Federal Power Act

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Hears Arguments on FERC Demand Response Policy

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 ("EPAct 2005") established a national policy to encourage reliable and affordable demand response services. Demand response refers to the ability of retail electric customers to reduce or shift...more

Supreme Court Questions FERC Authority to Regulate Electricity Market Demand Response to Bolster Grid Reliability

Ensuring the reliability of the electric power grid in times of extreme weather and other times of peak usage is critical to avoid interruptions in power and black outs. Reflecting on the 2014 Polar Vortex, the paramount...more

SCOTUS Entertains Oral Argument on FERC Order 745, the “Demand Response” Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument this morning in FERC v. Energy Power Supply Association. At issue is the validity of FERC’s Order 745, the so-called “demand response” compensation rule. Full text of the rule (PDF)....more

EPA Clean Power Plan Considerations: Wheeling Renewable Power

Here’s what you need to know about the opportunities and regulatory impacts. Investment in renewable generating capacity is a key building block of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) Clean Power Plan to...more

Policy and Legal Implications of Implementing Renewable Energy at Scale: Supply and Demand Geographic Mismatch (Part 2 of 6)

The Problem: Supply and Demand Geographic Mismatch Because much of America’s renewable energy supply is inland and demand is on the coasts (about 52% of the U.S. population is coastal), demand cannot meet supply without...more

FERC NOPR Seeks Access to Additional Electric Reliability Data

At its September 17, 2015 Open Meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“Commission” or FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) that would require the North American Electric Reliability Corporation...more

BP Case May Again Test Limits of FERC’s “In Connection With” Enforcement Jurisdiction

A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Administrative Law Judge last week issued an Initial Decision finding that BP America (BP) and certain related BP entities violated FERC’s Anti-Manipulation Rule. Following a...more

9th Circuit Erects Statutory Standing Bar to Appeals Challenging FERC Section 211A Orders

On August 10, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in Northwest Requirements Utilities v. FERC, denied several petitions for review of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) orders requiring...more

FERC Approves Settlement for Pipeline Failure to Publicly Post Auction Notices

On July 30, 2015, two weeks after the Office of Enforcement (OE) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a staff notice of alleged violations (“Notice”) to Columbia Gas Transmission LLC (“Columbia Gas”) for...more

FERC, NERC and Business Blackout: New CIP Standards and Fictional Cyber Attacks

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) July 16, 2015, proposing to approve various Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) reliability standards proposed by the North...more

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

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