ferc compliance 300
On August 16, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued Order No. 845-B,[1] granting in part and denying in part a request for clarification, and denying a request for rehearing of Order No. 845-A. In Order No. 845-A,[2] FERC granted in part and denied in part twelve requests for rehearing and/or clarification of Order No. 845,[3] which amended the pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Procedures (“LGIP”) and Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (“LGIA”) to enhance certainty, transparency, and efficiency in the generator interconnection process. The LGIP and LGIA are required to be encompassed in public utility Transmission Providers’ Open Access Transmission Tariffs (“OATTs”) and govern interconnection service for generating facilities with a capacity greater than 20 MW.

By way of background, in Order No. 845, as revised, clarified, or affirmed in Order No. 845-A, FERC required public utility Transmission Providers to revise the LGIP and LGIA provisions of their OATTs in ten respects:
  1. Allow Interconnection Customers to request interconnection service below the full Generating Facility Capacity;[4]
  2. Remove the limitation that Interconnection Customers’ may only exercise the option to self-build Transmission Provider’s Interconnection Facilities and Stand Alone Network Upgrades on the Transmission Provider’s system in instances when the Transmission Provider cannot meet the dates proposed by the Interconnection Customer;[5]
  3. Include an expedited process, separate from the interconnection queue, for Interconnection Customers to utilize or transfer Surplus Interconnection Service (which is only available up to the amount that can be accommodated without requiring the construction of new Network Upgrades) at an existing point of interconnection;[6]
  4. Publish a method for identifying, and providing to Interconnection Customers a list at the conclusion of the System Impact Study phase, of “Contingent Facilities,” i.e., those unbuilt Interconnection Facilities and Network Upgrades upon which the Interconnection Request’s costs, timing, and study findings are dependent, and if delayed or not built, could cause the need for restudies;[7]
  5. Define “Permissible Technological Advancements,” and create procedures to study such technology advancements without affecting the Interconnection Customer’s queued position;[8]
  6. Allow “Provisional Interconnection Service” and Agreement for limited operation prior to completion of the full interconnection process;[9]
  7. Provide transparency regarding study models and assumptions by maintaining on the Transmission Provider’s OASIS site or a password-protected website (subject to confidentiality provisions) the network models reflecting the system conditions currently used in interconnection studies, including underlying assumptions and contingency lists;[10]
  8. Require quarterly postings on interconnection study performance (starting in the first calendar quarter of 2020) and an informational filing at FERC when study delays exceed a specified threshold;[11]
  9. Revise the definition of “Generating Facility” to include “storage for later injection” to facilitate interconnection of electric storage resources;[12] and
  10. Establish procedures that allow a disputing party to unilaterally seek non-binding dispute resolution as an alternative to the existing arbitration process, which provides for binding arbitration if the parties mutually agree to engage in binding arbitration.[13]
In Order No. 845-B, FERC made no further revisions to the pro forma LGIP and LGIA. Rather, regarding the option to build provisions, FERC clarified that: (1) it did not prohibit Transmission Providers, including Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTO”)/Independent System Operators (“ISO”), from arguing that they qualify for a variation from the pro forma LGIP and LGIA; and (2) nothing in Order Nos. 845 and 845-A changed FERC’s procedures regarding the ability to protest an RTO’s/ISO’s compliance filing and seek rehearing and appeals of associated FERC decisions. FERC also found no changes are necessary to the indemnity provisions established in the pro forma LGIA since the Transmission Provider already has significant oversight authority over the Interconnection Customer’s option to build.[14]

For additional information on Order No. 845-B or the Reform of Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements, please contact Michael Postar, Sean M. Neal, or Bhaveeta K. Mody.

[1] Reform of Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreement, Order No. 845-B, 168 FERC ¶ 61,092 (2019).
[2] Reform of Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements, Order No. 845-A, 166 FERC ¶ 61,137 (2019).
[3] Reform of Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements, Order No. 845, 163 FERC ¶ 61,043 (2018).
[4] Id. at P 367; Order No. 845-A at PP 114-118.
[5] Order No. 845 at PP 73-88, 106; Order No. 845-A at PP 61, 68, 75.
[6] Order No. 845 at PP 467, 486; Order No. 845-A at PP 126-29, 136-38.
[7] Order No. 845 at PP 199, 204; Order No. 845-A at PP 76, 78.
[8] Order No. 845 at PP 518-521, 530; Order No. 845-A at PP 152, 155.
[9] Order No. 845 at PP 438, 444.
[10] Order No. 845 at P 236; Order No. 845-A at PP 85, 88.
[11] Order No. 845 at PP 290-291, 305, 314, 333; Order No. 845-A at P 101, 107.
[12] Order No. 845 at PP 273-279; Order No. 845-A at PP 95-96.
[13] Order No. 845 at PP 138, 164, 167.
[14] Order No. 845-B at PP 33-37.