Summary of FERC Meeting Agenda for April 2024

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Summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's monthly open meeting to be held on April 25, 2024, as well as a forthcoming meeting to be held on May 13, 2024, pursuant to the respective sunshine notices released on April 18, 2024.

In this issue…

  • Electric Items
  • Gas Items
  • Hydro Items
  • Certificate Items


May 13, 2024 meeting

E-1 – Building for the Future Through Electric Regional Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation (Docket No. RM21-17-000). On July 15, 2021, the Commission issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANOPR), pursuant to section 206 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), in order to evaluate potential reforms or revisions to existing regulations relating to electric regional transmission planning. The ANOPR alluded to the evolving domestic resource mix, particularly new renewable generation that is often sited in locations far from load centers, as well as attendant cost allocation methodology and generator interconnection processes. In light of recent extreme weather events affecting transmission system operations, the ANOPR also sought to bolster electric grid reliability. Among others, the Commission posed the following questions to stakeholders in soliciting comments: 1) how to plan for future scenarios based on projections of new generation; 2) if reforms are necessary to improve inter-regional transmission planning processes; 3) how to identify and allocate costs of new transmission facilities that aligns with existing Commission principles on cost causation and commensurate benefits; 4) whether participant funding of interconnection-related network upgrades may be proven unjust and unreasonable in accordance with the FPA; and 5) if transmission providers in each planning region should be required to identify geographic zones that may have proportionately greater resource potential for new generation and, accordingly, new transmission. Specifically, the Commission seeks to build on transmission reforms effectuated in Order Nos. 888, 890, and 1000, and also raises the prospect of introducing new elements such as the creation of an Independent Transmission Monitor.

Subsequently, a wide range of industry participants and interested stakeholders — 175 respective parties total — filed comments by the ensuing deadline of October 12, 2021. For instance, regional grid operators such as PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM) submitted comments asserting that most of its new resources are not indeed located far from demand clusters, the planning process is not necessarily siloed, and that the ANOPR would not supersede its own ongoing efforts to reform the interconnection queue process. Other commenters pointed to the need to ensure that competitive procurement is sufficiently incorporated into any revised or new transmission planning processes, so as to continue to support non-discriminatory open access transmission service in the wholesale power markets under Commission jurisdiction. Following the initial comment period, the Commission convened a Technical Conference on November 15, 2021 and solicited reply comments by November 30, 2021. Similarly to the initial comment period, a large number of stakeholders — 95 in all — submitted reply comments.

Building on the discussions from the ANOPR and Technical Conference, as well as other agency activities such as the Joint Federal-State Task Force on Electric Transmission, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) on April 21, 2022, to reform its pro forma Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) and pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA), in order to implement provisions with respect to existing regional transmission planning and cost allocation requirements. Namely, the NOPR would revise the pro forma OATT and LGIA by requiring public utility transmission providers to: 1) conduct long-term regional transmission planning on a forward-looking basis; 2) consider dynamic line ratings and advanced power flow control devices; 3) pursue agreements of relevant state entities regarding the cost allocation method(s) that apply to transmission facilities in regional transmission plans; 4) adopt enhanced transparency requirements for local transmission planning processes; and 5) alter existing interregional transmission coordination procedures.

On May 10, 2022, a group of industry associations filed a joint motion requesting a 15-day extension of time to submit initial comments in response to the NOPR, citing the extensive nature of the proceeding and substantive reforms contemplated by the Commission. On May 25, 2022, the Commission issued a notice approving the extension request, granting a new comment deadline of August 2, 2022 and a new reply comment deadline of September 8, 2022. Among the many comments thereafter, docket participants generally supported the provisions set forth in the NOPR, with an emphasis toward reinstating the general right of first refusal (ROFR) for incumbent transmission owners to construct, own, and operate new transmission facilities selected in a regional transmission plan for cost allocation purposes; allow for certain regional variations and flexibility into compliance approaches if certain transmission planning processes are demonstrably effective at a local and/or state level; and prioritize transparency and information sharing with the public as well as avenues for stakeholder participation. Certain issues among commenters arose in the reply comments, including an assertion that the NOPR would intrude on states' authority and impose major federal economic effects into state jurisdictions. In the months following the comment period, a number of parties have filed supplemental comments or comments requesting prompt Commission action.

Agenda item E-1 may be a final rule on electric regional transmission planning processes and cost allocation, based on the formal record and information exchange stemming from the ANOPR and NOPR, among others.

E-2 – Applications for Permits to Site Interstate Electric Transmission Facilities (Docket No. RM22-7-000). On December 15, 2022, the Commission issued a NOPR, pursuant to section 216 of the FPA, in order to revise its existing regulations governing applications for permits to site electric transmission facilities. Namely, the NOPR would incorporate provisions from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA), modernize certain regulatory requirements, and improve the mechanisms for efficient and timely review of permit applications. The Commission is granted siting authority under section 216(b) of the FPA, whereby it issues permits for the construction or modification of electric transmission facilities that have been designed as National Corridors by the Department of Energy. As amended by the IIJA, section 216(b)(1)(C) of the FPA now provides that the permitting authority of the Commission is triggered when a state-level Commission or relevant regulatory body has: 1) not rendered a determination on the application within one year; 2) conditioned the approval such that the proposed project would not in fact reduce transmission congestion or would become economically infeasible; or 3) denied an application. Further, the IIJA modified section 216(e) of the FPA by requiring the Commission to determine, as a precondition to invoking eminent domain for the acquisition of right-of-way, that a permit holder has engaged in good faith efforts with landowners and stakeholders early in the applicable permitting process. A number of interested parties and industry participants filed comments, generally in support of the NOPR in light of the need for faster transmission development across the country. Agenda item E-2 may be a final rule on the transmission permitting reforms contemplated in the NOPR as effectuated by the IIJA.

April 25, 2024 meeting

E-1 – Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (Docket No. ER24-340-001). On February 20, 2024, the American Clean Power Association (ACP), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), and Clean Grid Alliance (CGA, collectively the Clean Energy Associations) submit this request for rehearing of the Commission's January 19, 2024 order accepting the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.'s (MISO) proposal to adopt an automatic withdrawal penalty. The Clean Energy Associations argue that by accepting MISO's proposal to adopt automatic withdrawal penalties, FERC has reversed its own precedent without explanation. Further, the Clean Energy Associations argue that Commission precedent has been clear that penalties for interconnection customers must be reflective of harm to other interconnection customers, and must be tailored to provide appropriate incentives. Agenda item E-1 may be an order on the initial rehearing request.

E-2 – California Independent System Operator Corporation (Docket No. ER24-1225-000). On February 9, 2024, the California Independent System Operator Corporation (CAISO) proposed a single tariff revision to increase the monthly soft offer cap of the Capacity Procurement Mechanism (CPM). The CPM allows CAISO to procure resource adequacy (RA) resources in the circumstance that load serving entities do not provide adequate or sufficient capacity to fulfill the CAISO's operational needs or meet reliability criteria. CAISO explains its revision filing that it is obligated by its tariff to periodically review how the CPM soft offer cap aligns with new cost studies. Based on that review, the CAISO proposed to increase the CPM soft offer cap from $6.31/kw-month to $7.34/kw-month. CAISO explains that the higher cap will better reflect inflation, labor rates, and higher bilateral capacity prices in recent years. The proposed tariff revisions will better position the CAISO to maintain reliable grid operations this summer and beyond by creating greater incentives for resources to accept voluntary CPM designations. On March 1, 2024, the Department of Market Monitoring (DMM), acting in its capacity as the Independent Market Monitor for CAISO filed a Motion to Intervene and Comments. Specifically, the DMM supports the proposed tariff revision to better position the CAISO to maintain reliable grid operations, and increase incentives for resources to accept voluntary CPM designations. Furthermore, DMM argues that accepting the amendments will allow for the CAISO and its stakeholders to focus on a more comprehensive set of changes needed in the overall CPM and resource adequacy framework. Agenda item E-2 may be an order on the CAISO tariff revision to its CPM soft offer cap.

E-3 – Moscow Development Company, LLC (Docket No. ER24-1295-000). On February 13, 2024, Moscow Development Company LLC (MDC) submitted a request for limited waiver of the ISO New England Inc. Open Access Transmission Tariff so that MDC can receive a refund of the unspent interconnection request deposit in the amount of approximately $48,000 for withdrawing an interconnection request six weeks after a deadline for the refund passed. Agenda Item E-3 may be an order on MDC's waiver request.

E-4 – Omitted

E-5 – Standards for Business Practices and Communication Protocols for Public Utilities (Docket No. RM05-5-31). The North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB), in response to Commission Order Nos. 676-I and 676-J, published changes and updates to Version 004 of the WEQ Business Practice Standard in Docket No RM05-5-30. Most recently, in July 2023, NAESB modified Version 004 of the Wholesale Electric Quadrant (WEQ) to incorporate modifications that resulted from multiple standards development efforts that took place over the last forty months, including a modification of the NAESB Base Contract for Sale and Purchase of Voluntary Renewable Energy Certificates and the related technical implementation to support transactions utilizing digital ledger technologies, standards to support efforts related to distributed energy resources within the DoE Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium, and a reorganization of existing cybersecurity standards into a new suite of standards, amongst other things. Agenda item E-5 may an order relating to NAESB's ongoing proposals relating to Version 004 of the NAESB WEQ.


G-1 – Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC (Docket No. RP18-75-008). On March 6, 2024, Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC (Algonquin) submitted a filing for the Settlement Extension Agreement (FRQ Settlement Extension), which establishes the allocation of fuel use and lost and unaccounted for gas among Algonquin's customers, as set forth therein, during the term of the FRQ Settlement. Agenda item G-1 may be an order on Algonquin's Settlement Extension Agreement.


H-1 – Public Utility District No. 1 of Chelan County, Washington (Docket No. P-943-146). On February 9, 2024, Public Utility District No. 1 of Chelan County, Washington (Chelan PUD) submitted a request for approval of the Power Sales Agreement, pursuant to section 22 of the FPA, for the Rock Island Hydroelectric Project No. 943. Chelan PUD seeks Commission approval of the agreement, entered into with Puget Sound Energy, Inc., as it extends beyond the existing license term of the Project, and would secure long-term sales of power for both revenue certainty and ratepayer supply. Agenda item H-1 may be an order on the request by Chelan PUD.

H-2 – Cabin Run Pumped Storage, LLC (Docket No. P-15318-000). On July 12, 2023, Rye Development, LLC, on behalf of Cabin Run Pumped Storage, LLC (collectively, the Applicant), submitted an Application for Preliminary Permit under Part I of the FPA for the proposed Cabin Run Pumped Storage Project, to be located in West Virginia. Applicant stated that the Project would involve the construction of new water storage, water conveyance, and power generation facilities. On September 7, 2023, the Commission issued a deficiency letter with respect to the general configuration and technical parameters of proposed emergency spillway(s); on October 19, 2023, Applicant filed its response containing the supplemental information. On February 29, 2024, the Commission issued a second deficiency letter; Applicant filed its response on March 8, 2024. Agenda item H-2 may be an order on the preliminary permit application.

H-3 – Pumped Hydro Storage LLC (Docket No. P-15024-000). On March 12, 2020, Pumped Hydro Storage LLC (Applicant) submitted an Application for Preliminary Permit under Part I of the FPA for the proposed Navajo Nation (NN) Big Canyon (BC) Pumped Storage Project, to be located in Arizona. Applicant stated that the Project would involve the construction of new water storage, water conveyance, power generation facilities, tunnel, and transmission lines. A substantial number of individual citizens filed comments during the ensuing comment period. On February 15, 2024, the Commission established a new policy stating that it will not issue preliminary permits for projects proposing to use Tribal lands if the Tribe opposes the permit. Accordingly, on February 20, 2024, the Commission issued a supplemental notice soliciting comments to provide additional comments on the Project. On March 12, 2024, the Navajo Nation filed comments reiterating its original stance—that the Project may incur adverse impacts on its land, water, wildlife, and cultural resources—and that, in the years following, Applicant has not provided evidence to assuage those concerns. As such, in the March 12 supplemental comments, Navajo Nation stated that it opposes the preliminary permit application. On March 14, 2024, Applicant filed a letter stating that the preliminary permit application should be granted, as the application preceded the new Commission policy by several years. Agenda item H-3 may be an order on the preliminary permit application.


C-1 – El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C. (Docket No. CP23-546-000). On December 4, 2023, El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C. (EPNG) filed a motion to waive the reconciliation period in response to a previous generalized comment, reasoning that nothing was submitted to the Commission during the 60-day comment period that would constitute a "protest" within the meaning of section 157.205(e) of the Commission's regulations. Additionally, the motion states that if the Commission concludes to the contrary and finds a protest was filed in this docket, EPNG respectfully requests waiver of the associated 30-day reconciliation period. On December 7, 2023, the Office of Energy Projects submitted a letter requesting that EPNG file a response detailing cumulative impacts of the maintenance activities, environmental mitigation measures being used, and expected air quality stats within 5 days to assist FERC's analysis. On December 13, 2023, EPNG submitted a corrected response. On January 17, 2024, the Office of Energy Projects submits a letter requesting EPNG file a response detailing the end use of the gas within 3 days. On January 19, 2024, EPNG submits response to FERC's data request. On February 14, 2024, the Office of Energy Projects filed a supplemental Environmental Assessment Report concluding that impacts associated with the EPNG Project would be "relatively minor, localized, partially contained within previously disturbed areas, and not significant." Agenda item C-1 may be an order on EPNG's motion to waive.

C-2 – Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC (Docket No. CP23-492-000). On June 2, 2024, Florida Gas Transmission Company (FGT) filed an application (Application) with the Commission pursuant to Section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act, as amended, and Parts 157 and 284 of the Commission's regulations, seeking authorization to increase its certificated capacity and throughput at certain compressor stations, and to construct, modify, install, operate, and maintain certain natural compression facilities and auxiliary facilities, in St. Landry, East Baton Rouge, and Washington Parishes, Louisiana, and Perry County, Mississippi (collectively, the South Louisiana Project). FGT states that the purpose of the South Louisiana Project is to increase the certificated capacity and throughput by 100,000 MMBtu per day to its shipper, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), to expand the flow back into FGT's Zone 2, in FGT's Western Division. According to the Application, the South Louisiana Project would enable FGT to meet its contractual obligations to FPL, continue fulfilling existing contractual obligations, and enhance the reliability of FGT's system. FGT further states in the Application that the 100,000 MMBTU per day of increased capacity and throughput is expected to replace natural gas currently used by FPL for power generation and local distribution, such that the South Louisiana Project should not result in a downstream emission increase from the contracted end user. On December 15, 2023, Commission staff issued an environmental assessment for the South Louisiana Project, concluding that approval of the South Louisiana Project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. Agenda item C-2 may be an order on the Application.

C-3 – Cove Point LNG, LP (Docket No. CP23-539-000). On September 8, 2023, Cove Point LNG, LP (CPL) filed an application (Application) with the Commission pursuant to Sections 3(a) and 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA), as amended, and Part 157 of the Commission's regulations, requesting the Commission change the jurisdictional basis and scope of its regulation of certain liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal facilities at CPL's existing LNG termina located in Calvert County, Maryland (CPL Terminal). CPL states that its request in the Application follows the recent termination of CPL's 20-year LNG import service contracts under its Rate Schedule LTD-1, which in CPL's view would bring the Commission's regulation of the CPL Terminal facilities into conformity with the Commission's current policies regarding its regulation of LNG terminal facilities exclusively under Section 3(a), rather than Section 7(b), of the NGA. Specifically, CPL requests the Commission issue an order authorizing: (a) abandonment under NGA Section 7(b) of CPL's LNG Terminaling and Processing facilities that were certificated by the Commission in orders issued in 2001 and earlier; (b) abandonment of the services provided by CPL under Rate Schedule LTD-1 of its FERC Gas Tariff and the cancellation of that Rate Schedule; (c) modifications of CPL's FERC Gas Tariff to reflect the elimination of Rate Schedule LTD-1 service; and (d) regulation going forward of all CPL's LNG Terminaling and Processing facilities and related operations solely under NGA Section 3. CPL states in the Application that it does not propose to construct any new facilities or to modify any facilities or operations. On October 16, 2023, Commission staff issued an environmental assessment regarding the Application, concluding that further environmental review of CPL's request in the Application is not necessary, because such request does not involve any proposal by CPL to construct any new facilities or to modify any facilities or operations. Agenda item C-3 may be an order on the Application.

C-4 – Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC (Docket No. CP19-14-000). On June 18, 2020, the Commission issued an order (Certificate Order) granting Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC (MVP) a certificate of public convenience and necessity pursuant to Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA), as amended, and the Commission's regulations to construct and operate approximately 75.1 miles of natural gas pipeline, one compressor station, associated valves, piping, and appurtenant facilities commencing near Chatham, Virginia and terminating at a delivery point with Public Service Company of North Carolina, Inc. near Graham, North Carolina (collectively, the Southgate Project). A number of landowner and environmental stakeholders (collectively, Appalachian Voices) sought a stay and rehearing of the Certificate Order, which the Commission denied in an order dated September 17, 2020. Appalachian Voices then appealed the Certificate Order to the D.C. Circuit, which affirmed the Certificate Order (and rejected the various challenges thereto) in an order issued June 28, 2022. The Certificate Order set a three-year deadline (June 18, 2023) for MVP to complete construction of the Southgate Project. However, due to permitting delays associated with the 'inextricably linked' Mainline Project, MVP applied in June 2023 for a three-year extension of time construct the Southgate Project (Extension Request). The Commission granted the Extension Request by order dated December 19, 2023 (Extension Order). On January 18, 2024, Appalachian Voices requested rehearing of the Extension Order (Rehearing Request), arguing that the Commission must abrogate the Extension Order because MVP is no longer pursuing the Southgate Project, and is instead pursuing a substantially different project that requires the Commission to determine whether Mountain Valley's newly conceived project is required by the public convenience and necessity and is environmentally acceptable under the NGA and has yet to analyze the project's environmental impacts under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended. On February 2, 2024, MVP filed a motion for leave to answer and answer to the Rehearing Request, in which MVP asserted that Appalachian Voices has failed to identify any Commission precedent denying an extension request based on changed precedent agreements and that Appalachian Voices attempts to re-litigate issues with respect to the Certificate Order and the Mainline Project. On February 20, 2024, the Commission issued a notice of denial of rehearing by operation of law with respect to the Rehearing Request while providing that the Commission would address the Rehearing Request in a future order. Agenda item C-4 may be an order on the Rehearing Request.

C-5 – Great Basin Gas Transmission Company (Docket No. CP23-466-000). On May 1, 2023, Great Basin Gas Transmission Company (Great Basin) filed an application (Application) pursuant to Sections 7(b) and 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA), as amended, and Part 157 of the Commission's regulations, seeking authorization for the 2024 Great Basin Expansion Project. According to Great Basin, the 2024 Great Basin Expansion Project would provide 5,674 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of incremental firm transportation service for two existing firm transportation shippers. The 2024 Great Basin Expansion Project would also require construction of approximately 3.4 miles of upsized or looped pipeline in three segments across Douglas, Lyon, and Storey Counties, Nevada. On November 28, 2023, Commission staff issued an environmental assessment for the 2024 Great Basin Expansion Project, concluding that approval of the 2024 Great Basin Expansion Project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. Agenda item C-5 may be an order on the Application.

Kiara Williams (White & Case, Law Clerk, Washington, DC) contributed to the development of this publication.

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