Federal Power Act

News & Analysis as of

U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Maryland Program that Supplements FERC-Approved Capacity Payments

In a unanimous opinion issued on April 19, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a Maryland program designed to incentivize construction of a new natural gas plant. The Court concluded that the program infringed upon the...more

FERC staff recommends against Bear River dam

Staff of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have recommended against licensing a dam, reservoir, and hydropower project proposed for the Bear River near Preston, Idaho. The case involves a 2013 application by...more

Supreme Court Invalidates Maryland Power Plant Subsidy Program and Reaffirms FERC’s Exclusive Authority Over Wholesale Capacity...

On April 19, 2016, for the second time in three months, the Supreme Court of the United States reaffirmed the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) over the formation of wholesale rates in...more

Supreme Court Rejects Maryland Power Plant Subsidies, But Signals Permissible Ways for States to Incentivize New Plants

In recent years, Maryland attempted to subsidize new power plants by guaranteeing prices for generating capacity at wholesale auctions administered by PJM Interconnection L.L.C. (PJM). Tuesday, the Supreme Court unanimously...more

The Supreme Court - April 2016 #3

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in two cases on April 19, 2016: Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC, No. 14-614: Congress, though the Federal Power Act (“FPA”), 16 U.S.C. §791a et seq., vested...more

Supreme Court Hands FERC Win on Authority Over Capacity Markets

With its decision on Tuesday, April 20 in Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, the Supreme Court issued its second significant holding of the year on the reach of federal authority over interstate wholesale sales markets. The...more

Supreme Court Affirms Invalidation of Maryland's Program to Incentivize New Power Generation

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a narrowly crafted opinion by Justice Ginsburg, has unanimously invalidated Maryland's program to promote construction of new natural gas capacity by guaranteeing new generating capacity. The...more

Long-Awaited Decision is a Mixed Result for Litigants Battling FERC Enforcement Actions in Federal Court

Individuals and organizations litigating the imposition of civil penalties by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) under its anti-manipulation authority in federal court received another opinion...more

Supreme Court Decides Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC

On April 19, 2016, the United States Supreme Court decided Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC, No. 14-614, holding that Maryland’s program that provided subsidies to a new electricity generator through state-mandated...more

Supreme Court rules on state energy incentives

The U.S. Supreme Court has released its ruling on a case affecting how states may provide incentives for electric power generation. In Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC, the Court upheld a lower court's ruling...more

Federal dams and preliminary permits

U.S. federal entities own dams with untapped hydropower potential that could be developed by private parties -- but a recent regulatory decision highlights the difficulty of winning key approvals when the federal dam owner...more

Utah conduit hydropower project qualifies

Federal energy regulators have issued a letter determining that a proposed Utah hydropower project meets criteria for development without needing a hydropower license. Castle Valley Special Service District's proposed Ferron...more

FERC approves Berkshire Power settlement

Federal energy regulators have approved a stipulation and consent agreement under which two companies admit violations of the Federal Power Act and regulations prohibiting energy market manipulation. The case involves...more

West Branch storage project relicensed

Earlier this month U.S. hydropower regulators issued a new license for the West Branch Project, which includes water storage facilities on the West Branch of the St. Croix River in Maine. The Federal Energy Regulatory...more

Colorado conduit hydropower project

A proposed hydroelectric project in Colorado has received a federal determination that it qualifies as a "qualifying conduit hydroelectric facility" and thus is not required to be licensed under Part I of the Federal Power...more

Alaska tidal permit surrendered

Five years after applying for and receiving a preliminary permit to study a proposed Alaska tidal energy project, the project developer has surrendered that permit. At issue is ORPC Alaska 2, LLC's proposed East Foreland...more

FERC rules off-grid micro-hydro needs no license

Federal hydropower regulators have granted reconsideration of a 2015 order finding licensing required for an off-grid micro-hydropower project proposed in Massachusetts. Based on newly submitted evidence that the proposed...more

Energy Industry Target of Cyber-Attacks and Congressional Efforts to Bolster Security

Cybersecurity of the electric power grid and energy sector as a whole has been the subject of heightened Congressional attention given the integral role the industry plays in our economy. According to a 2015 U.S. Senate...more

FERC to examine competitive transmission incentives

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has scheduled a Commissioner-led technical conference for this summer to discuss issues related to competitive transmission development processes. At issue will be the use of cost...more

Vanceboro Dam Storage Project relicensed

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a new license to Woodland Pulp LLC to continue operating and maintaining the Vanceboro Dam Storage Project. Located on the East Branch of the St. Croix River along the...more

Energy Sector Alert Series: Appellate Courts Hearing More Energy Cases

In this eight-week alert series, we are providing a broad look at current and emerging issues facing the energy sector. Attorneys from across the firm will discuss issues ranging from environmental disclosures and risk...more

FERC Signals Intention to Closely Scrutinize Late Interventions

Movants must clear high hurdle once parties reach settlement in principle. On March 9, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission) issued an order in Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, LLC (Maritimes...more

FERC relicenses Waterbury hydro project

More than 16 years after Green Mountain Power Corporation applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a new license to continue operation and maintenance of its Waterbury Hydroelectric Project on the Little River...more

FERC holds CO microhydro needs license

In an order issued earlier this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that the developer of a micro-hydropower project proposed in Colorado must obtain a license for the Patton Colorado Hydropower Project's...more

Supreme Court Ruling Spurs Energy Storage Possibilities

On January 25, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision (“Decision”) -- reversing the D.C. Circuit’s vacatur of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) Order 745, which provides crucial market incentives for...more

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