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FERC revokes affiliate waivers; Supreme Court declines to hear NJ subsidy case

Q2: U.S. Solar and Wind Power by the Numbers

Essential Energy Insights - September 17, 2020

Essential Energy Insights September 2020

Rate case activity slips, COVID-19 proceedings remain at the forefront in August


FERC revokes affiliate waivers; Supreme Court declines to hear NJ subsidy case

FERC late on April 27 revoked waivers of affiliate powersales restrictions that were granted to FirstEnergy Corp.'s and 'sOhio utilities. As a result, the controversial affiliate power purchaseagreements that are the centerpiece of an Ohio generation subsidy plan will haveto be filed with FERC, and the agency will have to approve them before they canbe implemented.

The U.S. Supreme Court will not be hearing appeals to alower court's ruling striking down a program established by the state of NewJersey to address concerns that the PJMInterconnection LLC's capacity market structure is too focused onthe short term to ensure long-term system reliability and low energy prices.

Amid calls to halt all work on the now-stayed Clean PowerPlan, the U.S. EPA is advancing a related early incentive program designed tospur development ofrenewable and energy efficiency projects in the years prior to the carbon rule'simplementation.

SunEdison Inc.'sbankruptcy filingApril 21 caps a dramatic rise and fall that started with the promise of theworld's first renewable energy supermajor and is ending in Chapter 11.

Opponents of the Clean Power Plan have taken their finalshots at the U.S. EPA before the matter is argued before the courts, taking aimat the changes between the proposed and final versions of the rule. The EPA,too, offered its defense of the rule on April 22 for the last time before oralarguments are held June 2.

The U.S. EPA has proposed amendments to the regional hazeprogram that would allow states more time to consider other federal rules thatcould impact compliance decisions, such as the Clean Power Plan, Mercury andAir Toxics Standards and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for sulfurdioxide and fine particulate matter.

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has issued an importantruling involving FERC's authority over demand response, the agency has begun toact on several matters that were put on hold pending that ruling.

Qualifying facilities in Entergy Corp.'s service territory do not have to choosebetween participating in the MidcontinentIndependent System Operator Inc.'s markets and exercising theirrights under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, FERC foundApril 21 in rejecting a complaint claiming that is the case.

Bipartisan legislation to speed up the licensing of advancednuclear reactors by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission aims to spurinvestments, but a watchdog group warned at a congressional hearing that theproposed changes could come at the expense of safety.

FERC on April 21 rejected a complaint alleging that therules of PJM Interconnection LLC'semergency load response program are forcing some demand-response resources tounfairly forfeit some of their compensation.

The PJMInterconnection LLC's independent market monitor wants FERC toreject the RTO's proposal to excuse capacity performance resources for certaincapacity shortfalls during emergencies. But a group representing powergenerators and other suppliers supported the request, saying it wouldincentivize flexible units to follow PJM dispatch signals before and duringemergencies.