Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

On April 21, 2022, a split Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) approved 4-1 a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) on transmission planning and cost allocation. Issued pursuant to section 206 of the Federal Power Act, the NOPR represents a significant and long-awaited step toward expansion and upgrade of the Nation’s high voltage grid. The NOPR is more limited than the Commission’s July 2021 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, perhaps in an effort to bring the Commissioners closer together and to issue a Final Rule by year’s end. Comments are due 75 days from date of publication in the Federal Register, which will occur in the weeks following the Commission’s April 21 meeting. Reply comments are due 30 days after the initial comment deadline.

Continue Reading FERC’S Next Big Electric Initiative

On February 17, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an updated policy statement on the certification of new interstate natural gas facilities (Updated Policy Statement). This Updated Policy Statement replaces the Commission’s previous policy statement issued in 1999, which relied primarily on the existence of precedent agreements between the pipeline applicant and its shippers to establish evidence of need for a proposed interstate natural gas facility. Under the previous policy statement, if a proposed natural gas pipeline project was able to establish through precedent agreements with shippers that there was demand for the increased capacity, the Commission generally found that the proposed project was in the public interest and issued the certificate.
Continue Reading FERC Updates Gas Pipeline Certificate Policy Statement and Issues Interim Policy Statement on GHG Emissions

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is acting to improve the safety of hydroelectric generation projects.  Hydropower regulation is the oldest area of FERC’s jurisdiction, dating back to the 1920s.  The latest developments in this area of FERC regulation focus on safety.
Continue Reading FERC Acts to Improve Safety at Hydroelectric Projects

On November 19, we published an article on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC”) efforts to reform transmission planning and cost allocation issues addressed in FERC’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANOPR”).  Just last week, FERC issued a notice seeking comments in response to its November 15, 2021 technical conference on ANOPR in Docket No. RM21-17.  Please be advised that all interested persons are invited to file post-technical conference comments to address the issues raised during that event on or before November 30, 2021. 
Continue Reading Updates on FERC Transmission Planning Process Reform – 11/22/21

Regulatory Update – FERC transmission planning process reform

On July 15, 2021, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANOPR”) to broadly examine FERC’s current electric regional transmission planning, cost allocation, and generator interconnection policies.  The ANOPR seeks public comment on “potential reforms for longer-term regional transmission planning and cost-allocation processes that take into account more holistic planning, including planning for anticipated future generation, rethinking cost responsibility for regional transmission facilities and interconnection-related network upgrades, and enhanced transmission oversight over how new transmission facilities are identified and paid for.”  Issuance of a final rule could have a significant impact on transmission grid planning processes throughout the nation.  Below are some key takeaways and perspectives based on the ANOPR and its public comment process.

Continue Reading Updates on FERC Transmission Planning Process Reform

As the cold weather season approaches, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) are taking action to prevent a repeat of the devastating electric power outages that rocked Texas and the Midwest at the beginning of this year.
Continue Reading FERC and NERC Take Action on Winter Readiness

Late last month, the Federal Courts issued two major rulings involving certificates of public convenience and necessity for natural gas pipelines issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  While a decision by the Supreme Court was a victory for pipeline companies, a decision by the DC Circuit in another FERC case could have important impacts on the standards that pipeline companies must meet in order to demonstrate need for their proposed pipeline project.
Continue Reading Federal Courts Issue a Mixed Bag of Decisions on Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting

FERC is in the process of gathering information and building a public record on technical and market issues that are prompted by the growing interest in “hybrid resources.”  FERC held a technical conference in the summer of 2020 (Docket No. AD20-9), followed by written comments from conference participants. In mid-January 2021, FERC directed RTOs and ISOs to submit reports on specific information requests.  Those reports are due in July 2021 and will likely provide valuable RTO and ISO specific facts and information for developers seeking to build, own, and operate hybrid resources in FERC-regulated RTOs and ISOs.

This technical conference proceeding could imply that FERC sees a basis or need to revise regulations or tariffs to address issues limiting hybrid resource development.  While FERC is not mandating any new requirement at this time, it could foreshadow a rule making proceeding for new regulations that facilitate and perhaps incentivize hybrid resources.

Generally, “hybrid resources” are projects that are comprised of more than one resource type at the same plant location.  For purposes of the Technical Conference, FERC focused on hybrid resources that consist of “a generation resource and an electric storage resource paired together.”  In industry vernacular, “hybrid resources” are also referred to as “Co-Located Resources,” “Combination Resources,” or co-controlled resources that share a single point of interconnection (“POI”).
Continue Reading FERC Explores Barriers to “Hybrid Resources”