![if gte IE 9]><![endif]><![if gte IE 9]><![endif]><![if gte IE 9]><![endif]>
Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
September 7, 2022, Argued; February 14, 2023, Decided
Sentelle, Senior Circuit Judge: The Edison Electric Institute and NorthWestern Corporation, d/b/a NorthWestern Energy, (collectively, "Utilities") petition for review of an order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("Commission") in which the Commission granted Broadview Solar's application to become a qualifying facility under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 ("PURPA"). The Solar Energy Industries Association ("SEIA") petitions for review of the Commission's denial of its motion to intervene in the adjudication of Broadview's application.
Because we conclude that the Commission's interpretation of the statute is entitled to deference and that the Commission did not act arbitrarily or capriciously, we deny the Utilities' petitions. We dismiss SEIA's petitions because it lacks Article III standing.
Section 210 of PURPA was enacted with the goal of promoting the creation and use of alternative energy. See Am. Paper Inst., Inc. v. Am. Elec. Power Serv. Corp., 461 U.S. 402, 404-05, 103 S. Ct. 1921, 76 L. Ed. 2d 22 (1983). It does so, in part, by directing the Commission to prescribe rules affording "qualifying small [*3] power production facilities," also commonly known as "qualifying facilities," certain benefits. See 16 U.S.C. § 824a-3(a)-(b). To be a qualifying facility under the Act, a facility must use "biomass, waste, renewable resources, geothermal resources, or any combination thereof" to produce energy and have "a power production capacity which, together with any other facilities located at the same site . . . , is not greater than 80 megawatts." Id. § 796(17)(A)(i)-(ii). Facilities may self-certify that they meet these requirements, or they may apply for certification from the Commission. See 18 C.F.R. § 292.207(a)-(b). One notable benefit to being a qualifying facility is the mandatory purchase obligation. Under it, electric utilities are required to purchase the energy generated by qualifying facilities, providing those facilities with a guaranteed market. See 16 U.S.C. § 824a-3(a)(2); 18 C.F.R. § 292.303(a).
In September 2019, Broadview applied for certification from the Commission that its Montana facility was a qualifying facility. That facility consists of a 160 MW solar array and a 50 MW battery storage system, both of which produce or store direct current, or DC, power. Because the nation's electric grid runs on alternating current, or AC, power, solar facilities must also have devices known as [*4] inverters to convert DC power into grid-usable AC power. Broadview's Montana facility has inverters with a total net capacity of 80 MW.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 3492 *; 59 F.4th 1287; 53 ELR 20029
SOLAR ENERGY INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION, PETITIONER v. FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT NEWSUN ENERGY LLC AND BROADVIEW SOLAR, LLC, INTERVENORS
Prior History: [*1] On Petitions for Review of Orders of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Consolidated with 21-1136, 21-1142, 21-1149, 21-1175.
Solar Energy Indus. Ass'n v. FERC, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 37101 (D.C. Cir., Dec. 15, 2021)
battery, production capacity, megawatts, solar, grid, inverters, array, qualifying, energy, facilities, output, electric, grid-usable, maximum, deference, public utility, produces, petitions, send-out, ambiguous, intervene, capricious, generating, deliver, statutory interpretation, agency's interpretation, maximum amount, mandatory, Charging, includes
Business & Corporate Compliance, Cogeneration & Independent Companies, Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, Compliance Enforcement, Energy & Utilities Law, Regulators, US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Authorities & Powers, Geothermal Steam Industry, Purchasing Requirements, Utility Companies, Buying & Selling of Power, Administrative Law, Judicial Review, Standards of Review, Deference to Agency Statutory Interpretation, Civil Actions, Jurisdiction, Civil Procedure, Justiciability, Standing, Injury in Fact, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Elements