Summary of FERC Meeting Agenda for January 2023

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Below are summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's open meeting to be held on January 19, 2023, pursuant to the sunshine notice released on January 12, 2023.

In this issue…

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

Electric

E-1 – Internal Network Security Monitoring for High and Medium Impact Bulk Electric System Cyber Systems (Docket No. RM22-3-000). On January 20, 2022, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) directing the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to develop and submit new or modified Reliability Standards to require internal network security monitoring (INSM) for high- and medium-impact bulk electric system cyber systems. Comments from stakeholders and interested parties were filed to the docket in response to the Commission's NOPR, including comments from NERC in support of using INSM to address the risks identified by the Commission in the NOPR. Agenda item E-1 may be an order on the Commission's NOPR regarding developing Reliability Standards to require INSM for high- and medium-impact bulk electric system cyber systems.

E-2 – Omitted

E-3 – Omitted

E-4 – AEP Generation Resources Inc., Ohio Power Company & Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (Docket Nos. ER22-2970-001, ER22-2983-001, ER22-2971-001). On September 30, 2022, AEP Generation Resources Inc. (AEP Gen), Ohio Power Company (OPCo), and Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) submitted pursuant to Section 205 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) and Part 35.13 of the Commission's Regulations proposed revisions to their market-based rate tariffs (MBR Tariffs) to correct their category statuses. On November 22, 2022, AEP Gen, OPCo, and OVEC submitted an amendment to with additional proposed revisions to the their MBR Tariffs to correct language relating to the standard limitations and exemptions and incorporate the most recent version of the "standard" third party sales of ancillary services language. Agenda item E-4 may be an order on the proposed revisions by AEP Gen, OPCo, and OVEC to their MBR Tariffs.

E-5 – Tatanka Ridge Wind, LLC (Docket No. ER22-93-001). On October 12, 2021, pursuant to section 205 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) and Part 35 of the Commission's Regulations, Tatanka Ridge Wind, LLC (Tatanka Ridge), submitted a proposed rate schedule pursuant to Schedule 2 of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) Open Access Transmission, Energy and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff (MISO Tariff) for the provision of Reactive Supply and Voltage Control from Generation or Other Sources Service (Reactive Service) from Tatanka Ridge's wind generation facility. On December 10, 2021, the Commission issued an order accepting for filing Tatanka Ridge's proposed Reactive Service rate schedule, suspended it for a nominal period, subject to refund, and set the rate schedule for hearing and settlement judge procedures. On October 21, 2022, Tatanka Ridge filed with the presiding administrative law judge a notice of proposed settlement and a motion requesting the implementation of settlement rates on an interim basis. The Acting Chief Administrative Law Judge granted the motion for interim implementation on October 28, 2022, pending further action from the Commission. On November 29, 2022, the presiding administrative law judge issued an order certifying the proposed settlement as uncontested and recommending the Commission approve the settlement. Agenda item E-5 may be an order relating to the proposed settlement regarding Tatanka Ridge's Reactive Service rate schedule.

E-6 – Bellflower Solar 1, LLC (Docket Nos. ER23-479-000, TS23-1-000). On November 22, 2022, Bellflower Solar 1, LLC (Bellflower Solar) submitted pursuant to Sections 35.28(d) and 35.28(f) of the Commission's Regulations petitions for waiver of the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C (PJM) open access transmission tariff (PJM OATT), open access same-time information system (OASIS) and Standards of Conduct requirements with respect to certain limited and discrete interconnection facilities (Interconnection Facilities) to be constructed and owned for a limited period of time before being transferred to AEP Indiana Michigan Transmission Company, Inc. (AEP). As described in its waiver request, Bellflower Solar requests the waivers in connection will a proposed transfer of operational control over the Interconnection Facilities to AEP and PJM prior to energization, and proposed transfer of ownership of the Interconnection Facilities to AEP after energization and after the Interconnection Facilities have been accepted. Agenda item E-6 may be an order relating to Bellflower Solar's request for waiver in connected with the proposed transfer of the Interconnection Facilities.

E-7 – Omitted

E-8 – Shullsburg Wind Farm LLC, Grant County Solar, LLC, and Red Barn Energy, LLC (Docket No. ER23-404-000). On November 9, 2022, Shullsburg Wind Farm LLC (Shullsburg), Grant County Solar, LLC (Grant County), and Red Barn, LLC (Red Barn) (collectively the Petitioners) request a one-time, limited waiver of Section 7.8 of Attachment X of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) Open Access Transmission Tariff (Tariff) with respect to a Generator Interconnection Agreement between Shullsburg, Grant County, Red Barn, MISO, and Entergy. On November 30, 2022, MISO submitted a Motion to Intervene and Comments. MISO supported the requested waiver and provided comments to assist the Commission in its determination. However, MISO limited its support to this specific instance and MISO's comments are premised upon the harmed Interconnection Customers supporting this outcome. MISO underscored in its motion that it continues to interpret its Tariff as requiring the disbursement of harm payments in a situation where the Interconnection Customer may later receive reimbursement for Network Upgrade expenditures after achieving Commercial Operation. Agenda item E-8 may be an order on the Petitioners November 9, 2022 limited waiver request.

E-9 – Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (Docket Nos. ER22-379-003, ER22-379-004). On September 2, 2022, the American Clean Power Association, Advanced Energy Economy, the Solar Energy Industries Association, the Sustainable FERC Project, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Advanced Power Alliance, and Sierra Club (jointly, the Clean Energy Advocates) submitted a Request for Rehearing of the Commission's August 5, 2022 Order Accepting Tariff Revisions Subject to Condition, 180 FERC ¶ 61,074 (2022) (SPP Order) in ER22-379-003. The SPP Order accepted Southwest Power Pool's (SPP) tariff revisions, subject to conditions including the future submission of a compliance filing containing revised tariff records that detail how the modified capacity accreditation based on historical performance will operate. On October 3, 2022, the Commission issued a Notice of Denial of Rehearing by Operation of Law and Providing for Further Consideration in ER22-379-003. On September 6, 2022, SPP submitted a compliance filing as directed by the SPP Order in ER22-379-004 (SPP Compliance Filing). On September 27, 2022, the Clean Energy Advocates filed a protest in response to the SPP Compliance Filing. On October 13, 2022, SPP filed Motion for Leave to Answer and Answer of SPP in response to the Clean Energy Advocates' September 27, 2022 Protest arguing that the changes made in its compliance filing are consistent with intent identified previously in this proceeding, are "minor modifications" that the Commission may order on compliance and not an "entirely new rate scheme" that would exceed the Commission's authority to order and SPP's ability to implement on compliance. On November 4, 2022, Xcel Energy Services Inc. (XES), on behalf of its utility operating company affiliate Southwestern Public Service Company (SPS), filed a motion to intervene out of time in both sub-dockets in agenda item E-9 and supported the filings made by SPP regarding the Effective Load Carrying Capacity accreditation methodology for wind and solar resources in SPP. On December 2, 2022, the Clean Energy Advocates filed a Joint Petition for Review in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit of the SPP Order and the Commission's October 3, 2022 Notice of Denial of Rehearing by Operation of Law and Providing for Further Consideration. Agenda item E-9 may be an order on the request for rehearing of the SPP Order.

E-10 – Southwest Power Pool, Inc. GridLiance High Plains LLC (Docket Nos. ER18-2358-006, ER19-1357-004, ER20-1313-001) (consolidated). On October 24, 2022, GridLiance High Plains LLC (GridLiance HP) requested a rehearing, or in the alternative, clarification of certain aspects of the Commission's order Sw. Power Pool, Inc., et al., 180 FERC ¶ 61,192 (2022) (September 22 Order) in the associated docket proceedings (Rehearing Request). GridLiance HP argues that the Commission's September 22 Order rejects GridLiance HP's August 2018 Filing by applying a novel burden of proof analysis that is arbitrary and capricious, contrary to the filed rate, and in violation of the Federal Power Act (FPA). GridLiance HP argues the September 22 Order commits further legal error by leaving unclear whether the GridLiance Facilities are appropriately classified as transmission or distribution — an arbitrary and capricious abdication of regulatory responsibility that creates uncertainty about the nature of the unbundled, wholesale service that has been provided on the GridLiance Facilities since November 1, 2018, and the appropriate rates, terms, and conditions for such service. On November 14, 2022, Midwest Energy, Inc. (Midwest) submitted a Motion to Answer and Answer to the Request for Rehearing, arguing that the GridLiance HP Rehearing Request should be denied. On November 25, 2022, the Commission issued a Notice of Denial of Rehearing by Operation of Law and Providing for Further Consideration re Southwest Power Pool, Inc. et al under ER18-2358 et al. Agenda item E-10 may be an order on the Rehearing Request.

E-11 – Alabama Power Company, Georgia Power Company, and Mississippi Power Company (Docket Nos. ER22-2462-000, EL22-27-000). On March 24, 2022, the Commission issued an order finding that the formula rate protocols of Southern Company Services, Inc.’s (Southern) electric public utility subsidiaries, Alabama Power Company (Alabama Power), Georgia Power Company (Georgia Power), and Mississippi Power Company (Mississippi Power and together with Alabama Power and Georgia Power, the Southern Utilities), appear to be unjust, unreasonable, unduly discriminatory or preferential, or otherwise unlawful. The Commission instituted a show cause proceeding pursuant to section 206 of the FPA (Southern 206 Order). On April 20, 2022, Southern filed a motion on behalf of the Southern Utilities for an extension of time to respond to the Commission's Southern 206 Order, which the Commission granted on April 29, 2022. On July 22, 2022, the Southern Utilities filed a Motion to Hold Show Cause Order Proceedings in Abeyance. As a part of its Southern 206 Order, the Commission also provided that if Southern wished to have the Southern 206 Order proceeding in to be held in abeyance pending the Commission's consideration of its Section 205 filing for a revised formula rate, which the Southern Utilities submitted on July 22, 2022 in ER22-2462-000. On August 12, 2022, Cooperative Energy and Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (collectively, Joint Customers) (the Joint Customer Protest) and Energy Alabama, Southface Energy Institute, Inc., and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (collectively, Southeast Public Interest Groups) filed a Motion to Intervene and Limited Protest (the Southeast Public Interest Groups Protest). On September 9, 2022, Southern Filed Motion for Leave to Answer and Answer to the Joint Customer Protest and Southeast Public Interest Groups Protest arguing that the protests should be denied because the Sothern Utilities proposed to adopt such Commission-approved protocols, without significant change. On September 23, 2022, the Joint Customers filed a Motion for Leave to Answer and Answer arguing that Southern's September 9, 2022 answer raises issues regarding the interpretation of the proposed protocols and the obligations to ensure transparency for the formula rate and raises further issues of fact which merit further response to ensure that the Commission has a full record in consideration of the reply to the Show Cause order in this proceeding. Agenda item E-11 may be an order on Southern's revised formula rate filing.

E-12 – Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (Docket No. EL22-54-001). On April 21, 2022, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP) filed a Petition for Declaratory Order and Request for Expeditious Action, pursuant to Rule 207 of the Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Commission. In the Petition, SPP requested that the Commission assert its exclusive or primary jurisdiction and determine that SPP properly compensated Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AECI) for emergency power. Specifically, the emergency power was provided by AECI into SPP, in accordance with Attachment AE of the SPP Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) during Winter Storm Uri amid constrained generating conditions. The Petition would resolve an ongoing dispute between SPP and AECI regarding the amount of compensation to be conferred to AECI for the power provided during the period of extreme weather in February of 2021. On May 23, 2022, AECI submitted a Motion to Dismiss the Petition, stating that the actual cost of $58.8 million was agreed upon by both parties in a series of "oral agreements" constituting "emergency transactions [] under highly unusual conditions,” and that SPP raised the jurisdiction argument to misrepresent the transactions as normal market activity under the SPP OATT. AECI therefore stated that the Commission should not exercise jurisdiction and is a straightforward breach of contract claim pending resolution in federal courts. On August 22, 2022, the Commission issued an order granting the Petition in favor of SPP, finding that it holds jurisdiction, and subsequently, AECI is only entitled to the compensation provided for in the OATT and that SPP has paid all compensation owed to AECI. On September 19, 2022, AECI filed a request for rehearing of the August 22 order. Agenda item E-12 may be an order on the rehearing request by AECI.

E-13 – New York Power Authority (Docket No. EL22-15-001), New York Independent System Operator, Inc. and New York Power Authority (Docket No. ER22-1014-002). On September 8, 2022, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) submitted a compliance filing, pursuant to sections 205 and 219 of the Federal Power Act (FPA). The compliance filing is responsive to two prior orders issued by the Commission on March 11, 2022 and July 5, 2022, respectively, whereupon the Commission conditionally granted NYPA's requests under section 219 of the FPA for its investment in the Smart Path Connect Project. The project would rebuild approximately 100 miles of existing transmission lines and establish a continuous 345 kV transmission path from remote areas of new renewable generation to load centers in urban areas. Additionally, the compliance filing asserts to demonstrate that the project will adequately ensure reliability or reduce the cost of delivered power by reducing congestion and curtailments affecting renewable generation consistent with Order No. 679-A. The compliance filing states that, since the issuance of the prior orders, the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC) has issued a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need on August 11, 2022; NYPA requests that the Commission affirm that all components of the conditions outlined in the prior orders have been satisfied. On November 21, 2022, NYPA filed a Supplement to the compliance filing in order to furnish additional information including but not limited to anticipated project schedules and restating the necessity of regulatory certainty in order to commence the project. Agenda item E-13 may be an order on the compliance filing by NYPA relating to the Smart Path Connect Project.

Gas

G-1 – Tampa Electric Company and Peoples Gas System (Docket No. RP23-198-000). On November 18, 2022, Tampa Electric Company (TECO) and Peoples Gas System, a Division of Tampa Electric Company (Peoples, and collectively with TECO, the Petitioners) filed a joint petition for temporary waivers (Joint Petition). Petitioners requested a temporary waiver of the Commission's capacity release regulations and related policies, Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC's (FGT) FERC Gas Tariff, and any other waivers or authorizations deemed necessary to facilitate Peoples' release of certain firm transportation capacity to TECO (Release). Petitioners explained that they entered into an agreement pursuant to which Peoples will temporarily release to TECO a total of 50,000 dekatherms per day of capacity under certain firm service agreements with FGT. Petitioners further explained that the purpose of the Release is to temporarily reorganize the holding of capacity from Peoples to TECO within the TECO organization. Petitioners argued that the Joint Petition is necessary to facilitate TECO's movement of fuel directly to its own electric generation facilities, similar to the operation of a state-regulated retail access program. Petitioners request that the waivers requested in their Joint Petition commence on April 1, 2023 (the date the Release is currently scheduled to commence) and remain in effect for 90 days beyond the effective date of the Release, or at least through June 30, 2023. Agenda item G-1 may be an order on the Joint Petition.

Hydro

H-1 – Green Mountain Power Corporation and City of Somersworth, New Hampshire (Docket No. P-4451-024). On April 30, 2020, Green Mountain Power Corporation and co-licensee, the City of Somersworth, New Hampshire (collectively, Applicants), submitted a Final Application for License for Project No. 4451, the Lower Great Falls Hydroelectric Project. Applicants proposed to construct an eel ramp on the existing project in order to provide for the upstream passage of American eel as well as a downstream fish passage facility. On July 15, 2020, the Commission issued a deficiency letter to Applicants, requesting clarifications to the supporting design report and certain maps and drawings. On October 13, 2020, Applicants filed a response to the deficiency letter. On April 6, 2021, Applicants submitted an Offer of Settlement on behalf of itself and the U.S. Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The settlement purports to resolve appropriate terms of a prescription for fishways for American shad and river herring to be included in the subsequent minor license of the Project, pursuant to section 18 of the FPA. On July 7, 2022, the Commission issued the Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA), finding that if the Lower Great Falls Hydroelectric Project was granted a license as proposed with staff-recommended mitigation measures, there would not pose a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. Agenda item H-1 may be an order on the license application.

H-2 – South Carolina Public Service Authority (Docket No. P-199-205). On March 15, 2004, the South Carolina Public Service Authority (SCPSA) submitted an Application for New Major License for Project No. 199-205, the Santee Cooper Hydroelectric Project. On October 4, 2004, the Commission issued a deficiency letter to SCPSA seeking additional information on the License Application; SCPSA furnished responses to those respective requests on December 30, 2004, April 7, 2005, April 28, 2005, and May 2, 2005. After agency and stakeholder consultation on the license application and filing of final terms and conditions, SCPSA filed a Letter of Intent of Settlement with the Commission on November 17, 2006, which included draft settlement agreement (DSA) terms and conditions that SCPSA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) recommend be included as an alternative in the environmental review. On March 23, 2007, the Commission issued the Draft Environmental Analysis (Draft EA) for the Project, finding that, if the DSA is adopted and certain mitigation measures are implemented, the License Application should be granted. On October 26, 2007, the Commission issued the Final EA for the Project, incorporating multiple conditions as raised by agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ultimately affirming that the License Application should be granted. In the ensuing years, a number of data responses and informational filings have been exchanged by SCPSA to the Commission and other agencies pertaining to the Biological Opinion issuance, fishway prescriptions, endangered and threatened species protection plans, and other environmental or biological concerns under jurisdiction of the EPA and FWS. Agenda item H-2 may be an order on the License Application.

Certificates

C-1 – LA Storage, LLC (Docket No. CP21-44-001). On January 29, 2021, LA Storage, LLC (LA Storage) filed an application pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and Parts 157 and 284 of the Commission's regulations requesting authorization to construct and operate new natural gas storage and transmission facilities (Hackberry Storage Project) located in Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes, Louisiana. On September 23, 2022, the Commission issued an order (Certificate Order) granting LA Storage a certificate of public convenience and necessity under section 7(c) of the NGA and Part 157 of the Commission's regulations to construct and operate the Hackberry Storage Project. On October 24, 2022, Sierra Club filed a timely request for rehearing of the Certificate Order (Rehearing Request). Sierra Club asserts in the Rehearing Request that the Commission failed to sufficiently analyze climate impacts in the Certificate Order and continues to refuse to consider upstream and downstream emissions in its review of NGA section 7 projects. Sierra Club further asserts that any lack of information regarding such emissions is not a sufficient rationale for ignoring this problem when the Commission has the authority and the obligation to require applicants to supply this information. On November 15, 2022, LA Storage filed a motion for leave to answer and answer to the Rehearing Request (Answer). LA Storage argues in the Answer that the Commission appropriately disclosed and evaluated the direct emissions of the Hackberry Storage Project, properly concluded that upstream and downstream emissions were not reasonably foreseeable and not required to be evaluated under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and adequately considered cumulative impacts in the Certificate Order. On November 25, 2022, 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. On December 9, 2022, LA Storage submitted a request (Extension Request) for extension of time, until December 23, 2023, to submit an implementation plan and request for authorization to construct the Hackberry Storage Project. Agenda item C-1 may be an order on the Rehearing Request or, alternatively, the Extension Request.

C-2 – Rio Grande LNG, LLC (Docket No. CP16-454-005). On April 6, 2022, Rio Grande LNG, LLC (Rio Grande) filed a motion (Extension Request) requesting a two-year extension of time, until November 22, 2028, to complete construction of, and make available for service, the Rio Grande LNG Terminal authorized by the Commission in November 2019. On October 14, 2022, the Commission issued an order (Order) granting the Extension Request. On November 14, 2022, Sierra Club filed a timely request for rehearing of the Order (Rehearing Request). Sierra Club asserts in the Rehearing Request that extending a permit for a project is a major federal action that requires compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and that the Commission failed to do when issuing the Order. Sierra Club contends that the Commission's initial environmental analysis for the Rio Grande LNG Terminal was held to be invalid by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and that Rio Grande has proposed numerous other changes to the Rio Grande LNG Terminal that the Commission has yet to consider. On November 29, 2022, Rio Grande filed a motion for leave to answer and answer to the Rehearing Request (Answer). Rio Grande argues in the Answer that the Rehearing Request should be dismissed because Sierra Club raises these issues for the first time on rehearing, and that the Order did not violate NEPA and was otherwise consistent with Commission precedent. Agenda item C-2 may be an order on the Rehearing Request.

C-3 – West Texas Gas, Inc. and West Texas Gas Utility, LLC (Docket Nos. CP22-474-000, CP22-475-000, CP22-476-000). On June 16, 2022, West Texas Gas, Inc. (WTGI) and West Texas Gas Utility, LLC (WTGU and collectively with WTGI, the Applicants) filed applications (Applications) with the Commission seeking authorization under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and Presidential Permits for the transfer from WTGI to WTGU of certain natural gas facilities located at the international boundary between the United States and Mexico. On September 22, 2022, the Commission requested views on the Applications from the Department of Defense and the Department of State. On November 4, 2022, the Department of Defense submitted a response stating it has no objections to the proposed transfers in the Applications. On January 3, 2023, the Department of State submitted a response stating the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, exercising the authority delegated to him by the Secretary of State, has provided a favorable recommendation for the issuance of Presidential Permits in connection with the Applications. Agenda item C-3 may be an order on the Applications.

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