FERC Provides More Guidance on Status Changes that Power Sellers with Market-Pricing Authority Must Report

FERC relented in June to market participants' demands and provided additional examples of those types of changes in status that, if not reported to the agency, could cause a power seller to forfeit its market-pricing authority. 

 The resulting message was a classic example of a regulator seeking to point those it regulates in a salutary direction, while at the same time striving mightily not to fence itself in through overly descriptive examples of applicable conduct.  FERC provided several illustrations of the types of contracts and events that would and would not trigger the reporting requirement, but also sought to protect its flexibility to demand reporting of new contractual arrangements by reiterating that it would not further specify what constitutes "control" of generating capacity. 

FERC stated that events and contracts that would trigger the reporting requirements include the testing of new generation facilities (subject to a 100-MW cumulative threshold), acquisitions of ownership or control of natural gas storage or intrastate pipelines, and obtaining generation capacity credits that transfer control.  In contrast, events not triggering reporting include becoming affiliated with an interstate pipeline and upgrading a utility's own transmission network to increase total transfer capability.  [Reporting Requirement for Changes in Status for Public Utilities with Market-Based Rate Authority, 111 FERC ¶ 61,413 (2005)]  [UPDATE]