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Linda focuses on regulatory issues affecting the electric utility industry.

On Dec. 19, 2023, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking comments on whether it should revise its policy on providing blanket authorizations under Section 203(a)(2) of the Federal Power Act (FPA) for holding companies and investment companies that seek to invest in public utilities.  Blanket authorizations allow certain investment companies to buy and sell public utility securities without first obtaining FERC approvals.  In the NOI proceeding, FERC is re-examining what factors it should consider when evaluating what it means to lack control over public utilities for companies who seek to invest in public utilities.  While the NOI is directly aimed at “investment companies,” as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, FERC’s policy re-examination could have broader ramifications for other types of control analyses for FPA purposes. 

Earlier this summer, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) introduced a groundbreaking order—Order No. 2023—aimed at reforming the generator interconnection process in response to the evolving landscape of energy resources, market dynamics, and emerging technologies across the nation.

Industry reaction to the substance of the new rules has been mixed, but it is

On February 16, 2023, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an order approving two extreme cold weather reliability standards: EOP-011-3 (Emergency Operations) and EOP-012-1 (Extreme Cold Weather Preparedness and Operations) proposed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”), subject to modification.[1] The approved Reliability Standards help to maintain reliable operation of the Bulk Power System by ensuring that enough generating units will be available during a cold weather event. According to FERC, the proposed Reliability Standards EOP-011-3 and EOP-012-1 are improvements to the existing Reliability Standards, but NERC must address additional concerns such as ambiguity, applicability, and compliance timelines. NERC is directed to submit modifications within twelve months.

On February 14, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) method for calculating the size of a small power production qualifying facility (QF) under PURPA as the net output or “send-out” capacity of the project. See Solar Energy Industries Association v. FERC, No. 21-1126 (D.C. Cir. 2023). To be a small power production QF under PURPA, a facility must use a qualified renewable resource, such as biomass, waste, wind, solar, or geothermal resources, to produce energy, and have a power production capacity that does not exceed 80 megawatts when considered with other facilities at the same site. FERC’s method of calculating the maximum size limitation was contested by Edison Electric Institute and Northwestern Energy (collectively, Utilities).