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FERC asks MISO to revise tariff; Senate votes to undo resource extraction rule

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Essential Energy Insights, April 2021


FERC asks MISO to revise tariff; Senate votes to undo resource extraction rule

Top News

FERC directs MISO to accommodate all energy storage resources

FERC told the Midcontinent ISO to revise its market tariff so all electric storage resources could participate, but the commission dismissed two other related complaints from Indianapolis Power & Light Co. over the treatment of its Harding Street energy storage system. In a Feb. 1 order, FERC directed MISO to submit a compliance filing within 60 days proposing changes to accommodate all storage resources, regardless of the technology, in all the grid operator's markets.

Low-priced and booming, piped US gas exports seen withstanding border tax battle

If a tax war breaks out with Mexico, the price of U.S. natural gas shipped by pipeline would increase for Mexican buyers, but the fuel could still be the competitive energy choice south of the border. The Trump administration floated the idea of a 20% border tax on goods imported from Mexico on Jan. 25 as part of its initiative to have Mexico pay for the construction of a border wall.

Murray CEO urges coal execs: Keep pressure on Trump, GOP to help our industry

Robert Murray says the Trump administration has to ensure that Senate Republicans stay on course in ushering in regulatory changes that will favor the coal industry. "Mr. McConnell has done absolutely nothing for four years now. We needed someone like Donald Trump to shake things up," the CEO and president of Murray Energy Corp. said at the 2017 Coaltrans Conference in Miami on Feb. 2.

Power

* FERC on Feb. 2 accepted Atlas Power Finance LLC's proposal for addressing market power concerns stemming from its plan to purchase thousands of megawatts of mostly natural gas-fired generating plants in the U.S. from Engie. Atlas is a joint venture of Dynegy Inc. and Energy Capital Partners LLC.

* Boston-based Swift Current Energy announced plans to develop the HillTopper wind energy project in Logan County, Ill., which it acquired from Relight Enterprises in late 2016. The proposed project will have a capacity of 175 MW to 200 MW, and is expected to go online in late 2018, according to a company statement.

* New York's grid operator has released a five-year road map for integrating distributed energy resources with the state's power system. After a year of consulting stakeholders, the New York ISO on Feb. 2 issued the distributed energy resource road map to support the goals of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's statewide energy initiative known as Reforming the Energy Vision, or REV.

* Duke Energy Corp. is asking neighbors of its coal ash pits in North Carolina to forgo any future lawsuits against the company for water issues in exchange for higher compensation, The Associated Press reports.

* Duke Energy Carolinas LLC is seeking to build an approximately 400-MW simple-cycle facility at its existing 1,488-MW Lincoln Combustion site in Lincoln County, N.C., according to its filing with the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

* Panasonic Corporation of North America Inc. established a new division to manufacture and sell solar cells in the North American market. Panasonic Eco Solutions Solar New York America will manufacture the solar cells and modules from its factory in Buffalo, N.Y.

* Chugach Electric Association Inc. selected ABB to build a microgrid in a bid to identify technologies that will enable the integration of more renewables, including wind power from a 17-MW wind farm on Fire Island, Alaska. The microgrid will incorporate a hybrid storage solution to enhance reliability of power supply, according to a news release.

Natural gas/midstream

* By a vote of 52-47, the U.S. Senate approved a resolution that kills the U.S. SEC's rule to require resource extraction issuers to disclose payments made to governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas or minerals, Reuters reports.

* Nearly a year after the Aliso Canyon underground gas storage field leak was plugged, the facility's fate is up for debate among legislators, regulators and in the public. After reviewing the tests that facility operator Southern California Gas Co. has been performing on the injection and withdrawal wells, state regulators have held public hearings to discuss reopening the field.

* Enterprise Products Partners LP expects to resume service at its Seaway pipeline by Feb. 7, Reuters reports. The pipeline was struck by a third-party contractor resulting in a leak and its subsequent closure.

* The U.S. Department of Energy "clearly" had the tools to model effects of increased LNG exports but failed to use them when granting authorization for the Freeport project to export, the Sierra Club told a federal appeals court hearing the group's challenge.

Coal

* The U.S. Senate passed a joint resolution to overturn the U.S. Department of the Interior's Stream Protection Rule for coal producers, further eroding the Obama-era regulation's chances of survival.

* Coal asset owner Ramaco Resources Inc. priced its initial public offering of 6 million common shares at $13.50 apiece. The shares are expected to begin trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the ticker symbol METC today. Of the total, the Kentucky-based mining operator is selling 3.8 million shares and the selling stockholders named in the registration statement are offering the remaining 2.2 million shares.

* New York City pension funds plan to conduct a carbon footprint analysis of their portfolios, according to a news release. As part of the initiative, the funds selected two independent advisers, Mercer Investment Consulting LLC and Trucost plc, to examine the associated short- and long-term investment risks.

* For the first time in more than 40 years, India will be allowing private mining companies to mine and sell coal, with a total of 23 mines to be auctioned during 2017, Bloomberg News reported, citing Susheel Kumar, the country's coal secretary.

Commodities

* PJM Interconnection's newly issued planning parameters for its 2020/2021 Base Residual Auction, or BRA, include a mix of positive and negative data points, and while in line with many analyst projections, could equate to overall weak prices across nearly all zones in the May auction.

* After ending the prior session up 1.9 cents at $3.187/MMBtu, March gas futures tumbled overnight ahead of the Friday, Feb. 3, open, as traders look to weather forecasts that should drive limited demand and an ample supply. Attempting to add to the upside, the contract found an overnight high at $3.201/MMBtu, before reversing gains and breaking past key support levels to a $3.065/MMBtu overnight low.

* Power dailies could end the workweek with a mixed showing Friday, Feb. 3, as diverging demand forecasts for the start of the next business week combine with stalled natural gas futures trading activity. Tacking on 1.9 cents in the prior session, March natural gas futures were aimed lower early Friday.

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New from RRA

* Three publicly traded U.S. merchant generator companies have outperformed broader utility indexes through January after activists take a large stake in one company and all three look to capitalize on proposed tax law changes.

Quoted

"The minority has put us in these uncharted waters," Senate Environment and Public Works Committee chairman John Barrasso said after the committee went ahead and approved the nomination of Scott Pruitt as U.S. EPA administrator despite committee Democrats boycotting a hearing.

The day ahead

* National Fuel Gas Co. will hold its fiscal 2017 first quarter earnings conference call at 11 a.m. ET.

* Phillips 66 Partners LP will hold its fourth-quarter 2016 earnings conference call at 2 p.m. ET.

* Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. equity markets. To view more SNL equity market indexes, click here. To view more SNL Energy commodities prices, click here.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7:30 a.m. ET. Some links may require registration or a subscription.