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

In a recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proposes new data collection and filing requirements for market-based rate sellers (MBR) and entities trading virtual products or holding financial transmission rights (Virtual/FTR Participants).  The new requirements purport to improve the Commission’s surveillance of wholesale power markets through disclosure of financial and legal connections among market participants and other entities in Commission-jurisdictional electric markets.  According to FERC, the requirements will facilitate both the sharing of data across different information systems and reporting into FERC’s eLibrary system.
Continue Reading FERC Proposes New Requirements for Market Based Rate Sellers