The new transmission siting and permitting policies could be just as messy and unruly as the old ones.
Richard Stavros, Executive Editor
The idea behind the NIETC is a noble one: to help facilitate the construction of badly needed transmission capacity to relieve congestion problems and improve reliability. In fact, the promotion of new infrastructure investment is at the heart of EPACT. But there’s just one problem. The new process for permitting and siting electric transmission under EPACT appears to be as flawed and contentious as it was pre-EPACT.
Why the standard market design refuses to die.
Hold on to your hats. The vaunted and vilified “standard market design”, once thought dead and buried, has been resuscitated, with all attendant chaos and rhetoric, but this time in the guise of a new proposal under the code name “open dispatch.” This new construct, as remarkable in its way as Einstein’s theory of indeterminate space and time, declares that electric transmission, long seen as one of a triumvirate of unique and essential utility industry sectors (along with generation and distribution), is little more than a mirage.
Elimination of the utility must-purchase obligation can lead to unanticipated consequences.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 adds a new section of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) of 1978. Section 210(m) of PURPA now provides for the termination of an electric utility’s obligation to purchase energy and capacity from qualifying cogeneration facilities if FERC finds certain conditions are met.
How greenhouse gases and Best Available Control Technology could shape the regulatory landscape—and the environment.
Jonathan S. Martel, Jessica R. Brody, and Kerri L. Stelcen
Two cases involving traditional pollutants and climate change are before the court. In addition to questions about the EPA’s regulatory power, both cases raise critical threshold “jurisdictional” questions about the courts’ role in addressing these issues.
Policymakers are setting sights on new challenges facing utilities.
Utilities in the United States are heading into uncharted territories, and the regulatory landscape is changing accordingly. To learn what it takes to tame this new territory, we spoke with three FERC commissioners, a state regulator, and a Western governor.
Progress has been made, but much work remains along the path to ERO completion.
FERC demonstrated strong leadership in meeting the aggressive timeline set by Congress for establishing the regulatory basis on which the Electric Reliability Organization will be created. But next summer’s peak-demand season is fast approaching. And much more work remains ahead for the industry to finish the job.
Mixed signals leave developers wary of building new infrastructure.
Richard Stavros, Executive Editor
FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher gives mixed signals that leave developers wary of committing to investments in new infrastructure, given his clear desire to affect positive change, while appearing to argue for policy decisions that are politically safe but arguably inconsistent.
Critics say its new budget and business plan could simply duplicate the work of RTOs.
FERC granted formal certification to NERC as the nation’s sole ERO and reliability czar, making it inevitable that NERC would delegate the job of regional enforcement to its various regional reliability councils, already constituted. To understand why FERC acted as it did, turn back the clock nearly a decade.
FERC lowers the bar for obtaining market- based rates for natural-gas storage.
Kenneth S. Culotta and James E. Goddard
The first regulatory changes following the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT) are starting to pick up steam—and encountering multi-faceted criticism—as the gas industry reacts.
Do you know what your legal exposure is?
James E. Bowers Esq. and David Doot
Enron has provided lessons for both corporations generally as well as the energy industry specifically. How can energy market participants effectively manage the risks inherent in complying with those regulatory reforms?