On March 21, 2024, FERC issued a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) seeking additional information on whether the Commission should continue to allow interstate pipelines to package “high value” capacity with non-contiguous and operationally unrelated parcels of capacity in a single auction or open season, thus requiring interested bidders to bid on both segments of capacity.  Initial comments on the NOI are due by June 20, 2024.

Continue Reading FERC Initiates Inquiry into Capacity Allocation on Non-Contiguous Pipeline Segments

On March 21, 2024, FERC proposed to prohibit transmission providers from being compensated through their transmission rates charges for reactive power that is within the standard power factor range from generating facilities.  Similarly, FERC proposed to revise both the large generator interconnection agreement (“LGIA”) and small generator interconnection agreement (“SGIA”) to remove the requirement that a transmission provider pay an interconnection customer for reactive power within the standard power factor range if the transmission provider pays its own or affiliated generators for the same service.  If the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) becomes final as proposed, transmission providers would only be required to pay an interconnection customer for reactive power when the transmission provider asks the interconnection customer to operate its facility outside the standard power factor range set forth in its interconnection agreement.

Continue Reading FERC Proposes to Largely Eliminate Compensation for Reactive Power

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

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 February 15, 2024, FERC approved two new extreme cold weather Reliability Standards EOP-011-4 (Emergency Operations) and TOP-002-5 (Operations Planning).

This approval is the culmination of a joint inquiry and November 2021 report (“Report”) among FERC, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”), and regional entity staff into a February 2021 cold weather reliability event that affected Texas and the South-Central United States, which was the largest controlled firm load shed event in U.S. history.  The Report recommended reliability standard enhancements to improve extreme cold weather operations, preparedness, and coordination.

Continue Reading FERC Approves Extreme Cold Weather Reliability Standards EOP-011-4 and TOP-002-5

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 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 December 19, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (“Sixth Circuit”), in Electric Power Supply Association; PJM Power Providers Group v. FERC, held that the former Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), Richard Glick, exceeded his authority when he reinstated market design features including a stepped demand curve and an $850/MWh price ceiling for the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (“PJM”) Reserve Market, without the backing of his colleagues.  This ruling was made by a split Sixth Circuit.  In addition, on February 7, the Sixth Circuit denied Petitioners’ request for panel rehearing of the opinion.

Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Finds that FERC Overstepped its Authority on Voluntary Remand of PJM Reserve Market Design Changes

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 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