consolidate its Tier 1 and Tier 2 Synchronized Reserve Products. However, the December 22 order required PJM to revert back to its currently-effective Reserve Penalty Factors, two-step Operating Reserve Demand Curve (“ORDC”), and a backward-looking Energy and Ancillary Services (“E&AS”) Offset. FERC directed PJM to apply the backward-looking E&AS Offset to the 2023/24 Base Residual Auction (“BRA”), which was previously scheduled to run in January 2022, notwithstanding any resulting delay to the auction schedule. FERC required PJM to submit a revised BRA schedule on compliance. Commissioner Christie issued a concurring opinion, and Commissioner Danly dissented in part.
Continue Reading FERC Reverses Certain Changes to PJM Reserve Market in Voluntary Remand Proceeding