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”

FERC recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) that would eliminate the need for electric power sellers with market-based rate authority who sell into certain independent system operator (ISO) and regional transmission organization (RTO) capacity markets to file two screens—the pivotal supplier screen and wholesale market-share screen—with FERC, which would simplify the horizontal market

Horn_Robert
Robert Horn
Adam Sachs
Adam Sachs

During his confirmation hearing to become Secretary of Energy, former Texas Governor Rick Perry sensibly walked back his 2011 recommendation that the Department of Energy (DOE) be eliminated. After a few weeks on the job, it is now apparent that the secretary not only thinks the DOE should continue to exist but recognizes it’s an essential element of our national security.

President Trump’s inaugural address called for an “America First Energy Plan.”  Although admittedly short on details, the Trump plan seems to
Continue Reading Around the Horn: Perry, Policy & Politics

Logo courtesy of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Logo courtesy of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), in a recent Notice of Inquiry (NOI), is exploring whether to revise its current approach to identifying and analyzing market power in the context of Federal Power Act Section 203 (utility mergers and acquisitions) and 205 (market based rate authorizations).  Currently, FERC uses separate methodologies when analyzing an entity’s market power when an entity seeks prior-approval of a merger or similar jurisdictional transaction under Section 203, and when an entity applies for authority to sell energy products in FERC-regulated wholesale energy markets under Section 205.  Through this NOI, FERC seeks comments on whether it should “harmonize” and “streamline” these two market-power analysis methods.
Continue Reading FERC Considers “Streamlining” Analysis of M&A Approval and MBR Authority