Publications & Events
Alert

Summary of FERC Meeting Agenda for April 2019

Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s April 18, 2019 meeting, pursuant to the agenda as issued on April 11, 2019. Agenda items E-4 and C-4 have not been included due to omission from the agenda.

In this issue…

  • Electric
  • Gas
  • Hydro
  • Certificates

 

Electric

E-1 – American Wind Energy Association and The Wind Coalition v. Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (Docket No. EL19-11-000). On November 2, 2018, pursuant to sections 206, 306, and 309 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Wind Coalition filed a complaint requesting that the Commission find sections of the "Financial Obligations of Withdrawing Members" in Southwest Power Pool, Inc.’s Bylaws and Membership Agreement, as applied to independent power producers and other similarly situated non-transmission owners and non-load-serving entities, are unlawful, unjust and unreasonable, and unduly discriminatory, all as more fully explained in the complaint. Agenda item E-1 may be an order on AWEA and the Wind Coalition’s complaint.

E-2 – New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (Docket No. EL18-33-000). On December 21, 2017, the Commission issued an order pursuant to section 206 of the FPA, finding that the New York Independent System Operator, Inc.’s (NYISO) practices regarding the pricing of fast-start resources may be unjust and unreasonable because the practices do not allow prices to reflect the marginal cost of serving load. The Commission’s order instituted an investigation of the NYISO’s Market Administration and Control Area Services Tariff (Tariff) and practices to conclude whether the NYISO should be obligated to revise the Tariff to: (1) adjust pricing logic to provide for fast-start resources’ start-up costs being reflected in prices; and (2) allow the relaxation of all dispatchable fast-start resources’ economic minimum operating limits by up to 100 percent for the purpose of price setting. Agenda item E-2 may be an order on the investigation of the NYISO’s Tariff and practices related to fast-start resources.

E-3 – PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (Docket No. EL18-34-000). On December 21, 2017, the Commission issued an order pursuant to section 206 of the FPA, finding that PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.’s (PJM) practices regarding the pricing of fast-start resources may be unjust and unreasonable because the practices do not allow prices to reflect the marginal cost of serving load. The Commission’s order instituted an investigation of the PJM’s Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) and practices to conclude whether PJM should be obligated to revise the OATT to: (1) allow relaxation of fast-start resources’ economic minimum operating limits by up to 100 percent: (2) not limit its fast-start pricing practices to block-loaded resources; (3) consider fast-start resources within dispatch in a way that is consistent with minimizing production costs, subject to appropriate operational and reliability constraints; (4) modify pricing logic to allow fast-start resources’ commitment costs to be reflected in prices; (5) include in the definition of a fast-start resource a minimum run time requirement; and (6) include in the definition of a fast-start resource a start-up time requirement. Agenda item E-3 may be an order on the investigation of PJM’s OATT and practices related to fast-start resources.

E-4 – Omitted

E-5 – Critical Infrastructure Protection Reliability Standard CIP-012-1 - Cyber Security – Communications between Control Centers (Docket No. RM18-20-000). On September 18, 2018, pursuant to section 215(d)(1) of the FPA, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) filed a petition for approval of proposed Reliability Standard CIP-012-1 – Cyber Security – Communications between Control Centers. NERC states in its petition that the proposed Reliability Standard addresses a previous Commission directive to modify the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standards to require Responsible Entities, i.e. registered entities subject to CIP Reliability Standards, to implement controls to protect communication links and sensitive Bulk Electric System (BES) data communicated between BES Control Centers. Agenda item E-5 may be an order on the NERC’s proposed Reliability Standard.

E-6 – Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC and Duke Energy Progress, LLC (Docket No. ER17-1357-002). On December 13, 2018, Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC (DEC), on behalf of itself and Duke Energy Progress, LLC (DEP), submitted an executed Settlement Agreement and Offer of Settlement (Settlement Agreement) to resolve all issues in a proceeding regarding proposed changes to the Joint Open Access Transmission Tariff to which DEC and DEP are parties, to implement a methodology for the calculation of real power loss factors. The settling parties in the proceeding include DEC, DEP, North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency, the Fayetteville Public Works Commission, North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation, North Carolina Municipal Power Agency Number 1, and Piedmont Municipal Power Agency. On March 7, 2019, the Commission settlement judge certified the Settlement Agreement to the Commission, which if approved would resolve all issues in the proceeding. On March 12, 2019, the Commission’s chief administrative law judge terminated settlement judge procedures in the proceeding. Agenda item E-6 may be a Commission order on the Settlement Agreement.

E-7 – Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (Docket Nos. ER17-1568-002, ER17-1568-003, ER18-1854-001, ER18-2030-001, ER18-2058-001 & ER19-261-001). The above-referenced dockets concern various requests submitted by Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP) to defer the effective date regarding Commission-approved changes to SPP’s Open Access Transmission Tariff (SPP Tariff) pending implementation of SPP’s new Settlement Management System (SMS). According to the request, SPP learned that the SMS would not go live before May 1, 2019, as expected. Agenda item E-7 may be an order regarding SPP’s requests for deferral of the effective date for tariff changes.

E-8 – Flat Ridge 2 Wind Energy LLC, Fowler Ridge II Wind Farm LLC, Southwestern Electric Power Company, Indiana Michigan Power Company & Ohio Power Company (Docket No. ER19-1112-000). On February 22, 2019, pursuant to Section 205 of the FPA, Flat Ridge 2 Wind Energy LLC (Flat Ridge 2) and Fowler Ridge II Wind Farm LLC (Fowler Ridge II) (together, Sellers) submitted a request for authorization to make affiliate sales under five existing power purchase agreements. Agenda item E-8 may be an order regarding the requested authorization.

E-9 – El Paso Electric Company (Docket No. ES19-15-000). On January 30, 2019, El Paso Electric Company (El Paso) submitted an application pursuant to section 204 of the FPA for authorization to issue shares of common stock, including reissuance of treasury shares, in an amount up to $200 million. El Paso also requested certain debt-related authorizations, including (1) continued utilization of its existing revolving credit facility; (2) issuance of up to $225 million of new long-term debt; (3) and to remarket up to $100.6 million of pollution control bonds or the issuance of replacement debt of equal value in the form of senior notes. Agenda item E-9 may be an order regarding El Paso’s application.

E-10 – South Carolina Electric & Gas Company & South Carolina Generating Company, Inc. (Docket No. ES19-14-000). On January 30, 2019, South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G) and South Carolina Generating Company, Inc. (SC GENCO) submitted an application pursuant to section 204 of the FPA for authorization (1) for SCG&E to issue short-term debt securities in an amount not exceed $2.2 billion; and (2) for SC GENCO to issue short-term debt securities or transact in the SCANA Corporation utility money pool in an amount not to exceed $200 million. Agenda item E-10 may be an order regarding SCG&E and SC GENCO’s application.

E-11 – City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri (Docket No. EL19-42-000). On February 8, 2019, City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri (City Utilities of Springfield) filed a petition for declaratory order requesting Commission authorization for SPP to grant City Utilities of Springfield a one-time waiver of Section 4.0 of the pro forma Sponsored Upgrade Agreement included as Schedule 1 to Attachment J of the SPP Tariff. In general, Section 4.0 of the Sponsored Upgrade Agreement requires a project sponsor to furnish a letter of credit or such other form of security until such time as the project sponsor has fulfilled its obligation to fund a sponsored upgrade. Agenda item E-11 may be an order regarding the City Utilities of Springfield’s waiver request.

E-12 – Sunrun, Inc. (Docket No. EL18-205-000). On September 24, 2018, Sunrun Inc. (Sunrun) submitted, pursuant to Rule 207 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC or Commission) Rules, a petition for a declaratory order that would waive Qualifying Facility certification filing requirements for residential solar photovoltaic systems, regardless of whether such systems aggregate to over one MW within one mile. Agenda item E-12 may be an order addressing the petition for declaratory order.

 

Gas

G-1 – Interstate and Intrastate Natural Gas Pipelines; Rate Changes Relating to Federal Income Tax Rate American Forest & Paper Association (Docket Nos. RM18-11-001; RP18-415-001). On March 15, 2018, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing a process that would allow it to determine which jurisdictional natural gas pipelines were collecting unjust and unreasonable rates following the reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and changes to the Commission’s income tax allowance policies, intended to address double recovery issues, following the United Airlines, Inc. v. FERC decision. On July 18, 2018, the Commission issued the Final Rule adopting procedures for determining which jurisdictional natural gas pipelines may be collecting unjust and unreasonable rates. On August 17, 2018, multiple parties submitted requests for rehearing alleging errors in the Final Rule related to disallowance of income tax allowance for certain pass-through entities, the Form No. 501-G filing requirement, the 12 percent ROE threshold to qualify for a NGA section 5 investigation moratorium, and permission for pass-through entities to eliminate ADIT from their cost of service if that pipeline eliminates its income tax allowance. Agenda item G-1 may be an order addressing the rehearing requests.

G-2 – Transwestern Pipeline Company, LLC (Docket No. RP15-23-000). On October 1, 2014, Transwestern Pipeline Company, LLC (Transwestern) submitted, pursuant to section 4 of the NGA, a proposal to implement a general rate change. On October 30, 2014, the Commission issued an order accepting and suspending Transwestern’s tariff records subject to refund and the outcome of a hearing. On June 22, 2015, Transwestern filed a Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement (Settlement Agreement) intended to resolve all issues in the proceeding. However, Article VI of the Settlement Agreement reserved an issue involving the capacity release provisions in the General Terms and Conditions section of the Transwestern tariff and whether they are in compliance with Commission policy. Further, Article VI established a briefing procedure for the parties to provide the information necessary for the Commission to adjudicate the issue. On October 15, 2015, the Commission issued an order approving Transwestern’s Settlement Agreement. Subsequently, multiple parties submitted initial and reply briefs addressing the capacity release issue. Agenda item G-2 may be an order addressing the capacity release issue reserved by the parties to the settlement.

G-3 – Tallgrass Interstate Gas Transmission, LLC; Trailblazer Pipeline Company LLC; Rockies Express Pipeline LLC (Docket No. RP19-810-000; RP19-811-000; RP19-812-000). On March 6, 2019, Tallgrass Interstate Gas Transmission, LLC (Tallgrass), Trailblazer Pipeline Company LLC (Trailblazer), and Rockies Express Pipeline LLC (Rockies Express) submitted, pursuant to section 4 of the NGA, a request for a temporary waiver and extension of time for the implementation of certain North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) Wholesale Gas Quadrant (WGQ) standards adopted by the Commission in Order No. 587-Y. The pipelines requested an extension of time to no later than December 31, 2020 to implement the requirements of the specified NAESB WGQ 3.1 Standards. Agenda item G-3 may be an order addressing the request for a temporary waiver and extension of time.

G-5 – Northern Border Pipeline Company (Docket No. RP18-1038-003). On August 1, 2018, Northern Border Pipeline Company (Northern Border) submitted tariff records with a revised bid evaluation process for available firm capacity. On August 30, 2018, the Commission accepted the proposed tariff records, subject to condition. On October 1, 2018, BP Canada Energy Marketing Corp. and certain shippers moved for clarification or rehearing of the Commission’s August 30, 2018 order, asking that the Commission clarify certain issues regarding the packaging of non-contiguous segments of capacity. On October 16, 2018, Northern Border submitted an answer, stating that the requests for clarifications are re-packaged versions of arguments raised in protest of Northern Border’s tariff filing. The Commission issued an order granting rehearing for further consideration on October 29, 2018. Agenda item G-5 may be an order regarding the October 1, 2018 requests for clarification.

G-6 – Andeavor Field Services, LLC v. Mid-America Pipeline Company, LLC and Enterprise Products Operating LLC (Docket No. OR18-15-001). On February 27, 2018, Andeavor Field Services, LLC (Andeavor) submitted a complaint against Mid-America Pipeline Company, LLC (Mid-America) and Enterprise Products Operating LLC (Enterprise) for various aspects of Mid-America’s conduct concerning its pipeline system capacity. After answers were filed by the parties, FERC issued an order on the complaint on June 21, 2018 in which it declined to exercise primary jurisdiction over the dispute and dismissed Andeavor’s complaint. On July 17, 2018, Andeavor filed a request for rehearing, and on August 16, 2018, FERC issued an order granting rehearing for further consideration. Agenda item G-6 may be an order in the proceeding.

 

Hydro

H-1 – Hydroelectric Licensing Regulations Under the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (Docket No. RM19-6-000). On November 13, 2018, FERC issued a notice establishing a schedule for the expedited processes required by America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 for issuing and amending licenses for qualifying facilities at existing nonpowered dams and closed-loop pumped storage projects. On January 31, 2019, FERC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking for the expedited licensing process, and comments were due on March 11, 2019. Many entities submitted comments on the proposed rulemaking. Agenda item H-1 may be a final rule for the expedited licensing process.

H-2 – Sappi North America, Inc. (Docket Nos. P-2897-048, P-2932-047, P-2941-043, P-2931-042, P-2942-051). On March 23, 2018, in Docket No. P-2897-048, Sappi North America, Inc. (Sappi) filed an application for surrender of the license for the Saccarappa Project, FERC Project No. 2897, and in Docket Nos. P-2932-047, P-2941-043, P-2931-042, P-2942-051, Sappi submitted an associated application to amend the licenses for the Mallison Falls (P-2932), Little Falls (P-2941), Gambo (P2931), and Dundee (P-2942) Hydroelectric Projects. The projects are located on the Presumpscot River in Cumberland County, Maine. On January 23, 2019, FERC issued a draft environmental assessment for the applications, and comments were due by March 1, 2019. On March 26, 2019, FERC issued a final environmental assessment. Agenda item H-2 may be an order addressing the license surrender and associated license amendments.

H-3 – Cat Creek Energy, LLC (Docket No. P-14655-001). On December 12, 2014, Cat Creek Energy, LLC (Cat Creek) filed an application for a preliminary permit to study the feasibility of the proposed Cat Creek Energy Generation Facility Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project No. 14655, which would be located near Mountain Home in Elmore County, Idaho. FERC issued a preliminary permit for the project on November 27, 2015. On November 8, 2018, Cat Creek filed an application for a successive permit to continue the feasibility work completed under the original permit. The application for a successive permit was accepted for filing on November 20, 2018, and on February 13, 2019, FERC extended to comment period to March 20, 2019. Various entities, including the U.S. Forest Service, submitted comments. Agenda item H-3 may be an order concerning Cat Creek’s permit application.

H-4 – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (Docket No. P-2107-021). On October 26, 1953, the Commission issued the original license to Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) for the Poe Hydroelectric Project No. 2107 (Poe). PG&E is the owner and licensee of Poe and has been since the order issued in 1953. PG&E filed an application seeking Commission authorization for a new license for Poe on December 16, 2003. The Commission issued a license for Poe on December 17, 2018, specifying a 40-year license term. On January 15, 2019 and January 16, 2019, respectively, PG&E and American Whitewater filed separate requests for rehearing and/or clarification of the order issued by the Commission on December 17, 2018. PG&E asserts that, in the fifteen years from its 2003 application to the 2018 license issuance, it engaged in several projects to enhance the power and developmental improvements to Poe. Therefore, PG&E requests the Commission grant rehearing in order to contemplate issuing a new license with a 50-year term rather than a 40-year term. Agenda item H-4 may be an order on the respective requests for rehearing by PG&E and American Whitewater.

H-5 – City of Port Angeles, Washington (Docket No. P-6461-027). On May 31, 1984, the City of Port Angeles, Washington (City) filed an application to modify its facilities in Morse Creek for hydropower generation. In September of 1985, the Commission issued the City a license to construct and operate the Project with a 50-year term. Until October of 1997, the City operated the Project facilities, filing an application to surrender the license in October of 1998, citing prohibitively high operating costs of the Project; on October 22, 1999, the Commission granted the request to surrender the license. However, the City opted to lease the Project to a new operator and resume operations in 2004, continuing through 2012 due to high costs and low power prices. The City filed another request to surrender the license of the Project on February 23, 2018. On November 7, 2018, the Commission issued the inspection report for the Project, finding that the Project features are stable and in satisfactory condition. The Commission granted approval of the surrender of license for the Project on November 28, 2018. On December 31, 2018, Public Utility District No. 1 of Clallam County, Washington (the District) filed a request for rehearing. The District asserts that the November 7 inspection report insufficiently evaluated that all Project works were safe and structurally sound, as the residents of Clallam County are reliant on the diversion facilities at the Project for drinking water supplies. Agenda item H-5 may be an order on the request for rehearing filed by the District.

H-6 – Placer County Water Agency (Docket No. P-2079-080). On February 22, 2019, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) filed a petition for declaratory order. PCWA requests the Commission grant an order stating that the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has waived its certification authority under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) with respect to PCWA’s pending application for a new license for the Middle Fork American Project (the Project). A number of stakeholders filed motions to intervene and protests, commonly seeking to retain the regulatory authority of states to place conditions on hydropower projects that discharge into navigable rivers in order to comply with state water quality standards. Agenda item H-6 may be an order on the petition filed by PCWA.

 

Certificates

C-1 – Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc. (Docket No. CP17-219-001). On April 21, 2017, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc. (Southern Star) filed an abbreviated application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) to expand the storage field boundary of the Webb Gas Storage Field located in Oklahoma. The Commission issued an order on September 20, 2018 granting Southern Star the CPCN; however, the approved expansion included 320 of the 480 requested acres per the application. On October 22, 2018, Southern Star filed a request for rehearing and/or reconsideration, stating that the Commission may have erred in evaluating the proposed expansion and that the past production from the well in question was likely largely or entirely storage gas. Agenda item C-1 may be an order on the request for rehearing by Southern Star.

C-2 – Driftwood LNG LLC; Driftwood Pipeline LLC (Docket Nos. CP17-117-000; CP17-118-000). On March 31, 2017, Driftwood LNG LLC and Driftwood Pipeline LLC (collectively, Driftwood) filed an application for authorization to site, construct, and operate LNG export facilities and an application pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) for a CPCN to construct, own, and operate an interstate natural gas pipeline. The proposed Driftwood facilities, including five LNG plants, three LNG storage tanks, and associated infrastructure (collectively, the Project), would span 96 miles in Louisiana. Following voluminous exchanges of data requests and supplemental information, the Commission issued the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on September 14, 2018, finding that Commission approval of the Project would result in adverse impacts to the human environment; however, the mitigation measures in the draft EIS would reduce the impacts to an acceptable level except for one instance of visual obstruction to the community. Following the draft EIS issuance, Driftwood furnished substantial amounts of supplemental information in addition to numerous filings of support and opposition from stakeholders ranging from members of the US Congress to the general public. On January 18, 2019, the Commission issued the final EIS, finding that the Project would generate adverse impacts on the environment but all instances would be allayed if Driftwood performed the proposed impact avoidance and minimization measures. Agenda item C-2 may be an order on the applications filed by Driftwood for Commission authorization and a CPCN for the Project.

C-3 – Port Arthur LNG, LLC and PALNG Common Facilities Company, LLC; Port Arthur Pipeline, LLC (Docket Nos. CP17-20-000; CP17-21-000; CP-17-21-001; CP18-7-000). On November 29, 2016, Port Arthur LNG, LLC and PALNG Common Facilities Company, LLC (collectively, Applicants) filed an application for authorization to construct and operate new natural gas liquefaction and export facilities (the Project) and an application pursuant to section 7(c) of the NGA to transport domestic natural gas as feed gas supply to the Project. Applicants state the Project will include two liquefaction trains and attendant facilities for transport and export from Port Arthur, Texas. Following voluminous exchanges of data requests and supplemental information, the Commission issued the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on September 28, 2018, finding that Commission approval of the Project would result in some adverse impacts to the human environment; however, Applicants would be able to reduce those impacts by implementing the proposed mitigation measures. On January 31, 2019, the Commission issued the final EIS, finding that the Project would generate some adverse impacts on the environment but all instances would be allayed if Applicants performed the proposed impact avoidance and minimization measures. Agenda item C-3 may be an order on the applications filed by Applicants for Commission authorization for the Project.

C-4 – Omitted

 

Click here to download PDF.

Search for more Summaries of FERC Meeting Agendas.

 

This publication is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. This publication is protected by copyright.
© 2019 White & Case LLP