On June 17, 2016, the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (“DCPSC”) denied multiple applications for reconsideration of its March 23, 2016 order approving the merger (“Merger Order”) between Pepco Holdings, Inc. (“Pepco”) and Exelon Corporation (“Exelon”) (see March 29, 2016, edition of the WER). The applications for reconsideration had been filed by several opponents of the merger. Going forward, those opponents must decide if they want to pursue a judicial appeal of the Merger Order. 
Continue Reading DCPSC Rejects Requests to Reconsider Pepco-Exelon Merger Approval

On June 2, the California Assembly passed a proposal to amend the state constitution and reduce the California Public Utilities Commission’s (“CPUC”) regulatory authority. Assembly Constitutional Amendment 11 (“ACA”), also referred to as the Public Utility Reform Act of 2016, was passed by the California Assembly by a 61-to-9 vote, and may ultimately be placed on the November 2016 ballot for consideration by California’s voters. If passed, the ACA would restructure the CPUC and reallocate many of the CPUC’s functions to other state agencies, departments, or boards. 
Continue Reading California Assembly Passes Constitutional Amendment to Restructure the California Public Utilities Commission

On April 19, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC affirming the decisions of the courts below that the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) vests in FERC exclusive jurisdiction over wholesale sales of electricity. As a result, the Supreme Court upheld the determination that Maryland’s state program to grant power plant subsidies was preempted by the FPA.
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Affirms FERC’s Jurisdiction in Face of Maryland Power Plant Subsidy

On March 23, 2016, the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (“DCPSC”) issued an order approving the proposed $6.8 billion merger between Exelon Corporation (“Exelon”) and Pepco Holdings, Inc. (“Pepco” and together with Exelon, “Joint Applicants”). The DCPSC 2-1 vote approving the merger follows two previous orders in which the DCPSC denied the proposed merger on grounds that it was not in the public interest (see March 8, 2016, edition of the WER). Upon consummation of the merger, Exelon will become the largest electric utility in the United States by customer base. 
Continue Reading DCPSC Approves Exelon-Pepco Merger

On March 17, 2016, FERC granted in part and denied in part a petition for waiver of the obligation to purchase energy and capacity from qualifying facilities (“QFs”) filed by Heartland Consumers Power District (“Heartland”) under section 292.402 of FERC’s Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act (“PURPA”) regulations. Heartland’s petition for waiver—filed on behalf of its municipal customers in Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota—sought waiver of its customers’ obligations to purchase energy and capacity made available to them by QFs. 
Continue Reading FERC Grants Waiver of PURPA Mandatory Purchase and Sell Obligations to Twenty-Two of Twenty-Eight Heartland Utility Members

On March 3, 2016, FERC issued an order denying a complaint filed by PáTu Wind Farm, LLC (“PáTu”)—a 9 megawatt qualifying facility (“QF”) under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (“PURPA”). The complaint alleged that Portland General Electric Company (“Portland General”) was required to set up a pseudo-tie so that PáTu could dynamically schedule its entire net output to Portland General.
Continue Reading FERC Rejects Attempt by QF Wind Generator to Force Pseudo-Tie with Portland General

On February 26, 2016, the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (“DCPSC”) issued an order rejecting the Nonunanimous Full Settlement Agreement and Stipulation (“Settlement”), which proposed to amend the terms of the proposed merger between Exelon Corporation (“Exelon”) and Pepco Holdings, Inc. (“Pepco” and together with Exelon, “Joint Applicants”). In the order, the DCPSC determined that the Settlement was not in the public interest. Instead, the DCPSC proposed a Revised Settlement that would, among other things, defer its decision on the allocation of a proposed $25.6 million for Customer Base Rate Credit in the Settlement.
Continue Reading DCPSC Rejects Exelon-Pepco Merger for Second Time

On December 23, 2015, the New York Public Service Commission (“NYPSC”) issued a notice soliciting comments and proposals on an interim successor to net energy metering. The order also established a preliminary conference on January 7, 2016 to discuss the matter. The NYPSC’s notice was issued in accordance with prior NYPSC orders directing the establishment of a methodology for valuing distributed energy resources (“DER”). The notice indicates that the NYPSC is seeking to establish a new methodology and process for determining the full value of DER prior to December 31, 2016.
Continue Reading NYPSC Seeks to Replace Net Metering, Create Methodology to Value Distributed Energy Resources

On November 4, 2015, the California Independent System Operator Corporation (“CAISO”) Board of Governors unanimously approved certain design changes to the western Energy Imbalance Market (“EIM”). These changes and enhancements are part of CAISO’s “year 1 phase 2 enhancements” – including items and issues that the CAISO originally determined would benefit from having six months of operational experience under the EIM to inform their resolution, as well as certain items that were deferred from phase 1 to allow for additional stakeholder input.
Continue Reading CAISO Board Unanimously Approves EIM Design Changes

On October 28, 2015, the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (“DCPSC”) issued an order granting the joint motion of Exelon Corporation (“Exelon”) and Pepco Holdings, Inc. (“Pepco” and together with Exelon, “Joint Applicants”) to reopen the record in the Exelon-Pepco merger proceedings so that it may consider a settlement agreement between the District of Columbia (“DC”) Government and the Joint Applicants, announced on October 8, 2015 (see October 12, 2015 edition of the WER).  With the record reopened, the Joint Applicants now have another opportunity to persuade the DCPSC that the merger proposal – as amended per the terms of the Settlement – serves the public interest, and should be approved.
Continue Reading DC Public Service Commission Reopens Record in Exelon-Pepco Merger Proceedings