FERC Establishes Default Interpretations of Recall Rights In Capacity Release Contracts Spanning April 1, 2016 and Filing Deadlines for Seeking FERC's Resolution of Disagreements over such Rights

On October 15, 2015, in response to requests for clarification from several parties, FERC established default interpretations for capacity release transactions that specify that a releasing shipper may recall capacity at the first only, second only, or both existing intraday nominations, with such default interpretations to be applicable April 1, 2016 and thereafter when there will be three, rather than two, intraday nominations.  FERC also set filing deadlines of November 13, 2015 and December 14, 2015 for releasing and replacement shippers who disagree with the applicable default interpretation and do not agree on an alternative. [Read more →] 

FERC Concludes that Buy/Sell Transactions Occurring Pursuant to Supply AMAs, Similar to Those Under Demand AMAs, Are Not Subject to Order No. 636's Prohibition on Buy/Sell Transactions

On October 15, 2015, in response to a request for declaratory order filed by Rice Energy Marketing, LLC, FERC issued an order holding that buy/sell transactions in which the releasing shipper in a supply Asset Management Agreement ("AMA") sells its natural gas to its asset manager, the asset manager transports the gas over the released capacity, and then resells the natural gas to the releasing shipper are not buy/sell transactions prohibited by Order No. 636. [Read more →]

FERC Issues Final Rule Incorporating NAESB Wholesale Gas Quadrant Business Practice Standards Version 3.0

On October 15, 2015, FERC issued a final rule (Order No. 587-W) amending its regulations at 18 C.F.R. § 284.12 to incorporate by reference, with certain enumerated exceptions, the latest version (Version 3.0) of business practice standards applicable to interstate natural gas pipelines (and to the contents of intrastate pipeline Form No. 549D filings) adopted by the North American Energy Standards Boards's ("NAESB") Wholesale Gas Quadrant ("WGQ").  Interstate pipelines must file tariff records to reflect the changed standards by February 1, 2016, with such records to take effect on April 1, 2016, and must comply with the revised standards beginning on April 1, 2016.  The final rule adopts policies on waiver requests set out in the related Notice of Public Rulemaking ("NOPR").  Intrastate pipelines filing Form No. 549D should use, instead of common codes, their own location codes and names in their list of jurisdictional receipt and delivery points.  Upon incorporation by reference, the new Version 3.0 Standards will replace the standards incorporated by reference in 2012 in Order No. 587-V. [Read more →]

FERC Determines Residue Line in Operation Since 1969 is Jurisdictional

On October 15, 2015, FERC issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity under section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act ("NGA") and a blanket certificate under Part 157 of the FERC's regulations to Regency Field Services LLC ("Regency") to continue operating the existing Coyanosa Residue Line.  In issuing the certificates, FERC held that the Coyanosa Residue Line was jurisdictional under FERC's current five-mile processing plant "stub line" test, even though the line was in operation well before FERC adopted the test in 1994. [Read more →]

FERC Streamlines Market-Based Rate Program

On October 15, 2015, the FERC issued Order No. 816 in which it promulgates a final rule ("Final Rule") to revise its requirements for market-based rate ("MBR") authorizations for wholesale sales of electric energy, capacity, and ancillary services by public utilities.  The FERC expects that the changes implemented under the Final Rule will increase transparency in the MBR application process and relieve burdensome reporting requirements for MBR sellers, while continuing to ensure that MBRs are just and reasonable. [Read more →]

FERC Accepts NERC Risk-Based Registration Compliance Filing, Authorizes Elimination of Load-Serving Entity Registration Function

On October 15, 2015, the Commission accepted the North American Electric Reliability Corporation's ("NERC") compliance filing implementing NERC's Risk-Based Registration ("RBR") initiative, and, among other things, authorized NERC's proposal to eliminate the Load-Serving Entity ("LSE") registration function.  The Commission further directed NERC to submit an informational filing on the impact of the removal of the LSE function on the next-day studies of Transmission Operators and Balancing Authorities. [Read more →]

FERC Denies Rehearing and Grants Clarification of Order No. 807 Regarding Open Access and Priority Rights on Interconnection Customer's Interconnection Facilities

On October 15, 2015, FERC issued an order denying rehearing and granting clarification of Order No. 807, which contained regulations and policies regarding open access to and priority rights on Interconnection Customer's Interconnection Facilities ("ICIF"). Two groups—one including the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association ("NRECA") and the other including the American Public Power Association and the Transmission Access Policy Study Group ("APPA" and "TAPS," respectively)—sought rehearing and clarification of Order No. 807. Order No. 807 amended FERC's regulations to: (1) waive the Open Access Transmission Tariff, Open Access Same-Time Information System, and Standards of Conduct requirements for entities that are subject to such requirements solely because they own, control, or operate ICIF; (2) provide that a third party seeking service on ICIF may follow the procedures of sections 210, 211, and 212 of the Federal Power Act ("FPA"); and (3) establish that, for the first five years after the commercial operation date of the ICIF, FERC will apply the rebuttable presumption that the ICIF owner has definitive plans to use its facilities, and thus it is in the public interest to grant it priority rights to use the ICIF capacity. [Read more →]

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