By Tim Murphy, Program Assistant, Energy & Transportation Program
FERC denies NY agencies’ attempt to stop AIM pipeline
April 4th, 2016 – FERC will not prohibit the construction of Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market project. In March 2015, FERC approved an expansion of the project, deciding that the pipeline was unlikely to pose any significant dangers to the closely located Indian Point nuclear power plant. In its order, FERC noted that many of the prior safety incidents occurring at Indian Point nuclear power plant all fell within the plant’s protective security barrier, more than 2,370 feet from the pipeline. Additionally, FERC denied the request to stay the certificate order because the NY state agencies could not prove that “absent a stay there will be irreparable injury to public safety.”
FERC to investigate MISO interconnection process over alleged bias
March 29th, 2016 – Following complaints made by renewable generators, FERC initiated an investigation on the reasonableness of MISO’s tariff. These generators (calling themselves Internal Generation MISO) argued that there is preferential treatment of external generators – those who operate outside of the MISO footprint but look for participation in MISO capacity and energy markets. In response, FERC issued an order acknowledging that MISO’s tariff provision regarding its interconnection process may be unjust, discriminatory, or preferential. The order also gave MISO 60 days to file tariff revisions with language addressing its E-NRIS (Network Resource Interconnection Service) protocol and requirements regarding an initial payment made by some interconnection customers.
Court affirms Order 1000 efforts to increase competition in transmission development
April 6th, 2016 – The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit last week rejected a move by electric transmission owners aimed at giving them first priority to build new transmission lines in MISO. The court found that FERC was just in narrowing the “right of first refusal” policy because it would only result in harming competition. This case is related to FERC’s Order 1000 on regional transmission planning and cost allocation. As a part of that order, FERC revoked gird operator’s right of first refusal provisions from their tariffs and agreements because the Commission believed that increased competition amongst firms would lead to lower electricity rates for consumers.
FERC sued over exemptions to NYISO buyer-side mitigation rules
April 11th, 2016 – Entergy Nuclear Power Marketing is taking FERC to court over the Commission’s approval to exempt renewable energy and certain self supply resources from NYISO’s buyer-side market power mitigation rules. FERC had found that these resources lacked the incentive to exercise market power. Entergy filed the appeal in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, and the court is unlikely to decide the case until next year.