Jason A. Johns,
Stoel Rives LLP
November 24, 2010
Portland, OR IN THIS EDITION: 1.FERC opens a rulemaking on variable energy resources. 2.FERC extends the comment deadline in the appeals by wind farms registered for transmission reliability functions. 3.FERC denies a petition to protect priority to interconnection capacity rights.
FERC Opens Rulemaking on Intra-Hour Scheduling, Forecasting Requirements, and Integration Services for Variable Energy Resources
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proposed amending its pro forma open access transmission tariff to correct practices that are unduly discriminate against variable energy resources (VERs) such as wind and solar energy generators. In the November 18, 2010 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FERC outlines measures that, if adopted, will (a) require transmission providers to offer transmission service that can be scheduled on 15-minute intervals, (b) require interconnection customers that operate VERs to provide site-specific forecasting and meteorological data to transmission providers that are deploying and/or developing power production forecasting processes, and (c) add a new rate schedule for generation regulation (i.e., integration) services. The proposed rulemaking is the first to come out of the January 2010 Notice of Inquiry on the Integration of VERs—a docket that received well over 100 comments from industry stakeholders.
FERC Extends Comment Period in Wind Farms’ Appeal of NERC Decision to Uphold Registration as Transmission Owners/Operators
FERC has extended the comment deadline in an appeal by two wind farms that were registered for Transmission Owner and Transmission Operator reliability functions, a potentially costly registration for the wind farms that was affirmed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) in October. The NERC decision and its supporting analysis, if affirmed by FERC, have the potential to broadly apply to many generation developers, owners, and operators.
FERC Denies Puget Sound Energy's Request to Protect Interconnection Capacity Rights
In June of this year, Puget Sound Energy (Puget) filed a petition with FERC for a declaratory order to protect its rights to 1,250 MW of interconnection capacity that would eventually serve the Lower Snake River Project wind farm. Puget argued that constructing the entire interconnection capacity needed for the full project upfront was financially efficient and environmentally responsible, and that other developers should not be able to claim rights to the capacity. On November 18, 2010, FERC distinguished the petition from an earlier decision in Milford and denied Puget’s request to establish its priority rights to the interconnection capacity. FERC reasoned that the capacity over Puget’s generator lead lines must be governed by its open access transmission tariff. FERC also found that any interconnection capacity that is not appropriately reserved for Puget’s native load must be made available to other open access customers.
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