Federal Power Act

News & Analysis as of

Court Holds FERC De Novo Review to Proceed as “Ordinary Civil Action”

Last week, a federal district judge ruled for the first time that the “review de novo” promised by section 31(d) of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”), 16 U.S.C. § 823b(d), will be “treated as an ordinary civil action requiring a...more

FERC v. Maxim Power Corp. - Court Rejects FERC's Interpretation of Penalty Review Procedures; Respondents To Have Their Day In...

In a July 21, 2016 order, a federal district court for the first time in a FERC enforcement matter held that review of an assessed civil penalty pursuant to Section 31(d)(3) of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) entails an...more

Constitutional Limits to Greenhouse Gas Regulation: 8th Circuit Relies on the Dormant Commerce Clause to Reject Minnesota’s GHG...

Many states have enacted their own laws to regulate greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emission reductions. Although the specific requirements of each state law differ, many of the laws incentivize the use of renewable energy and...more

DC Circuit Ruling Threatens to Topple FERC Tax Allowance Policy

Court rules that FERC policy permitting a tax allowance for pass-through entities may unjustifiably permit “double-recovery” of tax expense. On July 1, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued...more

Alta, snowmaking pipes and conduit hydro power

Federal energy regulators have issued Alta Ski Area a written determination that its proposed micro-hydropower project will not be required to be licensed under the Federal Power Act. If developed, Alta's project would be...more

Maine tidal project preliminary permit issued

A tidal energy developer has been granted a preliminary permit to study a proposed project in Western Passage, near the city of Eastport, Maine. Under the Federal Power Act, most grid-connected tidal power projects...more

FERC Increases Maximum Civil Monetary Penalties for Power, Gas and Oil Companies

On June 29, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the “Commission”) issued an interim final rule amending the civil monetary penalties within its jurisdiction to adjust for inflation. FERC adjusted its penalties...more

FERC Order 826 increases penalty power

Acting under a 2015 law, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has released an interim final rule increasing the maximum civil monetary penalties that it can assess for violations of statutes, rules, and orders within the...more

FERC Increases Maximum Civil Penalty Amounts To Adjust For Inflation

On June 29, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") issued Order No. 826, increasing the maximum civil penalty amount for violations of statutes, rules, and regulations within FERC’s jurisdiction, in order to...more

FERC Issues Order Assessing Civil Penalties Against ETRACOM

On Friday, June 17, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the “Commission”) issued an Order Assessing Civil Penalties against ETRACOM LLC (“ETRACOM”) and ETRACOM’s founding member and majority owner, Michael...more

Accounting for FERC’s Ability to Revoke MBR Authority in Project Financing Agreements

On June 9, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an order revoking authority to charge negotiated “market-based” rates (“MBR Authority”) previously granted to several subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway...more

The federal-state energy regulatory divide: The new order after Learjet, EPSA and Hughes

In three recent decisions (the Three Decisions), the US Supreme Court (the Court) drew a sharp dividing line between the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) and that of the states to...more

Recent Complaints Highlight Continued Friction between State Policy Goals and Federally Regulated Wholesale Power Markets

On June 24, 2016, two complaints were filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“Commission or FERC”) that highlight the continued tension between state policy initiatives and the mandatory centralized capacity...more

Whitestone hydrokinetic license surrendered

Despite efforts to offer a streamlined regulatory path for some demonstration hydropower projects, earlier this year the holder of a hydrokinetic pilot project license for a project proposed for the Tanana River in Alaska...more

FERC says Nicatous microhydro doesn't need license

Federal energy regulators have ruled that a micro-hydroelectric project proposed by a remote Maine sporting camp does not require licensing under the Federal Power Act. The Nicatous case illustrates one expedited regulatory...more

EIB Energy Highlights: Nat Gas Outpowers Coal, NC Renewables, CPP En Banc, Fed Energy Bill Awaits Conference & More

Natural Gas-Fired Electricity Generation to Exceed Coal-Fired Generation in 2016: The EIA recently projected that for the first time, on an annual basis, natural gas will exceed coal as a fuel for electric power generation in...more

FERC Order 827 and reactive power

Federal energy regulators have issued a final rule requiring all newly interconnecting non-synchronous generators to provide reactive power, which supports the reliability of the electric grid. The rule adopted by the...more

FERC proposes FAST Act CEII rules

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has proposed amending its regulations designed to protect critical information about utility infrastructure. If adopted, the new regulations would govern the treatment of Critical...more

Minnesota May Not Prohibit Power Sales That Would Increase Statewide CO2 Emissions. Why Not? Pick Your Reason.

If you needed any further proof that energy law is very complicated, Wednesday’s decision in North Dakota v. Heydinger should convince you. The judgment is simple – the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a Minnesota...more

Eighth Circuit Panel Rules Minnesota Climate Change Law Unconstitutional

Today, the Eighth Circuit determined that the Next Generation Energy Act (“NGEA”), a Minnesota law that established power sector standards for carbon dioxide emissions, was unconstitutional. In so doing, the Court affirmed...more

New Energy Opportunities in CAISO: Aggregation of Behind-the-Meter Resources and Participation in Wholesale Energy Markets

Six months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in EnerNoc v. Electric Power Supply Association, 577 U.S. ___ (2016), holding that the Federal Power Act (FPA) provides the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission...more

FERC assesses Coaltrain penalties

U.S. energy regulators have issued an order assessing $38 million in civil penalties for alleged energy market manipulation, plus disgorgement of unjust profits. The case involves Coaltrain Energy, L.P., two of its...more

Legal Battle Over Energy Savings Continues to Simmer

Each month, electric bills arrive like clockwork. For large commercial and industrial businesses, especially those that are energy-intensive, these electric bills can represent a sizeable portion of a business’s monthly...more

Nicatous Lodge proposes off-grid micro-hydro project

A Maine sporting camp has proposed developing an off-grid micro-hydropower project to provide it electricity. Nicatous Lake Lodge and Cabins LLC proposes to develop the micro-hydro project at its remote property near...more

Alta Ski Area conduit micro-hydro project

Alta Ski Area has proposed developing a micro-hydropower project along an existing pipeline, and hopes to benefit from a streamlined regulatory process. Federal regulators have made a preliminary determination that the...more

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