During today's open meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a proposed rulemaking that impacts the owners of gen-tie lines, particularly those owners who are developing multi-phase projects that require priority to interconnection capacity to support future phases. The proposed rule would ease existing FERC policies that treated gen-tie lines just like any other transmission facility and required owners to make interconnection capacity available to third parties if the owner could not provide enough documentation proving its planned use of the gen-tie lines.
FERC has proposed the following:
Gen-tie line owners will be granted a blanket waiver from the requirement to (x) maintain a transmission tariff and OASIS and (y) comply with the standards of conduct. FERC will revoke that blanket waiver only when it is in the public interest to do so, and not simply when a third party requests transmission service over a gen-tie line.
Third parties seeking to interconnect with existing gen-tie lines will be required to do so using the rules and regulations applicable to service requests under sections 210 and 211 of the Federal Power Act.
Gen-tie owners who are eligible for the blanket waiver from maintaining a tariff, etc., will be granted a 5-year safe harbor period giving the owner the benefit of a rebuttable presumption that (1) the owner has plans to use the gen-tie line's capacity, and (2) the owner should not be required to expand its facilities. Third parties would have an opportunity to rebut that presumption, but those third parties would have the burden of proof. FERC proposes that the 5-year period would begin on the gen-tie energization date. Gen-tie owners would also be required to make an informational filing with FERC in order to take advantage of the safe harbor rights.
Lastly, FERC has asked whether the affiliates of public utility transmission provider should receive the benefit of the proposed rules.
The proposed rulemaking is available here: Gen-Tie Rulemaking
Comments are due by 60 days after publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register. Please let us know if you have questions about the proposed rulemaking and/or would like to submit comments to FERC.