Facing more than 2,000 gigawatts of energy generation and storage waiting in transmission system interconnection queues, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has voted to adopt a final rule, Order No. 2023, to revise its pro forma generator interconnection procedures to speed up the nation’s interconnection processes. The final rule is aimed at increasing queue efficiency and alleviating the current five-year average wait time for projects to connect to the grid.… More
Category Archives: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
On July 3, 2023, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an order addressing issues raised on rehearing in response to one of two October 2022 orders that set the stage for small minority investors to be considered affiliates of a public utility for market-based rate and Federal Power Act (“FPA”) section 203 approval purposes whenever someone accountable to them is appointed to a public utility or utility holding company board of directors. … More
Energy Leaders Debate Role of FERC, States, Gas demand, and Renewables in Determining Future of New England LNG Facility
Last week the federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) hosted a bevvy of New England state regulators and energy industry stakeholders to discuss potential solutions to electricity and natural gas-related challenges facing New England. One question loomed large throughout the day-long forum: Should the Everett Marine Terminal, a liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) facility, stay in operation after the principal contract supporting it expires, and if so, who should fund it? … More
On May 9, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice of intent to establish a process for designating “route-specific” National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors (commonly referred to as “NIETCs,” pronounced \NIT-sees\)—setting in motion an anticipated shift in the balance of transmission permitting authority between the federal and state governments.
On February 24, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released for public comment a draft of its National Transmission Needs Study (“Needs Study”), which endorses boosting overall transmission capacity—and transmission between grid regions in particular. The final Needs Study, expected this summer, could have significant implications for federal transmission planning and permitting, including by informing the potential designation of National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors.… More
On December 15, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in which the Commission proposes to implement its newly clarified authority under the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“IIJA”) to issue permits if a state denies an applicant’s request to site transmission facilities in a designated National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor (“National Corridor”).
Such change has potential—in certain cases—to tilt the balance of transmission permitting authority toward FERC and away from the states (where such authority traditionally has been held),… More
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)-watchers have their eyes squarely on recent reports that Senator Joe Manchin, Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, won’t schedule a hearing on Chairman Richard Glick’s re-appointment this year, meaning that Glick will leave FERC when his term expires in January 2023. Glick has led FERC in pressing reforms to modernize the country’s transmission system and help bring more renewable and energy storage resources online. … More
In order to pass the Inflation Reduction Act (“Act”) last month, a deal was struck with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to create separate legislation to reform federal energy project permitting. Now that the Act has been signed into law, Senate Democrats are making good on their promise but, as might be expected, not all parties are supportive.
The reforms (and funding necessary to effectuate them) are proposed to be included as part of a Continuing Resolution that must be passed to prevent a government shutdown beginning October 1. … More
FERC issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning generator interconnection; aims to speed, simplify processes
Electric transmission planning processes have not been able to keep pace with demand for interconnection service, leaving over 1,000 gigawatts (GW) of generation and 400 GW of storage stranded in the nation’s interconnection queues. In response to the backlog, PJM Interconnection LLC—the nation’s largest RTO by load served—recently imposed a two-year pause on new interconnection requests and asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to consider reforms to its interconnection process.… More
FERC Approves ISO-New England’s Implementation of Capacity Market Design Changes and MOPR Elimination
On Friday, May 27, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order approving ISO-New England’s proposed tariff revisions, which phase out the ISO’s minimum offer price rule (MOPR) by 2024. The tariff revisions institute an interim Transition Mechanism to organize ISO-New England’s 2022 and 2023 capacity auctions, which will together allow 700 megawatts (MW) of state-sponsored renewable resources to participate without application of the MOPR.… More
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review a case that will have far-reaching consequences for interstate pipeline projects.
The case, PennEast Pipeline Co. v. New Jersey, involves a FERC-approved natural gas pipeline that would pass through New Jersey and Pennsylvania. PennEast invoked the federal government’s eminent domain power under the Natural Gas Act to claim easements over New Jersey-owned lands.… More
D.C. Circuit Decision Upholds Access to Wholesale Markets for Energy Storage Resources, but Will More Litigation Follow?
On July 10, 2020, the D.C. Circuit upheld FERC Order 841, the landmark order requiring wholesale markets to allow participation by energy storage resources. Challengers had contended that by prohibiting states from barring energy storage resources on the distribution system from participating in wholesale markets, FERC had exceeded its jurisdiction and infringed on state authority.
The D.C. Circuit rejected those claims. … More
Minnesota May Not Prohibit Power Sales That Would Increase Statewide CO2 Emissions. Why Not? Pick Your Reason.
If you needed any further proof that energy law is very complicated, Wednesday’s decision in North Dakota v. Heydinger should convince you. The judgment is simple – the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a Minnesota statute which provides in part that:
no person shall . . . (2) import or commit to import from outside the state power from a new large energy facility that would contribute to statewide power sector carbon dioxide emissions;… More
Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) initiated a proceeding regarding the applicability of wholesale electricity market rules to energy storage resources. At this point, FERC is only gathering information. The agency requested data from Independent System Operators (ISOs) and Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) on “whether barriers exist to the participation of electric storage resources in the capacity, energy, and ancillary service markets in the RTOs and ISOs potentially leading to unjust and unreasonable wholesale rates.” FERC simultaneously requested public comment on these issues.… More
The Supreme Court handed down a decision on Monday in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Association affirming FERC’s Order No. 745. Order No. 745 generally requires market operators to pay the locational marginal price (LMP) for demand response (offers to voluntarily curtail electricity use)—the same price paid to generators for producing electricity. (Seth Jaffe previously posted on the decision.) The Supreme Court’s decision reverses a May 2014 decision from the D.C.… More
With the Supreme Court in recess until January 11, it seems that the year will close without a ruling on whether the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) overstepped its authority in issuing Order 745, which directs ISOs and RTOs to incentivize demand reduction by compensating cost-effective demand response resources at the market price for energy.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case after the U.S.… More
Last month the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office released a study concluding that no new gas pipelines are needed for electric reliability in New England, as the region is expected to meet its energy needs through 2030.
The study arrives amid a debate regarding the role of gas pipelines in New England’s energy future. Recently, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities ruled that it had the authority to allow distribution companies to pass along the costs of firm pipeline capacity to ratepayers.… More