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Troutman Sanders LLP: FERC Approves Merger of Northeast Utilities and NSTAR

On July 6, 2011, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC" or the "Commission") approved the proposed merger of NSTAR and Northeast Utilities (the "Merger"). The newly formed utility will operate under the name Northeast Utilities.Previously, the two companies announced...

Troutman Sanders LLP: FERC Finds Insufficient Consensus to Issue Rulemaking on Smart Grid

On July 19, 2011, FERC issued an order on Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, and found insufficient consensus to institute a rulemaking proceeding to adopt the five families of standards identified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology ("NIST") as ready for review by the...

Troutman Sanders: Multiple Parties Seek One-Year Delay of EPA MACT Rule

On October 13 and 14, 2011, the National Mining Association ("NMA"), twenty-five states and Guam, and other public interest groups submitted amicus briefs to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, in support of Utility Air Regulatory Group's ("UARG") motion...

U.S. Court of Federal Claims Finds BPA and WAPA to be in Breach of Contract

On May 2, 2012, United States Federal Court of Claims issued a ruling in Case Nos. 07-157C and 07-167, holding that the Bonneville Power Administration ("BPA") and the Western Area Power Administration ("WAPA") are in breach of a present contractual duty to pay refunds that they owe...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Duke, Progress File Updated Settlement Agreement in North Carolina

By Troutman Sanders LLP On May 8, 2012, Duke Energy Corp. ("Duke") and Progress Energy, Inc. ("Progress") (collectively, "Applicants") entered into a supplemental merger settlement agreement with the North Carolina Utilities Commission ("NCUC") Public Staff...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Commission Approves Duke and Progress Merger Subject to Certain Conditions

On June 9, 2012, the Commission accepted the revised compliance filing by Duke Energy Corp. ("Duke") and Progress Energy, Inc. ("Progress") (collectively the "Applicants"), paving the way for full Commission approval of their merger. As reported in the April 2, 2012 edition...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Carbon Savings of Wind Likely Reduced by Ramping of Fossil Fuels to Balance Intermittency

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory recently performed a modeling study aimed to quantify the total effect that increases in wind energy will have on pollutant emissions from an electric power system. Although wind energy generation does not itself generate...

Troutman Sanders LLP: FERC Adopts a Paper Hearing for NERC Audit Report Dispute

On June 4, 2012, FERC issued an order adopting a paper hearing process to address audit recommendations and factual findings in an ongoing dispute between FERC Staff and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation ("NERC") over a financial performance audit ( see June 4, 2012 edition...

FERC Provides Guidance to PJM Limited Liability and Worker Safety Issues

On June 7, 2012, FERC provided guidance to PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. ("PJM") on whether there was a responsibility to oversee worker safety under its Open Access Transmission Tariff ("OATT") and whether the OATT's limited liability clause precludes a negligence tort claim by...

Troutman Sanders: DOI and DOE Release 'Roadmap' for Solar Energy Development

On July 27, 2012, the Department of the Interior ("DOI") Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") and the Department of Energy ("DOE") announced the availability of the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement ("PEIS") for solar energy development in Arizona...

Troutman Sanders LLP: FERC Allows Non-public Information Sharing Between Gas Pipelines, Electric Utilities

By Troutman Sanders LLP On November 15, 2013, FERC issued Order No. 787, authorizing interstate natural gas pipelines and electric transmission operators to voluntarily share non-public, operational information with each other to promote grid reliability and operational planning. In doing so, FERC...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Louis Dreyfus Settles FERC Market Manipulation Case for $7.8 Million

On February 7, 2014, FERC approved a Stipulation and Consent Agreement (“Agreement”) between the Office of Enforcement (“Enforcement”) and Louis Dreyfus Energy Services L.P. (“LDES”) regarding LDES’ virtual trading in the markets operated by the Midcontinent...

Troutman Sanders LLP: California District Court Affirms FERC’s Jurisdiction in Barclays Civil Penalty Case

On May 20, 2015, the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of California (“District Court”) upheld FERC’s decision that it had jurisdiction over Barclays Bank PLC and four traders (collectively, “Barclays”) for allegedly manipulating electricity markets in the West...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Without Tax Credit Extensions, Returns Of PPAs For Renewables Will Have To Give, GAO Says

By Renewable Energy Insights SNL reports that if Congress does not extend a pair of subsidies for the renewable energy industry, new construction will slow unless retail electricity providers pay significantly more for wind and solar power or developers forfeit a big chunk of their returns, the U...

Troutman Sanders LLP: CAISO Board of Governors Adopts Framework to Permit Market Participation by Aggregated Distributed Resources

On July 16, 2015, the California Independent System Operator Corporation’s (“CAISO”) Board of Governors approved a new proposal (the “Proposal”) that will allow aggregated distributed energy resources to participate in the California wholesale energy market. Under the approved...

Troutman Sanders LLP: FERC Office of Energy Projects Issues Best Practices Manual

On July 28, 2012, FERC’s Office of Energy Projects (“OEP”) released a 32-page manual titled “Suggested Best Practices for Industry Outreach Programs to Stakeholders” (“Manual”). In doing so, OEP states that the purpose of the Manual is to identify best practices...

Troutman Sanders LLP: FERC Releases 2015 Energy Primer

On July 27, 2015, FERC released its 2015 version of the Energy Primer: A Handbook of Energy Market Basics (“Energy Primer”). The Energy Primer was developed by staff from the Division of Energy Market Oversight within FERC’s Office of Enforcement. First released in 2012, the Energy...

Troutman Sanders LLP: FERC Holds that Demand Response, Energy Efficiency Resources can Participate in PJM Transition Auctions for New Capacity Product

On July 22, 2015, the Commission determined that demand response and energy efficiency resources should be able to participate in two PJM Interconnection LLC (“PJM”) transition auctions created to implement a new capacity product called Capacity Performance Resources. The Commission found...

Troutman Sanders: FERC Dismisses WIRES’ Petition Requesting New ROE Analysis

By Troutman Sanders LLP On September 16, 2015, the Commission dismissed a petition filed by the Working group for Investment in Reliable and Economic electric Systems (“WIRES”) in which WIRES requested that the Commission institute a generic proceeding to determine whether the Commission’s...

Troutman Sanders: EPA Modifies Air Quality Standards for Ozone

By Troutman Sanders LLP On October 1, 2015 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) adopted a more stringent air quality standard for ground-level ozone emissions that reduces the national standard from 75 parts per billion (“ppb”) to 70 ppb. By promulgating...

Troutman Sanders LLP: NERC Submits Wide-Area Analysis on Use of Technical Feasibility Exceptions for CIP Standards

On September 28, 2015, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) submitted to FERC its annual analysis on the use of Technical Feasibility Exceptions (“TFEs”). TFEs are exceptions from strict compliance with NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection (“CIP”...

Troutman Sanders LLP: FERC Denies Rehearing and Grants Clarification of Order No. 807 Regarding Open Access and Priority Rights on Interconnection Customer’s Interconnection Facilities

On October 15, 2015, FERC issued an order denying rehearing and granting clarification of Order No. 807, which contained regulations and policies regarding open access to and priority rights on Interconnection Customer’s Interconnection Facilities (“ICIF”). Two groups—one including...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments for FERC’s Demand Response Rule

On October 14, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Electric Power Supply Ass’n v. FERC regarding FERC Order No. 745, “Demand Response Compensation in Organized Wholesale Energy Markets” [lexis.com subscribers may access Supreme Court briefs for this case | Lexis Advance...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Supreme Court Grants Certiorari of Cases Involving FERC’s Authority Over State Capacity Programs

On October 19, 2015, the United States Supreme Court (“Supreme Court”) granted certiorari for a consolidated case involving the limits of FERC’s jurisdiction when regulating state capacity programs. The cases— Hughes v. PPL EnergyPlus, LLC and CPV Maryland, LLC v. PPL EnergyPlus...

Troutman Sanders LLP: FERC Denies Request for Refund on Polar Vortex Costs

On October 15, 2015, FERC denied Champion Energy Marketing LLC’s (“CEM”) request for a $3.1 million refund of balancing operating reserve (“BOR”) costs assessed by PJM Interconnection, LLC and PJM Settlement, Inc. (collectively “PJM”) related to the polar vortex...