FERC Launches Sweeping Effort to Gather Input on – and Potentially Overhaul – its Transmission Planning, Cost Allocation and Generator Interconnection Rules

On July 15, 2021, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANOPR”) requesting comment on a broad set of potential reforms to the Commission’s regional transmission planning, regional transmission cost allocation, and generator interconnection processes. Coming at a time of renewed focus on the need for capital investment to modernize the grid to meet the needs of a rapidly changing resource mix, the ANOPR represents a first step by the Commission to address perceived inadequacies in existing transmission planning,...
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FERC Endeavors to Encourage Transmission Development in Coordination With States

At the June 17, 2021 Open Meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) issued a policy statement and an order reflecting its continued support for transmission project development and transmission investment to achieve federal and state renewable resource policy goals. I. FERC Policy Statement on Voluntary Agreements FERC’s policy statement seeks to eliminate potential barriers to voluntary agreements providing for the construction of transmission facilities, including voluntary agreements involving one or more states (“Voluntary Agreement”) (“Policy Statement...
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FERC Staff Issues White Paper on Hybrid Resources; Seeks Industry Input

On May 26, 2021, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) staff issued a white paper regarding the current status and use of hybrid resources – e.g., co-located generation and storage facilities – in wholesale markets, including markets operated by Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators (“RTOs”). [1] Following a technical conference that FERC held last year on the same topic, [2] the White Paper provides FERC staff’s preliminary views and observations in a handful of areas related to hybrid resources, including interconnection issues and the participation of...

Guarding the Grid: DOE Releases 100-Day Cybersecurity Pilot Program

The February 2021 hack into Oldsmar, Florida’s water treatment system is a frightening reminder that critical infrastructure systems can be vulnerable to cyberattacks and that cyberattacks can jeopardize health and safety. In this case, the hack may have spurred government action. On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced a 100-day plan “to advance technologies and systems that will provide cyber visibility, detection, and response capabilities for industrial control of electric utilities.” In a coordinated effort among the Department of Energy (“DOE”), the Cybersecurity and...
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FERC Issues Carbon Pricing Policy

On April 15, 2021, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) issued its much anticipated policy statement on carbon pricing in organized markets. [1] The non-binding policy statement provides guidance regarding the manner in which FERC will evaluate proposals submitted pursuant to Section 205 [2] of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) to establish market rules for incorporating a state-determined carbon price into organized markets operated by Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators (“RTO”). In the policy statement, FERC observes that RTOs are...

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