Transmission Grid

News & Analysis as of

Prompted by Congress, FERC Will Hold Technical Conferences to Examine EPA’s Clean Power Plan

We recently discussed the November letter request sent by Congressional energy committee leaders to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) questioning the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) collaboration, or...more

Upcoming Listing Decision on Northern Long-Eared Bat May Have Far-Reaching Impacts on Industry

On Tuesday, November 18, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) announced the reopening of the comment period on the Service’s proposed rule to list the northern long-eared bat (“NLEB”). 79 Fed. Reg. 68657. ...more

FERC plans conferences on EPA carbon rule impacts

If the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed carbon regulations for power plants are adopted, how will state and regional efforts to comply with the rule impact the electric power grid? If states need new...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

Summary of FERC Meeting Agenda - November 2014

In This Issue: - Administrative Items - Electric Items - Gas Items - Hydro Items - Excerpt from Hydro Items: H-1: Hydraco Power, Inc. and Warren David Long (Docket No. P-12588-010) - On...more

FERC Reduces New England Transmission Owners’ Base ROE to 10.57 percent and Caps Total ROE at 11.74 percent

On October 16, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Opinion No. 531-A, an order on the paper hearing it established in Opinion No. 531 regarding the long-term growth rate to use to calculate the New...more

ISO New England's Winter Reliability Program 2014-2015

Keeping the lights on is what electric grid operators do around the clock – but challenges in New England are leading its grid operator to prepare for a winter when the availability of affordable electricity may be...more

Renewable Energy Update -- October 2014

Renewable Energy Focus - DOE study finds U.S. wind power industry competitive on a global scale: REVE - Sep 20: The Global Wind Network recently completed an Energy Department (DOE) funded study that took a critical...more

D.C. Circuit Ruling Upholds New Ground Rules in Development of Electric Transmission Infrastructure

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC or "Commission") landmark regional electric transmission planning rulemaking, a multi-year effort by the Commission that has been met with vigorous opposition from some...more

Renewable Energy Update -- August 2014 #4

Renewable Energy Focus - Solar plant's downside? Birds igniting in midair: CBS News - Aug 19: Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's...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

CPUC Opens Rulemaking to Incorporate Distributed Energy Resources Into Grid Planning Process for California's Investor-Owned...

On August 14, 2014, the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) issued an Order Instituting Rulemaking (“Order”) to establish policies, procedures, and rules to guide California investor-owned electric utilities...more

FERC Proposes to Approve NERC Physical Security Standard

In proposing to approve NERC’s new Physical Security Reliability Standard, FERC also seeks the ability to identify facilities that must be protected....more

Proposed Implementing Legislation for the Mexican Energy Reform Will Create an Open, Competitive Electrical Power Industry

The Mexican Congress is debating a historic package of legislation to restructure the nation’s electrical power sector. This legislation will create a more open and competitive power industry in Mexico, giving the private...more

Déjà Vu, All Over Again: Seventh Circuit Again Remands PJM’s Cost Allocation Methodology for New, High-Voltage Transmission...

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, with Judge Richard A. Posner writing for himself and Judge John Daniel Tinder, granted petitions for review of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)...more

FERC Conditionally Accepts CAISO and PacifiCorp Proposals to Implement a Regional Energy Imbalance Market in Western States

On June 19, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) conditionally accepted revisions to the California Independent System Operator Corporation’s (“CAISO”) FERC Electric Tariff to implement the...more

FERC Stakes Out New Position on Return on Equity - Votes Out Major Orders Affecting Electric Utility Rate of Return...

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today issued a series of orders that collectively represent a significant change to its policy on utility rate of return on equity and will reshape the landscape for electric...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

NERC Proposes New Physical Reliability Standard

Last Friday, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) submitted for approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), in Docket No. RM14-15, a proposed new physical reliability standard. The...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

FERC Defers to Exclusionary State and Local Laws in Transmission Planning

In three separate rehearing orders issued last Thursday, May 15, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reversed course on its decision in Order No. 1000 to prohibit references in transmission tariffs to state laws...more

Cybersecurity, solar energy and the electric grid

A group of Russian hackers claims to have identified security gaps in widely-used solar panel monitoring software. The monitoring platform's developer is said to be fixing the gaps -- but can hackers damage the electric...more

Energy Law Alert: FERC Creates New Opportunities for Energy Storage and Sales of Ancillary Services

At last week's open meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Order No. 784, which creates new opportunities for energy storage technologies to cost effectively help customers self-supply their own...more

FERC Lays Groundwork for Open Communication Between Natural Gas and Electric Industries

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued on July 18, 2013, is proposing to facilitate increased coordination between electric transmission operators and natural gas pipelines....more

Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities Cleans Up Net Metering Regulations

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued an Order, D.P.U. 11-11-E, that addresses several controversies that had arisen out of its Order, D.P.U. 11-11-C, issued last summer. Although the Order...more

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