The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a companion order to its open-access Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Docket No. ER93-540-003). The new order offers guidelines for presiding judges and participants in pending open-access cases that concern public utilities' offers of nondiscriminatory services. It also addresses how the FERC will proceed with other public utility filings that propose to provide open-access services under general tariffs filed prior to a final rule.
Any open-access tariff on file at the time a final rule is issued will be subject to the substantive requirements of the final rule. But the proposed "Stage One" procedures are not intended to apply to public utilities with open-access tariffs on file. (Under Stage One, the FERC would put generic tariffs into effect for any utility owning/controlling interstate facilities and providing network transmission services, firm and nonfirm point-to-point transmission services, and ancillary services needed to effect network and point-to-point service.)
The FERC addressed four categories of open-access tariff cases:
1) Bulk Power Sales. Utilities can file tariffs to mitigate transmission market power and qualify for generation sales at market-based rates. Under Option A, the tariffs and rates will be effective without hearing or refunds, subject to the final rule if pro forma tariffs are filed with the NOPR's Stage One embedded-cost rates or other postage stamp embedded cost rates, no customer raises material issues, and the rates are just. Under Option B, transmission tariffs that differ from pro forma tariffs may be set for hearing, and market-based generation rates would be effective subject to refund.