FERC reaffirms one-mile rule for determining QF size

On March 15, 2012, FERC issued an order denying a challenge to the PURPA qualifying facility (QF) status of two large wind projects sited adjacently.  The challenger contended that the two projects should be considered one project. The two projects were developed and owned in common.  The projects shared interconnection facilities.  However, no turbines from the first project were within one mile of the other project. Petitioner argued that the projects could not be QFs because their combined capacity of 97.2 MW exceeds the 80-MW size limitation on QFs imposed by PURPA.

FERC confirmed the projects’ QF status, rejecting petitoiner’s arguments and adhering to its long-standing bright-line treatment of the one-mile rule with respect to size-eligibility of QFs.  FERC rejected the petitioner’s argument that FERC’s “no gaming” rule from Order No. 688 applied in this context.

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