Federal Power Act

News & Analysis as of

FERC Issues Order Accepting PJM Capacity Performance Proposal

FERC approves PJM’s significant capacity market changes in an effort to ensure reliability in the region. On June 9, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission) issued an order (the CP...more

FERC approves Iberdrola-UIL merger

Federal utility regulators have issued an order authorizing transactions the merger of utilities affiliated with Iberdrola, S.A. and UIL Holding Corporation. Iberdrola is a Spanish-owned utility holding company, owning...more

Tariff Compliance Is Not Enough: FERC Imposes Nearly Thirty-Five Million Dollars in Penalties and Disgorgement against Powhatan...

On May 29, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an Order against Powhatan Energy Fund, LLC and its trading partners, Dr. Houlihan Chen, HEEP Fund, LLC and CU Fund, Inc. (together, “Powhatan”). FERC...more

Supreme Court Opens Door to Increased Role for State Courts and State Regulators in the Energy Sector

The Supreme Court today allowed the states a greater role in regulating the energy sector. In ONEOK, the Court held that states can regulate activities that affect both wholesale and retail transactions to the extent that the...more

FERC Issues Order to Show Cause and Notice of Proposed Penalty for Alleged Market Manipulation in New England

On February 2, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an Order to Show Cause and Notice of Proposed Penalty (Show Cause Order) directing Calgary-based Maxim Power Corporation and certain of its...more

The Fate of Demand Response Hangs in the Balance

The Justices of the United States Supreme Court are not strangers to the retail versus wholesale distinction that often plagues FERC’s regulations. Indeed, on January 12, 2015 they heard arguments in Oneok v. Learjet...more

FERC Proposes Tighter “Hold-Harmless” Commitment Standards for Utility Mergers

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is proposing to revise its standards for determining whether proposed utility mergers and other asset transfer transactions subject to its jurisdiction under Section 203 of the...more

FERC Issues Proposed Policy Statement on “Hold Harmless” Commitments in Federal Power Act Section 203 Proceedings

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week issued a proposed policy statement to clarify FERC’s allowance of “hold harmless” commitments in applications filed under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act (FPA)....more

Uncertainty Surrounding Demand Response Continues into the New Year

Many issues facing FERC in 2014 have carried over to 2015. Topping the list is the uncertain future of demand response in wholesale electricity markets. Demand response’s future hinges on decisions at FERC, in the federal...more

FERC Issues Order to Show Cause and Notice of Proposed Penalties to Powhatan Energy Fund, LLC and Related Parties

On December 17, 2014, as amended December 18, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an Order to Show Cause and Notice of Proposed Penalty (Show Cause Order)1 directing Houlian (Alan) Chen, HEEP Fund,...more

PJM Proposes Capacity Performance Rules That Will Present New Opportunities and Risks for Clean Energy Resources

In response to poor performance by many generation resources in the PJM region during the 2104 “Polar Vortex” and concerns over the increasing reliance on natural gas-fired generation resources in the PJM region, PJM filed...more

Southwest Power Pool to expand

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has largely accepted a proposal to expand the geographic footprint of the Southwest Power Pool, a regional power market that will soon include a significant portion of the Upper Great...more

Setting fees for use of federal dams

Federally owned dams and other structures can create opportunities for private development of hydropower facilities, in exchange for a fee. While fees charged to hydropower developers for using federally owned dams will...more

NH conduit hydropower project approved

Federal regulators have determined that a proposed hydropower facility at a New Hampshire wastewater treatment plant can be built without a license, under a recently enacted law. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission...more

FERC revokes hydro license over fish passage

What happens when the owner of a federally licensed hydroelectric project fails to build the fish passage facilities required by its license? In the recent case of the East Juliette Hydroelectric Project in Georgia, the...more

Third Circuit Affirms District Court Decision Invalidating New Jersey’s Long-Term Capacity Pilot Program

On September 11, 2014, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously affirmed an October 2013 decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey that New Jersey’s Long-Term...more

Federal Agencies Cannot Be Fined for Reliability Standard Violations

The D.C. Circuit concluded that sovereign immunity prevents FERC and NERC from imposing monetary penalties on federal agencies that violate Reliability Standards....more

DOE Issues Draft Triennial National Electric Transmission Congestion Study

On August 19, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Notice of Public Comment on its draft triennial National Electric Transmission Congestion Study (“Congestion Study”). DOE prepares such congestion studies every...more

FERC tests 2-year hydropower licensing process

Licensing some new hydropower projects in the United States -- traditionally a lengthy process -- may soon become easier, as federal regulators have approved an experimental two-year process that may soon be used to license...more

FERC Announces New Approach for Determining the Return on Equity for Electric Utilities

On June 19, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Opinion No. 531, an order affirming in part and reversing in part an administrative law judge’s August 2013 Initial Decision concerning a complaint...more

FERC Proposes New Policy Restricting Third-Party Use of Interconnection Facilities

On May 15, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proposed new rules and policies that would make it easier for the developers of non-utility transmission lines that connect their power projects to the grid to...more

Federal Appeals Court Decision Could Create Risk for Demand Response Suppliers in Wholesale Markets

D.C. Circuit Court vacates FERC Order No. 745 on demand response compensation, determining that FERC does not have jurisdiction. On May 23, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court issued a decision...more

FERC Reversed on Demand Response Programs – Who Can and Should Incent Non-Sales of Electricity?

In an appeal decided on May 23, 2014 at Docket No. 11-1486, the District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals vacated in its entirety the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC”) Order No. 745 due to FERC’s lack of...more

Federal Appeals Court Vacates FERC Order No. 745 On Demand Response Compensation

On May 23, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court issued a decision in Electric Power Supply Association v. FERC (“EPSA”) vacating and remanding FERC’s Order No. 745, which provides compensation for demand...more

D.C. Circuit Vacates FERC’s Controversial Demand Response Rule

On May 23, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated in its entirety FERC’s controversial rule governing demand response resources in wholesale energy markets, known as “Order 745.”1 The majority...more

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