Federal Power Act

News & Analysis as of

Who Would Face Liability For Oroville Dam Management?

On Feb. 12, 2017, the Butte County, California, sheriff ordered the evacuation of more than 180,000 people in the communities surrounding California’s Oroville Dam after officials spotted severe erosion in the dam’s emergency...more

FERC and CPUC Approve Utilities’ Innovative Request to Own a 50 MW Solar Project in Partnership with a Tax Equity Investor

For the first time, a regulated electric utility, Liberty Utilities (CalPeco Electric) LLC (“Liberty”), recently obtained all state and federal regulatory approvals to partner with a tax equity investor to acquire, own, and...more

Facing a Potentially Lengthy Non quorum Period, FERC Delegates Further Authority to Its Staff

On February 3, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the “Commission”) issued an order (the “Delegation Order”) delegating “further authority” to its staff—beyond the existing delegations of authority...more

FERC Can Reprise 1993 Delegation Order to Address Quorum Issues

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will be left without a quorum when Commissioner Norman Bay’s resignation becomes official on February 3, 2017 and FERC’s ability to issue orders will be limited until the...more

Resignation of FERC Chairman Brings Uncertainty in Commercial Transactions While Commission Is Without a Quorum

On February 3, 2017, Chairman Norman Bay will resign from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), leaving the five-member independent commission without a sufficient quorum to conduct official business. Prior to...more

FERC 2-year licensing pilot workshop

The regulatory process for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensing of hydropower projects can take many years and significant expense -- but can it be improved following a two-year pilot process ordered by Congress? ...more

The Supreme Court May Review Whether Regulatory Enforcement Actions Seeking Disgorgement are Subject to a Five-Year Statute of...

Federal regulatory agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), have the authority to impose...more

FERC Proposes Reforms to Large Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements

On December 15, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) to revise Parts 35 and 37 of its regulations, as well as the pro forma Large Generator Interconnection...more

Renewable Energy Investor Group Asks FERC to Designate Certain Passive Equity Interests in Public Utilities as “Non-Voting...

On December 9, 2016, a group of investors in renewable energy projects (“Petitioners”) asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to find that certain non-managing (i.e., passive) “tax equity” interests in public...more

DOE Issues Proposed Grid Security Emergency Order Procedures in Accordance with FAST Act

On December 7, 2016, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued proposed procedures that would govern emergency orders issued by the Secretary of DOE, following the president’s declaration of a Grid Security Emergency. These...more

DOJ and FTC Advocate Broader Approach to FERC’s Market Power Evaluation under Sections 203 and 205 of the Federal Power Act

On November 28, 2016, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) (together, the “Agencies”) submitted comments on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (the “Commission” or “FERC”)...more

Getting the Deal Through — Electricity Regulation 2017: United States

1 Policy and law: What is the government policy and legislative framework for the electricity sector? No single government body sets government policy for the electricity sector. The federal government, which...more

FERC considers hydro license term policy

U.S. hydropower regulators have requested public comments on whether to revise a policy setting the length of license terms for hydroelectric projects. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's notice of inquiry could lead...more

FERC Dismisses Electric Cooperatives’ Maryland Community Solar Program PURPA Case as Premature

On November 15, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order dismissing a petition for declaratory filed by two Maryland electric cooperatives requesting a FERC finding that regulations governing...more

FERC Enforcement Releases 2016 Annual Report

On November 17, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC or “Commission”) Office of Enforcement (“Enforcement”) released its annual Report on Enforcement (the “2016 Report”). This year’s report is the 10th such...more

Adding micro-hydro to licensed hydropower project

What happens when a FERC hydropower licensee applies for a preliminary permit to study the feasibility of developing a micro-hydro project, where the new project will be sited at an existing project's dam? In a recent case...more

Failure to Report Uplift Payments, Capacity Sales, Corrective Action Taken, Highlight FERC EQR Audit

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) recent audit of a company participating in numerous wholesale power markets highlights errors that can occur with electronic quarterly reports as well as the actions suggested...more

FERC Investigations: Uncertainty Rules as More Entities Challenge in Federal Court: Insights from Nutter’s Matt Connolly

Legal Update - Matt Connolly, a senior associate in Nutter’s Litigation Department, addressed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) investigations in Nutter Insights. Matt discussed what triggers a FERC...more

FERC Enforcement Targets Entitled To Due Process Protections In De Novo Review Of Penalty Assessments

In a line of much-anticipated decisions, two federal district courts ruled to protect the procedural due process rights of entities targeted by FERC enforcement actions. Recent decisions in Massachusetts and the District of...more

MISO Transmission Owners’ Return on Equity Cut by FERC

Following a decision of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released last week that cuts transmission owners’ return on equity (ROE) by more than 200 basis points,[1] ratepayers in the Midcontinent Independent...more

FERC Seeks Comment On Potential Modifications To Its Market Power Analyses

On September 22, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking comment on whether and, if so, how FERC might modify or enhance its methods for identifying and assessing market...more

FERC Seeks Comments on Potential Changes to Review of Mergers and Acquisitions

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) has asked for comments on procedures established for its review of mergers and acquisitions pursuant to section 203 of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”). In a...more

FERC Staff and PUCT Oppose CFTC Proposal to Permit Private Right of Action for RTO/ISO Transactions

In June, the General Counsel of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) submitted comments to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) opposing the CFTC’s...more

Congress Revisits the History of the Federal Power Act to Consider its Future

On September 7, 2016, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing titled “Federal Power Act: Historical Perspectives,” exploring the development and restructuring of the wholesale energy markets over the past...more

Electric Cooperatives Seek FERC Determination on PURPA Preemption of Maryland’s Community Solar Program

On August 23, 2016, two Maryland electric cooperatives filed a Petition for Declaratory Order asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to find that the Maryland Public Service Commission’s (MPSC) recently...more

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