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FERC Proposes Major Changes to Interconnection Rules

Reforms Promise Major Benefits to Independent and Renewable Power Producers and New Energy Storage Technologies

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Seeking to Boost Energy Storage and Distributed Energy Aggregation, FERC Proposes Significant Changes to the Market Rules

Last month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) aimed at overcoming market barriers faced by emerging energy storage technologies as well as new technologies that allow aggregation and coordinated dispatch of small distributed energy resources. While the NOPR is limited to ISO and RTO markets, energy market participants in the Pacific Northwest would nonetheless be well advised to pay attention to the NOPR. This is true because the Energy Imbalance Market is expanding into the Northwest, which will effectively expand the footprint of the California ISO into this region. In addition, regulators in this region are likely to look to FERC for guidance on these emerging issues even if not strictly applicable in non-RTO regions.

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Oversupply Litigation Milestone: FERC Approves BPA Oversupply Management Protocol

At its monthly meeting last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) approved the Bonneville Power Administration’s “Oversupply Management Protocol,” marking a major litigation milestone in Bonneville’s controversial efforts to address those periods when the combined output of federal dams and wind generation in the Pacific Northwest exceeds electric demand in the region and in areas where power can be exported.

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Regulators Revolve: FERC Says Hello to Honorable, Ciao to Norris

Earlier this week, the White House officially nominated Collette Honorable to become the next Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”).

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Latest Round in PURPA Wars: Fifth Circuit Upholds Texas Rule Limiting PURPA Rights of Wind Generators

Earlier this week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued the latest salvo in the PURPA wind wars, this time handing wind producers a painful defeat.

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U.S. Appeals Court Concludes FERC Lacks Authority to Fine Federal Entities for Reliability Violations

In a ruling that could have far-reaching implications for the electric reliability here in the Pacific Northwest, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today found that the Federal Power Act does not authorize the Southwest Power Administration (“SWPA”) to pay fines for admitted violations of mandatory electric reliability standards.

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Milestone in Transmission Regulation: U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds Order No. 1000

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a host of challenges to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC”) Order No. 1000, upholding the order in its entirety. As we’ve previously discussed, Order No. 1000 aims to create a level regulatory playing field for independent transmission developers, thus encouraging new sources of badly-needed investment in the nation’s transmission infrastructure.

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