On July 28, 2022, FERC issued a show cause order indicating that several regional transmission organization (“RTO”) and independent system operator (“ISO”) tariffs appear to be unjust and unreasonable because they lack certain credit risk management practices.  FERC also issued a related Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) to allow all market operators to share credit-related information among themselves so that they can more accurately assess market participants’ credit risks.  Both actions aim to improve credit risk management in organized wholesale electric power markets.
Continue Reading FERC Issues Show Cause Order and NOPR on Credit Risk

On July 28, 2022, FERC upheld changes to PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.’s (“PJM”) Reserve Market that it first required in a December 2021 order on voluntary remand from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”). FERC’s July 28 order continues to require PJM to: (1) consolidate its Tier 1 and Tier 2 Synchronized Reserve Products; (2) align reserve procurement in the day-ahead and real-time markets by establishing two 10-minute reserve requirements and one 30-minute reserve requirement in each market; (3) revert back to a stepped Operating Reserve Demand Curve (“ORDC”) and $850/MWh Reserve Penalty Factors; and (4) revert to a backward-looking Energy & Ancillary Services (“E&AS”) Offset in the Net Cost of New Entry calculation. The July 28 order also addressed challenges to the December 2021 order on the basis that the motion for voluntary remand was not filed in the D.C. Circuit pursuant to FERC’s tradition of polling the Commissioners for major litigation decisions. The order makes certain clarifications on the Chairman’s role to oversee the executive and administrative operation of FERC, including the direction of litigation. Commissioner James Danly filed a separate dissenting statement.
Continue Reading FERC Upholds PJM Reserve Market Changes, Clarifies Chairman’s Role to Oversee Major Litigation Decisions

On May 27, 2022, a divided FERC ultimately agreed to allow ISO New England Inc. (“ISO-NE”) to sunset its current minimum offer price rule (“MOPR”) as part of its capacity market. During the next two capacity auctions, ISO-NE will permit a specified quantity of resources to enter the market without being subject to buyer-side market power mitigation review.  Thereafter, ISO-NE will replace the current MOPR with a reformed buyer-side market power mitigation construct (the “MOPR Reforms”). Each of the five commissioners wrote separately, with Chairman Richard Glick, Commissioners Allison Clements and Willie Phillips, and Commissioner Mark Christie writing in concurrence and Commissioner James Daly writing in dissent.
Continue Reading A Divided FERC Accepts ISO-NE’s Request to End its MOPR in Two Years

On May 19, 2022, FERC staff released its 2022 Summer Energy Market and Reliability Assessment (“Summer Assessment”). The Summer Assessment forecasts “higher than average” temperatures for the summer, which are expected to have a significant impact on demand for electricity, amid a continuation of extreme drought conditions in the West, and coming on the heels of the retirement of thousands of megawatts of baseload conventional resources.
Continue Reading FERC Staff Releases Annual Assessment Signaling Higher Energy Prices and Ongoing Operational Challenges During Extreme Weather Events

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