FERC Issues Transmission Notices of Inquiry Focused on Return on Equity and Transmission Incentives

On Thursday, March 21, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) issued two Notices of Inquiry (“NOIs”). One NOI focuses on FERC’s approach to determining the Return on Equity (“ROE”) for FERC jurisdictional electric transmission and cost-based wholesale power rates (“ROE Inquiry”) [ b ], [1] and the second NOI focuses on the Commission’s transmission incentives policies (“Incentives Inquiry”) [ https://ferc.gov/whats-new/comm-meet/2019/032119/E-1pdf ]. [2] The NOIs are referred to collectively in this write-up as the “Transmission NOIs.” Interestingly, we wanted...
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IGSP – the new kid on the block, writes Bracewell

MENA’s lightening speed renewables revolution must lead to generation-storage hybrid evolution The regional pipeline of renewable deals is getting bolder and achieving unprecedented scales: in 2019 alone Abu Dhabi is planning to roll outs its 2GW of PV solar IPP, Dubai its DEWA V 900MW PV solar IPP, Qatar its phased 900MW PV solar IPP and Saudi Arabia its second round of renewables totaling in excess of 1.5GW (spread across 7 projects), just to name a few. Without factoring some of the incredible regional ambitions, notably in Saudi Arabia and its planned 200GW solar park, the effective...

Equivalent Project Relief in the Gulf

It’s been 3 weeks since I relocated from Bracewell’s London office to Dubai and I’ve been wearing down my shoe leather in the DIFC and beyond meeting old acquaintances and new contacts. Most of the time, discussions invariably focus on project pipeline, market trends and regional challenges. However, I’ve been constantly gratified by people’s willingness to talk about my own specialism: construction. As my colleagues often tell me, construction isn’t seen as the most glamorous area of law (although it should be). But a construction contract is where a project’s capex is spent, so it’s...

FERC Revises Interlocking Directorate Reporting Requirements

A February 21, 2019 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) order updated certain FERC interlocking directorate requirements (“Order”). [1] More detailed background information on FERC’s interlocking directorate requirements is provided below, but in short, these requirements apply to the officers and directors of public utilities subject to FERC’s jurisdiction (including many generation companies and power marketers) and may trigger FERC prior approvals, notice requirements, and/or annual reporting requirements. Compliance with these requirements are particularly sensitive because the...
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Our Take on Auer – Agency Deference under Scrutiny

Two weeks remain before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Kisor v. Wilkie , a likely landmark case for energy and infrastructure companies. When the Supreme Court granted certiorari in December 2018, it took the case specifically to decide whether to overturn Auer v. Robbins 1 , which holds that courts should defer to an agency’s interpretation of its own regulations. This Energy Legal Blog® post kicks off a short series about Kisor and Auer ’s significance for developers of energy and non-energy infrastructure. Write-ups on these cases are plentiful, but our perspective is different...

D.C. Circuit Overturns USACE Permit for Transmission Line

On March 1, 2019, the D.C. Circuit issued its opinion in National Parks Conservation Association v. Semonite, No. 18-5179, finding that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and misinterpreted the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) when it issued a permit that allowed the construction of towers to support an electrical transmission line as it crosses the James River in Virginia. The line crosses the river in the vicinity of Jamestown, the Carter’s Grove National Historic Landmark, and the Captain John Smith National Historic...