Since the issuance of Order No. 697-A, FERC has required market based rate sellers to include a comprehensive description of all upstream owners. In its latest notice of proposed rulemaking, FERC recognizes that the level of upstream ownership related detail currently required is not essential to a determination of the seller’s market power. FERC also points out the difficulty that many sellers face in accurately capturing and describing all upstream owners given the often numerous and types of ownership interests (e.g., full versus partial, passive versus controlling, direct versus indirect, etc.).
Continue Reading FERC Proposes to Ease Reporting Obligations for Market Based Rate Sellers

Late last month, FERC issued its Order on Rehearing[1] affirming a 2012 order conditionally approving MISO’s proposal to improve the deliverability of capacity resources.  Among other things, FERC upheld its earlier rejection of portions of MISO’s initial proposal to make its Planning Resource Auction mandatory and subject to a minimum offer price rule (MOPR). FERC’s continued rejection of the mandatory proposal relied heavily on the specific characteristics of the MISO region and the differences between the MISO region and other regions in the country. Commissioner LaFleur commented on these regional distinctions when voting on the rehearing order. As MISO continues to consider modifications to its resource adequacy mechanism, FERC Staff planned to attend a recent meeting of the Illinois Commerce Commission on resource adequacy in MISO Zone 4.
Continue Reading FERC Focuses On Regional Distinctions In Order Addressing MISO Resource Adequacy Proposals

On November 19, 2015 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) issued a proposal titled “Reactive Power Requirements for Non-Synchronous Generation.” In this proposal, the Commission proposes to revise standard generator interconnection agreements (GIAs) to eliminate the exemptions for non-synchronous generation, including wind generators, from the requirement to provide reactive power.
Continue Reading FERC Issues Proposal to Require Wind Generators to Provide Reactive Power

On November 17, 2015, FERC issued an order terminating a proceeding (Docket No. RM13-1) in which it had issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) proposing to substantially increase the reporting requirements applicable to sellers that make certain types of wholesale sales of natural gas. The NOI was issued on November 15, 2012 and proposed to require entities making FERC-jurisdictional sales of natural gas to file reports, on a quarterly basis, regarding transactions that entail “next day” or “next month” physical delivery of gas.
Continue Reading FERC Terminates Proceeding Regarding Increased Reporting of Natural Gas Sales

This updates our September 28, 2015 report on FERC’s NOPR to require “market participants” in RTO and ISO organized electricity markets to obtain a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), an alpha-numeric identifier issued through the Global LEI System, and to provide information regarding their “Connected Entities” to the RTO/ISO in which they operate.

Our September 28 report contains a detailed description of the NOPR.  To briefly recapitulate, the NOPR defines a market participant as any seller or buyer of services offered in those markets. 
Continue Reading Update on FERC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) Regarding RTO/ISO Collection of Uniform Organized Market Participant Data

Introduction

FERC’s September 17, 2015 notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) in Docket No. RM15-23-000 would impose significant information-gathering requirements on participants in markets operated by Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs). The rule would require each market participant to obtain a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) and to report its LEI and extensive additional information about itself and its Connected Entities to its RTO/ISO who would submit it to FERC. FERC has designed the information requirement, which applies on a regular ongoing basis and must be updated as facts and circumstances change, to reveal direct as well as indirect, third party links between market participants that could afford the incentive and ability to engage in joint action to manipulate and defraud the markets.
Continue Reading FERC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) Regarding RTO/ISO Collection of Uniform Organized Market Participant Data

On September 17, 2015, FERC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) regarding settlement intervals and shortage pricing in regional transmission organization (RTO) and independent system operator (ISO) real time electricity markets. The NOPR states FERC’s preliminary finding that RTO/ISO real time use of different time intervals for the dispatch (e.g., five minutes) and the settlement (e.g., one hour) of energy and operating reserve transactions is unjust, unreasonable and unlawful. FERC proposes to require that all RTOs/ISOs use the same time interval for the settlement and dispatch of these transactions.
Continue Reading FERC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding RTO/ISO Pricing Formation

On June 18, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission eliminated the requirement in Rule 508 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.508, that paper copies be provided of all exhibits introduced as evidence in Commission trial-type evidentiary hearings.  The final rule eliminating this requirement was issued as Order No. 811 in Docket RM15-5-000, Revised Exhibit Submission Requirements for Commission Hearings.  The elimination of the paper copy requirement for exhibits is designed to facilitate a shift toward electronic hearing procedures, increase efficiency, reduce costs associated with providing paper exhibits and facilitate compilation and transmittal of the hearing record to the Commission in electronic format.
Continue Reading FERC Eliminates Paper Copy Requirement for Trial Exhibits

Last week, the U. S. Supreme Court handed down an important decision on the jurisdictional reach of the Natural Gas Act (NGA).  The Court concluded that the NGA does not pre-empt a long-running group of state-law antitrust suits aimed at alleged misconduct by natural gas pipelines.

In Oneok, Inc. et al. v. Learjet, Inc. et al., No. 13-271, the Court considered claims brought as class actions and consolidated in 2003 as the Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation in federal court in Nevada.  The plaintiffs are manufacturers, hospitals, and other institutions that buy natural gas directly from interstate pipelines.  These purchasers sued more than a dozen pipelines for reporting false information to natural gas price indexes, claiming injury because contract prices, based on the price indexes, were inflated by the allegedly false reports.
Continue Reading Natural Gas Act Does Not Pre-empt State Antitrust Laws

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) last week released its final rule, Coordination of the Scheduling Processes of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines and Public Utilities, 151 FERC ¶ 61,049 (2015) designated as Order No. 809, in docket RM14-2.  In Order No. 809, the Commission took action on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) where it had proposed changing the start of the gas day and making scheduling and other changes to the natural gas industry.  The Commission in Order No. 809 (1) declined to adopt its NOPR proposal to move the 9 a.m. Central Clock Time (CCT) start of the gas day to 4 a.m. CCT; (2) adopted proposals submitted by the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) revising the interstate natural gas nomination timeline and adding an intraday nomination cycle; and (3) adopted a change in its regulations to allow contracting flexibility for natural gas customers through multi-party contracts.
Continue Reading FERC Issues Final Order on Gas Day NOPR