Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

NERC recently filed rule changes with FERC that propose to significantly expand NERC registration and compliance requirements to inverter based resources, such as renewable energy and battery facilities, that historically were too small to be subject to such requirements.  NERC’s proposed rule changes are one of the latest developments in NERC’s multi-year effort to address the “reliability gap” associated with these types of resources.

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.

Between October 2022 and February 2023, at least nine substations were attacked in North Carolina, Washington State, and Oregon, resulting in power outages for tens of thousands of people.  Damage to two substations in Moore County, North Carolina on December 3, 2022 caused 45,000 people to lose power, some for five days.

As the cold weather season approaches, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) are taking action to prevent a repeat of the devastating electric power outages that rocked Texas and the Midwest at the beginning of this year.

In February 2021, electric power generators and millions of customers

On September 29, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice that may impact wholesale rates in all federally regulated wholesale markets (not including ERCOT), possibly affecting: (i) merchant plant owners, (ii) wholesale market customers, (iii) renewable and gas fired generation, (iv) coal and nuclear power plant owners, and (v) power traders.  Husch Blackwell energy regulatory attorneys Linda Walsh, Chris Reeder and Sylvia Bartell issued a detailed client alert on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) issued by DOE requiring regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) “to ensure that certain reliability and resilience attributes of electric generation resources are fully valued.” The proposed market reform would provide

In an article by Keith Goldberg of Law360, Husch Blackwell attorney and former FERC Chairman, Jim Hoecker, discuss the role of FERC Order 1000 in regional transmission planning.  He and other experts provide insight on how Order 1000 has initiated the long-term planning process but failed to spur the significant development necessary to provide regional electricity solutions.