FERC Orders Primary Frequency Response Without Compensation

On February 15, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) revised its regulations to require all newly interconnecting generation facilities to install, maintain, and operate equipment capable of providing primary frequency response as a condition of interconnection. [1] FERC found that the evolving generation resource mix along with recent technological advancements that now enable non-synchronous generation facilities, such as wind and solar facilities, to have primary frequency response led FERC to revise its regulations to uniformly mandate such generation facilities to...

FERC Eases Barriers for Electric Storage Resources to Participate in Wholesale Markets

On February 15, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) adopted a final rule (“Order No. 841”) [1] that facilitates the direct participation of electric storage resources in centralized markets operated by Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTOs”) and Independent System Operators (“ISOs”). In its order, FERC directs RTOs and ISOs to revise their tariffs to establish a new participation model that recognizes the physical and operational characteristics of electric storage resources to facilitate the participation of these resources in centralized markets. Rather than...

USFWS Lists Texas Hornshell Mussel as Endangered Species

On February 9, 2018, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS or Service) issued a Final Rule listing the Texas hornshell ( Popenaias popeii ) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (Act). The Final Rule becomes effective on March 12, 2018 and is essentially unchanged from the proposed rule that was published on August 10, 2016. The Service notes that the Texas hornshell is an endangered species based on impairment of water quality, loss of flowing water and accumulation of fine sediment, predation, and barriers to host fish movement and the effects of climate change...

U.S. Futures Exchanges Disciplinary Actions Alert: January 2018

The Bracewell U.S. Futures Exchanges Disciplinary Actions Report is a monthly report that provides summaries of certain disciplinary notices by U.S. exchanges during the prior month. The report has a particular focus on notices potentially relevant to energy commodities and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of each and every notice issued. Instead, the report is intended to provide market participants, and compliance personnel in particular, with illustrative examples of rule violations and to bring to light enforcement trends across the exchanges. The disciplinary notices cited in...

Petition Requests FERC Clarify State Treatment of Battery Storage QFs Under PURPA

In a December 14, 2017 filing (“Petition”), [i] developers of several battery storage projects in southern Idaho (“Franklin Storage Facilities”) seek a declaratory order and enforcement action from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) against the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (“Idaho PUC”) pursuant to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (“PURPA”). These battery storage facilities are initially designed to use solar modules as the ultimate energy source to charge the battery storage facilities. Because the developers chose to submit to FERC self-certifications...