Below are summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's June 16, 2022 open meeting, pursuant to the sunshine notice released on June 9, 2022.
In this issue…
- Electric Items
- Gas Items
- Hydro Items
- Certificate Items
E-1 – Improvements to Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements (Docket No. RM22-14-000). Agenda item E-1 may be an order issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) relating to Improvements to Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements. The NOPR may be responsive to the increasingly bloated and delayed generator interconnection queue processes among some of its regional grid operators.
E-2 – Transmission System Planning Performance Requirements for Extreme Weather (Docket No. RM22-10-000). Agenda item E-2 may be an order issuing a NOPR relating to Transmission System Planning Performance Requirements for Extreme Weather. The NOPR may be responsive to certain reliability issues and bulk electric system disruptions stemming from major storms and natural disasters in recent years.
E-3 – One-Time Informational Reports on Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessments (Docket No. RM22-16-000), Climate Change, Extreme Weather, and Electric System Reliability (Docket No. AD21-13-000). On March 5, 2021, the Commission issued a notice of technical conference to discuss threats to electric system reliability posed by climate change and extreme weather events. In the notice, the Commission stated that the discussion would include concerns regarding increased frequency and duration of extreme weather events as well as geographic expanse and regional distinctions (e.g., wildfires in one region, snow storms in another region). A number of stakeholders and interested parties submitted comments in accordance with the April 15, 2021 deadline. On June 1 and 2, 2021, the Commission convened the technical conference. Following the technical conference, the Commission solicited a further round of comments, focusing on topics such as, but not limited to, opportunities to improve Reliability Standards administered by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), use of probabilistic approaches to account for extreme weather, and the prospect of conducting one-time climate change risk assessments to evaluate how electric systems will perform under such constraints. A number of stakeholders and interested parties submitted post-technical conference comments on or before the September 27, 2021 deadline, incorporating proposed answers to the items raised above in addition to other relevant topics. Agenda item E-3 may be an order on potential actions following the technical conference, perhaps including a requirement for filing one-time informational reports on climate change impacts and extreme weather vulnerability.
E-4 – Public Citizen, Inc. v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (Docket No. EL15-70-003), The People of the State of Illinois, By Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (Docket No. EL15-71-003), Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Dynegy, Inc., and Sellers of Capacity into Zone 4 of the 2015-2016 MISO Planning Resource Auction (Docket No. EL15-72-003). On May 28, 2015, Public Citizen, Inc. (Public Citizen) filed a complaint against MISO pursuant to section 206 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) and Rule 206 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure. On May 28, 2015, the People of the State of Illinois By Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (Illinois Attorney General) filed a complaint against MISO pursuant to FPA sections 205, 206, and 222 and Rule 206 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure. On May 29, 2015, Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Southwestern) filed a complaint against MISO, Dynegy, Inc. (Dynegy), and all sellers of capacity into Zone 4 of MISO's 2015/16 Auction pursuant to FPA sections 206, 222, and 306 and Rule 206 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure. On June 30, 2015, Illinois Industrial Energy Consumers (Industrial Consumers) filed a complaint against MISO pursuant to sections 206, 222, and 306 of the FPA and Rule 206 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure. The four complaints, filed in response to the results of the MISO 2015/2016 Planning Resource Auction for Local Resource Zone 4, alleged that the auction results were not just and reasonable and were the product of market manipulation and certain provisions of the MISO tariff that were no longer just and reasonable. On December 31, 2015, the Commission issued an order partially granting and partially denying the complaints finding that provisions in the MISO tariff associated with calculation Initial Reference Levels and Local Clearing Requirements were no longer just and reasonable for prospective application. On July 19, 2019, the Commission issued an order on the remaining arguments raised in the Complaint, dismissing the remaining claims and finding the results of the 2015/2016 Auction for Zone 4 was just and reasonable. On August 19, 2019, Public Citizen, Inc. filed a request for rehearing of the Commission's July 19 order. On March 19, 2020, the Commission issued an order denying the request for rehearing, asserting that the results of the 2015-2016 Auction were just and reasonable because Dynegy's bids were authorized under a valid and effective market-based rate tariff and the bids complied with the terms of the MISO tariff. On May 28, 2020, Public Citizen filed a Petition for Review of the March 19 order at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (DC Circuit). On August 26, 2021, the DC Circuit remanded the matter back to the Commission for further analysis and to furnish an explanation, holding that the Commission did not adequately explain its conclusion that the 2015/2016 Auction results in Zone 4 were just and reasonable. The DC Circuit stated that the Commission insufficiently demonstrated that market manipulation enabled by certain MISO rules did not adversely affect the outcome of the 2015/2016 Auction. On February 7, 2022, Public Citizen and Illinois Attorney General filed a motion on remand requesting refunds or an evidentiary hearing to refund the purported unjust and unreasonable charges from the 2015/2016 Auction. Agenda item E-4 may be an order on the motion brought forward by Public Citizen and Illinois Attorney General.
E-5 – California Independent System Operator Corporation (Docket Nos. ER21-2455-000, ER21-2455-001). On July 19, 2021, the California Independent System Operator Corporation (CAISO) submitted an amendment to its Tariff in compliance with Order No. 2222, as released by the Commission on September 17, 2020. Pursuant to the guidance furnished in Order No. 2222, CAISO proposed to revise the provisions of its Tariff in order to remove barriers to distribute energy resource aggregations (DERAs) participating in the capacity, energy, and ancillary services markets. In the filing, CAISO asserted that it has preemptively incorporated DERAs into its grid since 2016 and met the majority of requirements from Order No. 2222 prior to its issuance. CAISO stated that the incremental changes to its Tariff relating to DERAs would, among others: lower the minimum capacity requirement from 500 kW to 100 kW; provide an opt-out for small utilities; revise its definition of a DER to mirror Commission language; and create a heterogeneous DERA model that can include demand response. On October 1, 2021, the Commission issued a letter to CAISO seeking additional information necessary to process the July 19 filing and proposed Tariff revisions. On November 2, 2021, CAISO filed a response to the October 1 letter, providing the supplemental information as requested. Agenda item E-5 may be an order on the proposed revisions to the CAISO Tariff in order to comply with Order No. 2222 directives.
E-6 – New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (Docket Nos. ER21-2460-000, ER21-2460-001). On July 19, 2021, the New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (NYISO) submitted an amendment to its Tariff in compliance with Order No. 2222 as released by the Commission on September 17, 2020. Pursuant to the guidance furnished in Order No. 2222, NYISO proposed to revise the provisions of its Tariff in order to remove barriers to distribute energy resource aggregations (DERAs) participating in the capacity, energy, and ancillary services markets. In the filing, NYISO asserted that it has preemptively incorporated DERAs into its grid since January 23, 2020, when the Commission accepted its DER and Aggregation participation model independently of any such proceeding or rulemaking that led to the issuance of Order No. 2222. NYISO stated that the changes to its Tariff relating to DERAs would, among others: require facilities within a DERA to electronically connect to the same transmission node; require DERA providers to submit information and data about both the individual facilities comprising the DERA and the aggregation itself; and address metering and telemetry requirements. On October 1, 2021, the Commission issued a letter to NYISO seeking additional information necessary to process the July 19 filing and proposed Tariff revisions. On November 19, 2021, NYISO filed a response to the October 1 letter, providing the supplemental information as requested. Agenda item E-6 may be an order on the proposed revisions to the NYISO Tariff in order to comply with Order No. 2222 directives.
E-7 – ISO New England Inc. and New England Power Company d/b/a National Grid (Docket No. ER22-707-001). On December 22, 2021, pursuant to section 205 of the FPA, and Part 35 of the Commission's regulation, New England Power Company d/b/a National Grid (NEP) along with ISO New England Inc. (ISO-NE) filed revisions to the Narragansett Electric Company (Narragansett) Transmission Service Agreement (TSA) to reflect the upgrades, which include the construction of the new Iron Mine Hill Road substation and related transmission modifications, and the assessment to Narragansett of a Direct Assignment Facilities Charge associated with those facilities. On February 18, 2022, the Commission issued an order accepting the filing, to be effective January 1, 2022. Green Development, LLC filed a request for rehearing of the Commission's February 18 order. Agenda item E-7 may be an order on the request for rehearing of the Commission's February 18 order.
E-8 – Guzman Energy, LLC (Docket No. ER21-56-000). On October 7, 2020, Guzman Energy LLC (Guzman) submitted a cost justification filing regarding certain spot market sales transactions that exceeded the $1,000/MWh cost-cap in Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) outside of the California Independent System Operator Corporation (CAISO) area, in accordance with the Commission's August 31, 2020 order in Docket No EL10-56. On June 17, 2021, the Commission issued an order providing guidance on cost justification filings pending before the Commission, including the October 7 filing by Guzman. On July 16, 2021, Guzman filed a supplement to its October 7 cost justification filing in accordance with the Commission's directives in the June 17 order. Agenda item E-8 may be an order relating to Guzman's cost justification filings.
E-9 – El Paso Electric Company (Docket No. ER21-61-000). On October 7, 2020, El Pas Electric Company (El Paso) submitted a cost justification filing regarding certain spot market sales transactions that exceeded the $1,000/MWh cost-cap in WECC outside of the CAISO area, in accordance with the Commission's August 31, 2020 order in Docket No EL10-56. On June 17, 2021, the Commission issued an order providing guidance on cost justification filings pending before the Commission, including the October 7 filing by El Paso. On July 19, 2021, El Paso filed a supplement to its cost justification filing in accordance with the Commission's directives in the June 17 order. Agenda item E-9 may be an order relating to El Paso's cost justification filings.
E-10 – TransAlta Energy Marketing (U.S.) Inc. (Docket No. ER21-58-000). On October 7, 2020, TransAlta Energy Marketing (U.S.) Inc. (TransAlta) submitted a cost justification filing regarding certain spot market sales transactions that exceeded the $1,000/MWh cost-cap in WECC outside of the CAISO area, in accordance with the Commission's August 31, 2020 order in Docket No EL10-56. On June 17, 2021, the Commission issued an order providing guidance on cost justification filings pending before the Commission, including the October 7 filing by TransAlta. On July 19, 2021, TransAlta filed a supplement to its cost justification filing in accordance with the Commission's directives in the June 17 order. Agenda item E-10 may be an order relating to TransAlta's cost justification filings.
E-11 – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (Docket Nos. ER17-910-003, ER17-1509-003, ER17-2181-003, ER18-1102-002). On March 15, 2018, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) filed two unexecuted Specifications for Distribution Service (Specifications) to revise Service Agreement No. 275 with the City and County of San Francisco on PG&E's Wholesale Distribution Tariff (WDT). Amongst, other things, the Specifications involve a new San Francisco delivery point and related new facilities to effectuate the distribution service. On May 14, 2018, the Commission accepted the Specifications, suspended them for a nominal period, to become effective May 14, 2018, subject to refund, and established hearing and settlement judge procedures. Following administrative proceeding, on July 2, 2020, the Presiding Administrative Law Judge issued the Initial Decision in the matter. Briefs on exception were submitted to the Commission by PG&E, the City and County of San Francisco, and Commission Trial Staff. On January 28, 2022, the Commission issued Opinion No. 577 affirming in part, and reversing in part, the Initial Decision, and directing PG&E to submit revised cost estimates to the County and City of San Francisco. On March 9, 2022, PG&E submitting an informational filing with the revised cost estimates as directed by Commission in Opinion No. 577. In addition, on February 28, 2022, the City and County of San Francisco filed a request for rehearing of Opinion No. 577. Agenda item E-11 may be an order relating to the request for rehearing of Opinion No. 577 and/or PG&E's informational filing.
E-12 – North American Electric Reliability Corporation (Docket No. RD22-3-000). On February 16, 2022, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) submitted an Application for Approval of Modification to the Compliance Section of Reliability Standard CIP-014-2 (CIP-014). In its application, NERC proposed to modify CIP-014 to remove a provision, unique to CIP-014, that provides for all evidence demonstrated compliance with CIP-014 be retain at the transmission owner's or operator's facility. On March 15, 2022, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) submitted a Motion to Intervene and Comments opposing NERC's proposed modification to CIP-014. EEI argued that the provision is necessary to ensure the security of CIP-014. On March 21, 2022, NERC submitted Reply Comments to EEI arguing that its proposed modification would not decrease the protection of any highly sensitive compliance evidence. NERC argues that the proposed modification is necessary to ensure that NERC and the Regional Entities (collectively, the ERO Enterprise) may monitor compliance with the standard effectively. NERC argues that there is no continued justification for the provision in the compliance section of CIP-014 that requires all evidence demonstrating compliance with the standard to be retained at the Transmission Owner's or Transmission Operator's facility. On March 30, 2022, EEI submitted a Motion for Leave to Answer and Answer in response to NERC's March 22, 2022 Reply Comments. Agenda item E-12 may be an order on NERC's Application for the proposed modification of CIP-014.
E-13 – NSTAR Electric Company and Park City Wind LLC (Docket No. ER22-1247-000). On March 8, 2022, NSTAR Electric Company (NSTAR) and Park City Wind (PCW) jointly submitted a petition requesting the Commission to approve without condition or modification the Settlement Transmission Support Agreement dated March 3, 2022 (Settlement TSA). Under the Settlement TSA, NSTAR agreed to build certain transmission facilities required to interconnect PCW's offshore wind farm to the NSTAR transmission system. The Settlement TSA also sets forth the Settling Parties' respective responsibilities to finance and pay for those facilities. On March 22, 2022, Mayflower Wind Energy LLC (Mayflower Wind) submitted Comments. As a similarly situated customer to PCW, Mayflower Wind Mayflower Wind requested that the Commission, in any approval of the Settlement TSA, provide clear guidance regarding any requirement for NSTAR to provide comparable treatment to similarly situated interconnection customers in future transmission support arrangements related to cost recovery for upgrades that provide regional transmission system benefits. On March 25, 2022, NSTAR filed a Limited Answer to Mayflower Wind's comments. In its Limited Answer, NSTAR highlighted that Mayflower Wind does not oppose the Petition requesting Commission approval, which was the only issue before the Commission in this proceeding. However, in order to allay Mayflower Wind's specific concern, NSTAR committed that it intends to treat similarly situated interconnection customers comparably, but how this principle will apply to Mayflower Wind (and others) will depend on the outcome of ISO-NE's System Impact Study identifying the transmission facilities required for interconnection. Agenda item E-13 may be an order on NSTAR's and PCW's Settlement TSA.
G-1 – Texas Eastern Transmission, LP (Docket No. RP21-1001-008). On August 31, 2021, the Commission issued an order that, among other things, directed Texas Eastern to show cause, pursuant to section 5 of the NGA, as to why its reservation charge crediting procedures are in compliance with Commission policy (August 31 Order) (for more information on the procedural history here, please refer to our prior article published on January 19, 2022). On March 24, 2022, the Commission issued its Order on Show Cause, finding that the then-existing reservation charge crediting provisions of Texas Eastern's tariff had become unjust and unreasonable because the Commission had "changed its focus to how shippers should be permitted to focus on obtaining alternative supply routes, and not compelled to submit nominations that they do not reasonably expect the pipelines to honor." The Commission accepted Texas Eastern's proposed replacement tariff, finding that it corrects all deficiencies that the August 31 Order identified as potentially unjust and unreasonable. The Commission declined to consider further changes to its reservation charge crediting policy and terminated the proceeding. The Northeast LDC Customer Group requested rehearing of the Order on Show Cause, asking the Commission to require Texas Eastern to revise its tariff to provide that in situations where Texas Eastern has provided advance notice of a force majeure outage, customers will not be required to nominate quantities in order to receive reservation charge credits, or in the alternative set the matter for hearing. Texas Eastern filed an answer to the Northeast LDC Customer Group's rehearing request, asking the Commission to reject such request. Agenda item G-1 may be an order on the Northeast LDC Customer Group's rehearing request.
H-1 – Blackstone Hydro Associates (Docket No. P-3063-023). On April 4, 2022, Blackstone Hydro Associates (BHA) requested a rehearing and modification of the Commission's March 3, 2022 licensing order for Central Falls hydropower facility, Project No. P-3063. In response to BHA's rehearing and modification request the Commission issued a Notice of Denial of Rehearing by Operation of Law and Providing for Further Consideration on May 5, 2022. Agenda item H-1 may be an order on BHA's rehearing and modification request.
H-2 – Pacific Gas and Electric Company and City of Santa Clara (Docket No. P-619-164). On December 12, 2016, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and City of Santa Clara, California (Santa Clara) filed a major license application for the Bucks Creek Hydroelectric Project located in in Plumas County, California, Project No. 619-164. On August 6, 2018, the Commission issued a Notice of Application Accepted For Filing, Soliciting Motions To Intervene and Protests, Ready For Environmental Analysis, and Soliciting Comments, Recommendations, Preliminary Terms and Conditions and Preliminary Fishway Prescriptions. On March 29, 2019, the Commission filed a memorandum regarding the List of Threatened and Endangered Species and Critical Habitats for the Bucks Creek Hydropower Project. PG&E provided a report of the Biological Assessment of the Bucks Creak Hydropower Project on April 4, 2019. The Commission issued the Draft Environment Impact Study on June 14, 2019. The commission filed the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Hydropower License on January 28, 2020. On January 29, 2021, the Commission submitted a letter providing the final Programmatic Agreement. In January 2022, the Commission requested PG&E file additional information regarding the properties affected by their proposal to expand the Bucks Creek Hydropower Project's boundary. PG&E provided such supplemental information on February 11, 2022. On March 17, 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region submitted a revised Section 4(e) Conditions and 10(a) Recommendations for the Bucks Creek Hydroelectric Project. PG&E submitted its response to these revised Final terms and Conditions on April 15, 2022. Agenda item H-2 may be an order on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service's revised Final Terms and Conditions.
H-3 – City of Holyoke Gas and Electric Department (Docket No. P-2004-302). On May 31, 2017, City of Holyoke Gas and Electric Department (HG&E), licensee for the Holyoke Hydroelectric Project No. 2004 (Holyoke Project), filed a Post-Construction Shortnose Sturgeon Monitoring Plan in accordance with the Commission's March 23, 2015 license amendment order. On August 10, 2017, HG&E filed a request to amend the project license to incorporate the revised biological opinion for shortnose sturgeon, issued July 24, 2017 by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). On August 28, 2017, the Commission issued an order approving HG&E's amended Post-Construction Sturgeon Monitoring Plan incorporating the revised NMFS biological opinion for shortnose sturgeon. On August 16, 2019, the Commission issued a letter order approving HG&E's 2018 Shortnose Sturgeon Incidental Take Monitoring Report and 2019 Sturgeon Handling Plan, as well as, the 2018 and 2019 Shortnose Sturgeon Monitoring Reports. On May 6 and June 25, 2020, the Commission issued letters discussing the project operation under the COVID-19 pandemic. On December 2, 2020, HG&E filed a request to supplement its license for the Holyoke Project to incorporate the revised biological opinion for shortnose sturgeon issued on December 4, 2019 by the NMFS. Agenda item H-3 may be an order on the request to supplement the Holyoke Project's license.
H-4 – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (Docket No. P-2107-047). On March 30, 2022, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), as owner and licensee of the Poe Hydroelectric Project No. 2107 (Project), filed a Request for Rehearing (Rehearing Request) of one aspect of Commission staff's Order Modifying and Approving Recreation Plan under Article 404, issued on February 28, 2022 (February 2022 Order). Specifically, PG&E requests rehearing of Ordering Paragraph (E) of the February 2022 Order, which requires PG&E to construct a Poe Hiking Trail. PG&E alleges in the Rehearing Request that Commission staff erred in requiring it to construct the Poe Hiking Trail despite substantial evidence in the record that the Poe Hiking Trail is infeasible because of adverse impacts on private property and environmental resources, the significant cost to construct and maintain a trail, and a lack of demand for additional recreation features in the area. Commission staff, however, concluded that the Poe Hiking Trail is required because PG&E's feasibility study appears to present information indicating the foregoing issues can be addressed. The Rehearing Request requests that the Commission grant rehearing and remove the requirement that it construct the Poe Hiking Trail. Agenda item H-4 may be an order on the Rehearing Request.
H-5 – The Town of Rollinsford, New Hampshire (Docket No. P-3777-011). On August 29, 2019, the Town of Rollinsford, New Hampshire (Licensee) filed an application (Application) for a subsequent license for the continued operation of the Rollinsford Hydroelectric Project No. 3777 (Project), located on the Salmon Falls River if Strafford County, New Hampshire and York County, Maine. On August 23, 2021, the Commission issued a draft Programmatic Agreement for the Project for review and comment. Comment letters on the draft Programmatic Agreement were filed by the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources and the Maine Historic Preservation Commission. On August 23, 2021, the Commission issued a draft Environmental Assessment for the Project, on which a number of relevant consulting agencies have provided comments. On October 6, 2021, the Commission issued a final Programmatic Agreement for the Project, on which a number of the relevant stakeholders have subsequently signed off. Agenda item H-5 may be an order finalizing the Environmental Assessment or an order on the Application itself.
C-1 – Equitrans, L.P. (Docket Nos. CP20-312-000, RP21-882-000). On April 30, 2020, Equitrans, L.P. submitted an abbreviated application requesting Commission authorization to abandon approximately 191 miles of certificated gathering lines, nine certificated compressor station units, approximately 736 miles of non-certificated gathering lines, nine non-certificated compressor station units, and any appurtenant facilities (Gathering System), either by sale or, if that is not successful, in place. In March 2021 and September 2021, Equitrans notified the Commission that it entered into agreements to sell different portions of its Gathering System to Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC (Peoples) and Big Dog Midstream LLC (Big Dog), respectively. In both such notifications, Equitrans renewed its request for authorization from the Commission. On March 28, 2022, Equitrans filed a Renewed Request for Immediate Issuance of Order Authorizing Abandonment by Sale (Renewed Request), alleging that the Public Service Commission of West Virginia (WVPSC) has issued orders improperly asserting jurisdiction over Equitrans and its Gathering System. Equitrans states in the Renewed Request that it will continue to address the WVPSC's claims outside of these dockets, and asserts that in the meantime that there is no need for the Commission to delay its authorization to await the outcome of those claims. Several intervenors filed answers to the Renewed Request, asserting that the Commission should deny the Renewed Request and instead await resolution by WVPSC and any applicable state court review before issuing an order in these dockets. Agenda Item C-1 may be an order on the Renewed Request.
C-2 – Roaring Fork Midstream, LLC (Docket No. CP22-167-000). On April 13, 2022, Roaring Fork Midstream (Roaring Fork) filed a Petition for Declaratory Order Disclaiming Jurisdiction and Request for Expedited Consideration (Petition). The Petition requests the Commission issue a declaratory order finding that certain planned natural gas gathering pipelines (Gathering Lines) will perform a gathering function, and therefore will be exempt from the Commission's jurisdiction pursuant to section 1(b) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA). Roaring Fork asserts in the Petition that the planned Gathering Lines qualify as gathering facilities under the Commission's modified "primary function test," and are accordingly exempt from the Commission's jurisdiction under NGA section 1(b). Agenda item C-2 may an order on the Petition.
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