FERC Initiates Review of Its Long-Standing Pipeline Certificate Policy Statement

Last Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) issued a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) seeking comment on possible changes needed to its 1999 Policy Statement on certification of new interstate pipelines. The NOI notes the almost two decades since the 1999 Policy Statement was approved and acknowledges that the…

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FERC Terminates Rulemaking Aimed At Increasing RTO/ISO Reliance On Merchant Coal and Nuclear Resources, Initiates New Proceeding To Explore RTO/ISO Resilience Issues

On January 8, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued an Order terminating a rulemaking initiated in Docket No. RM18-1-000 in which the Commission, acting at the request of the Department of Energy (DOE), considered requiring Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs) to establish…

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Andrea I. Sarmentero Garzón & Gerit F. Hull Featured in EBA Journal

Jennings, Strouss & Salmon energy attorneys, Andrea I. Sarmentero Garzón and Gerit F. Hull, are featured in the latest edition of the EBA Journal. Read the full article: Developments In FERC Policy For Determining Return On Equity

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DOE Requires FERC to Consider Rule Promoting Grid Resiliency by Providing Coal and Nuclear Plant Subsidies

On September 29, 2017, Energy Secretary Rick Perry directed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to initiate a rulemaking that could result in major subsidies for coal fired and nuclear powered electric generators in RTO markets. The Secretary argues that wholesale electricity markets are not properly compensating coal and nuclear…

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FERC Sets Agenda for Technical Conference on Natural Gas Index Liquidity and Transparency

On June 29, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will hold a technical conference to discuss liquidity in the natural gas markets and what, if anything, the industry or FERC can do to increase transparency and robustness in natural gas price formation. The day-long conference will feature three stakeholder…

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New Court Decision Opens Door to Broader Assertion of Jurisdiction by FERC over Governmental Entities

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a decision recently finding that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) had authority to order the Bonneville Power Administration (“BPA”) to pay money to a public utility.  This holding is significant because BPA is a governmental entity exempt from FERC’s…

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FERC Weighs Tax Policy Changes in Wake of Ruling in United Airlines, Inc. v. FERC

On December 15, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in Docket No. PL17-1, seeking comments on how to address any double recovery that may result from its tax allowance and rate of return policies in light of the ruling in United Airlines, Inc. v. FERC, 827 F.3d 122 (D.C. Cir. 2016).

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Gary J. Newell Featured in District Energy Magazine

    Jennings, Strouss & Salmon energy attorney Gary J. Newell is featured in the latest issue of District Energy Magazine. Read the full article: FERC in the crossfire as PURPA debate heats up

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FERC Reacts to First Pipeline Modernization Tracker Proposal under New Policy

      As reported in our prior blogs, on November 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proposed a Policy Statement on Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities in Docket No. PL15-1 that would allow interstate pipelines that meet certain criteria to recover the costs of…

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The D.C. Circuit Rejects FERC’s Geographical Limitation of Municipal Preference in Hydro Licensing Proceedings

On November 20, 2015 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit” or “Court”) issued a decision in Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency v. FERC rejecting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC” or “Commission”) interpretation limiting the municipal preference for preliminary hydropower permits under Section 7(a) of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”), 16 U.S.C. § 800(a) (2013).

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Joel L. Greene and Melissa A. Alfano Featured in District Energy Magazine

              Jennings, Strouss & Salmon energy attorneys, Joel L. Greene and Melissa A. Alfano, are featured in the latest edition of District Energy magazine. Read the full article: FERC Issues Order to Improve Gas-Electric Coordination

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FERC Approves Gas Modernization Policy

                In November 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) proposed a Policy Statement on Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities in Docket No. PL15-1 that would allow interstate pipelines to recover the costs of modernizing their facilities through an…

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FERC Conditionally Approves Risk-based Electric System Reliability Registration

  On March 19, 2015, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an order in Docket No. RR15-4 (the “Order”) addressing a proposal by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) to implement a Risked-Based Registration (“RBR”) proposal. The goal of NERC’s RBR proposal is to achieve an effective application…

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FERC Receives Reply Comments on its Proposed Policy on Cost Recovery for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities

                  Last month we informed you that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) had received initial comments on its proposed policy to allow interstate pipelines to recover the costs of modernizing their facilities through a cost tracker. On February 26th, FERC received…

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FERC Receives Initial Comments on its Proposed Policy on Cost Recovery for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities

                In November 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) proposed a new policy statement that outlines the standards interstate natural gas pipelines would need to satisfy in order to recover the costs to modernize their facilities and infrastructure. Initial comments on the…

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D.C. Circuit Decision Brings Uncertainty to CHP Participation in Demand Response Markets

On May 23, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a decision with important implications for the owners of resources used to control the amount of demand a retail electric customer places on the power system − so-called “demand response” (DR) resources −…

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FERC Accepts Pro Forma Agreement for Transmission Project Developers in the CAISO, Enabling New Opportunity to Join the CAISO Only as a Partial Participating Transmission Owner

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) accepted, subject to certain conditions, the California Independent System Operator Corporation (“CAISO”) proposed pro forma Approved Project Sponsor Agreement (“APSA”) to be added as Appendix X to its Open Access Transmission Tariff (“Tariff”). See California Independent System Operator, 149 FERC ¶ 61,107 (2014).

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FERC Concerned about Impact of Fuel Assurance on Generator Performance and Electric Markets Operations

    On November 20, 2014, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) issued an Order (“Fuel Assurance Order”) directing each regional transmission organization (“RTO”) and independent system operator (“ISO”) to file a report on the status of its efforts to address market and system performance associated with “fuel…

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FERC Proposes Policy on Cost Recovery for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities

              Following its open meeting on November 20, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) is seeking comments on a proposed new policy statement (PL15-1-000) that will outline the standards interstate natural gas pipelines must satisfy in order to recover the costs of modernizing…

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FERC Determines Compliance With Capacity Release Order to Show Cause

              In March of this year, the Commission initiated a show cause proceeding requiring all pipelines to either: (1) revise their tariffs in accordance with the Commission’s regulations under 18 C.F.R. 284.8(d), which requires pipelines to provide for the posting of capacity release offers;…

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Pricing Electric System Reliability in MISO

There have recently been two significant Orders from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) concerning System Support Resources (“SSRs”) for the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (“MISO”).

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FERC Approved First Pilot Project to Test the Fast-Track Licensing Process Provided in the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) approved this week the first pilot project to test a fast-track licensing process for hydropower development pursuant to the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 (the “Act”).

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FERC Changes ROE Methodology for Public Utilities

On June 19, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an order significantly revising its methodology for determining the base Return on Equity (“ROE”) for jurisdictional electric utility companies. FERC applied its new methodology for the first time in deciding a pending complaint proceeding that involved a challenge to…

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FERC Requests Industry Input on Gas-Electric Coordination and Initiates a Paper Hearing on Electric Scheduling

Natural gas is fuel increasingly used to generate electricity. To better coordinate the scheduling timelines and practices of natural gas pipelines with electric utilities, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued two significant orders. First, FERC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on the Coordination of the Scheduling Processes of…

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FERC Issues Show Cause Order to Interstate Pipelines to Comply with Capacity Release Regulations

At its monthly meeting on March 20, 2014, the Commission initiated a show cause proceeding, pursuant to section 5 of the Natural Gas Act. The Order requires all pipelines to either (1) revise their tariffs in accordance with the Commission’s capacity release posting regulations; or (2) otherwise demonstrate that they…

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FERC Revises the EQR Data Dictionary and Announces a Technical Conference

In an order issued this afternoon, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) adopted further changes to the Electric Quarterly Report (EQR) Data Dictionary. FERC stated that it adopted version 3.0 of the EQR Data Dictionary in order to implement the revised EQR filing process and to update the list of…

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FERC sets New Deadlines for the Web-Based Filing of Electronic Quarterly Reports

On February 28, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order extending and setting the deadlines to file electric quarterly reports (EQRs) for the third quarter (Q3) 2013, the fourth quarter (Q4) 2013 and the first quarter (Q1) 2014. FERC also reminded EQR filers that the deadline to…

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FERC Prepares for Web-Based Filing of Electronic Quarterly Reports

FERC recently issued a reminder that entities responsible for filing Electronic Quarterly Reports (EQRs) must complete the Company Registration prior to filing. Filing entities may obtain a Company Identifier (CID) number from the FERC by completing a Company Registration on the FERC website. FERC extended the deadlines to file the…

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FERC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for NERC Standard on Geomagnetic Disturbances

On January 16, 2014, the FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to approve NERC Reliability Standard EOP-010-1. The proposed standard is the first step in implementing Order No. 779, where the Commission directed NERC to develop reliability standards aimed at mitigating the effects of geomagnetic disturbances (“GMDs”) on the…

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FERC and the CFTC Reach Agreement on Jurisdiction and Information Sharing

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act signed by President Obama in July 2010 (“Dodd-Frank Act”)[1] mandated that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC“) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC“) enter into a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) by January 2011 outlining how the two agencies can exercise…

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FERC Delays Q3 2013 Electronic Quarterly Reports

On October 10, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order directing all public and non-public utilities not to file their Electronic Quarterly Reports for the third quarter of 2013 until further notice because the web-based EQR filing system is not yet available. FERC will issue a public notice…

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Defining the Bulk Electric System

A Difficult Process Approaches a Critical Deadline A low profile, but very significant, process involving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and participants in the electric utility industry is approaching a critical time point. Driven by FERC directive and timeline, NERC and the…

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FERC Staff Present Gas-Electric Coordination Quarterly Report at Commission Open Meeting

On September 19, 2013, the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its Gas-Electric Coordination Quarterly Report to the Commission in Docket No. AD12-12 covering the period June 2013 through August 2013. The staff also presented the FERC Commissioners with a quarterly update on the same period. The report and the update…

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Arizona Rejects Electric Industry Restructuring

Arizona deregulated its electric industry in the late 1990s, along with a number of other states.  Fortunately for Arizona the 2000 meltdown in California stopped Arizona’s efforts at deregulation in its tracks.  In 2002 the Arizona Corporation Commission undid a key component of deregulation, the divestiture of generation by the…

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FERC Confirms That Non-Jurisdictional Contract Rates Are Not Pass-Through Rates Subject To FERC’s Jurisdiction

On July 26, 2013 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) issued three orders (“July 2013 Orders”)[1] in the context of East Kentucky Power Cooperative’s (“EKPC”) integration into PJM Interconnection, LLC (“PJM”) (Docket Nos. ER13-1177-000 et.al, ER13-1570-000 and EL13-68-000). The July 2013 Orders, the Commission reaffirmed that the concept…

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FERC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking as Part of Efforts to Coordinate Natural Gas and Electric Markets

On July 18, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking as part of its ongoing exploration of coordination between natural gas and electricity markets

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FERC Schedules a Staff Technical Conference on California’s Reliability Issues

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) will hold a Technical Conference on July 31, 2013, in Sacramento (California), to discuss reliability issues arising from the California Independent System Operator’s (“CAISO”) proposal to implement a flexible capacity and local reliability resource retention (“FLRR”) mechanism, which was filed with FERC…

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FERC to Host Meeting on Coordination Between Natural Gas and Electric Markets in Organized Electric Markets

  On May 9, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a public notice of a Commission meeting as part of its ongoing exploration of Coordination between Natural Gas and Electricity Markets. On May 16, 2013, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., a representative from each regional transmission organization…

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FERC’s Ruling on PJM’s Minimum Offer Pricing Rule Exempts Self-Supply LSEs

By Andrea I. Sarmentero Garzón On May 2, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) issued an Order partially accepting PJM Interconnection, LLC’s (“PJM”) proposed Tariff changes to its Minimum Offer Price Rule (“MOPR”) subject to further compliance filings (“MOPR Order”). The current MOPR was adopted in 2011…

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SENATE ENERGY INQUIRES INTO NATURE OF FERC’S SECTION 5 NATURAL GAS ACT (NGA) INVESTIGATIONS

Over the last few years, various natural gas ratepayer groups have without success mounted a legislative effort to stop natural gas pipeline companies from over-recovering their costs. As discussed below, Capitol Hill may finally be listening. In 2012, the Natural Gas Supply Association released its annual study analyzing the cost…

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Conversion to Natural Gas: Navigating the legal hurdles

By Joel Greene and Elizabeth Teuwen, Attorneys, Jennings Strouss & Salmon PLC; and Jim Adams, PE, Director of Utilities, Cornell University Published in the first-quarter 2013 issue of District Energy by the International District Energy Association It is hard to ignore the growing popularity of natural gas. We are routinely bombarded…

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FERC’s Adoption of Revised Definition of Bulk Electric System Warrants Fresh Look at Company Compliance Programs

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) ended the year 2012 by approving a major new rule affecting electric industry compliance with mandatory reliability standards.  Specifically, on December 20, 2012, FERC issued a final rule revising the definition of the Bulk Electric System (“BES”) — which is a cornerstone for compliance…

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FERC Provides Guidance on Use of Transmission Incentives

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently issued a policy statement providing further guidance on criteria it will use in determining when a proposed transmission project will be eligible for incentive pricing or Return on Equity (ROE) incentive adders.  FERC released the guidance based on over 1,500 pages of comments…

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Two Jennings Strouss Attorneys Named in Washington, D.C. & Baltimore’s Best Lawyers® 2013

PHOENIX, Ariz. (December 10, 2012) – Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC announced that two of its attorneys, Joel L. Greene and Alan I. Robbins, have been included in Washington, D.C. & Baltimore’s Best Lawyers® 2013 magazine, published by Woodward/White, Inc. of Aiken, South Carolina. The inclusion is based solely on…

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FERC Orders Additional Technical Conferences on Coordination Between Natural Gas and Electricity Markets

In August of this year, FERC convened five regional technical conferences to address a number of issues implicated by the growing need to coordinate the natural gas and electric industries. On November 15, 2012 FERC issued an order further addressing the issues raised by these technical conferences and concluded that…

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FERC Institutes Two More Investigations into Possible Pipeline Over-Recoveries of Cost of Service

On November 15, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) initiated separate investigations, pursuant to its Section 5 authority under the Natural Gas Act, to determine whether the rates currently charged by Viking Gas Transmission Company and Wyoming Interstate Company, LLC (“WIC”) are just and reasonable. These orders follow eight…

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FERC Announces Technical Conference on Filing Electric Quarterly Reports

On December 12, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff will hold a technical conference explaining recent changes to Electric Quarterly Reports (“EQRs”) issued in Order No. 768. The morning session of the technical conference will focus on information for new filers, and the afternoon session will focus on changes…

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APPA Panel Discussion with Energy Attorney Alan Robbins

Alan I. Robbins, an energy attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, participated on a panel of legal experts presenting on practicing law before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) at the 2012 American Public Power Association (APPA) Legal Conference held October 14-17th in Washington DC….

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FERC Schedules Five Regional Technical Conferences on Natural Gas-Electric Coordination

FERC has announced the schedule for five regional conferences being held in August to address the coordination between the natural gas and electric industries.  (See list of dates and locations below.)  These technical conferences are part of FERC’s continued efforts to assess whether and to what extent it needs to…

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