News and Articles

FERC Order No. 792 (Part 3 of 3): Adoption by States

FERC Order No. 792 is a major update to the standardized generator interconnection rules found in the pro forma Small Generator Interconnection Procedures (SGIP) and Small Generator Interconnection Agreement (SGIA). The SGIP and SGIA, created by FERC in Order No. 2006, have largely standardized the generator interconnection process. The updates to the SGIP and SGIA in Order No. 792 are major benefits to distributed generation, especially small solar and energy storage. This article is the last in a three-part series on Order No. 792. Part 1 described how the order helps new solar PV projects. Part 2 described how energy … Continue reading

Posted in Article | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

FERC Order No. 792 (Part 2 of 3): Benefits for Energy Storage

FERC Order No. 792 is a major update to the standardized generator interconnection rules found in the pro forma Small Generator Interconnection Procedures (SGIP) and Small Generator Interconnection Agreement (SGIA). The SGIP and SGIA, created by FERC in Order No. 2006, have largely standardized the generator interconnection process. The updates to the SGIP and SGIA in Order No. 792 are major benefits to distributed generation, especially small solar and energy storage. This article is the second in a three-part series on Order No. 792. Part 1 described how the order helps new solar PV projects. Part 2 describes how energy … Continue reading

Posted in Article | Tagged , , , , ,

FERC Order No. 792 (Part 1 of 3): Gains for Solar PV Fast Track Interconnections

FERC Order No. 792 is a major update to the pro forma Small Generator Interconnection Procedures (SGIP) and Small Generator Interconnection Agreement (SGIA). The SGIP and SGIA were created by FERC Order No. 2006 and are components of transmission providers’ OATTs. Distributed generation, especially small solar and energy storage, are the major beneficiaries of Order No. 792. This article is the first in a three-part series on Order No. 792. Part 1 describes how the order helps new solar PV projects. Part 2 will describe how energy storage benefits from the order. Part 3 will discuss potential state adoption of … Continue reading

Posted in Article | Tagged , , ,

FERC Reaffirms High Bar for Terminating PURPA Purchase Obligation for QFs under 20 MW

On October 17, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) ruled on an application from PPL Electric Utilities Corp. to relieve the utility of its mandatory purchase obligation, under Section 210(m) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (“PURPA”), with respect to IPS Power Engineer Inc.’s qualifying facility (“QF”). IPS Power’s QF, called the Souderton QF, is an 18.1 MW cogenerator. Because PPL Electric is in PJM Interconnection territory, FERC terminated its mandatory purchase obligation for QFs over 20 MW in 2009 under Section 210(m) of PURPA. This has been FERC’s general practice for utilities located in ISOs or RTOs, … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , ,

U.S. District Court upholds award of RECs from QF to utility in West Virginia

U.S. District Court, West Virginia, recently dismissed a complaint from PURPA qualifying facility (“QF”) in one of the ongoing disputes regarding ownership of renewable energy credits (“RECs”) between QFs and utilities. The West Virginia QF, Morgantown Energy Associates, was registered under Pennsylvania’s Portfolio Act and transacting RECs created by it generation under the Pennsylvania Act. But after West Virginia enacted its own portfolio act, the West Virginia Public Service Commission ruled that under the act and the QF’s preexisting power purchase agreement with a West Virginia utility, the RECs created by the QF passed to the West Virginia utility without … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , ,

Petition to Enforce PURPA against Montana PSC Questions Auctions and Capacity

A group of qualifying facility (QF) renewable energy developers (Hydrodynamics Inc., et al) jointly petitioned FERC on June 14, 2013 for enforcement of PURPA against the Montana Public Service Commission (Montana PSC). The QF developers contend that the Montana PSC is denying large QFs the right to enter into long-term PPAs at NorthWestern Energy’s avoided cost. According to the petitioners, QFs over 10 MW in Montana have only two paths to a PURPA contract: win a competitive auction or enter into a “short-term” rate contract. The petitioners argue that the first option is illusory because only one such auction has … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Opportunities and Challenges for Portland General Electric’s Salem Smart Power Project

Opportunities and Challenges for Portland General Electric’s Salem Smart Power Project (SSPP): an evaluation of the SSPP’s potential system benefits, cost-effectiveness, and market participation Mark Osborn[1] • Jil Heimensen • Ken Kaufmann • Jeff Lovinger • Erik Lovro • Charles von Reis June 2013 Note: This research paper was prepared as part of the “Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities” course at Portland State University. This paper anticipated  FERC’s issuance of new rules on ancillary services and energy storage in Docket Nos. RM11-24-000 and AD10-13-000. After the completion of this paper and before its publication here, FERC did indeed issue new rules in … Continue reading

Posted in Article | Tagged , , , , ,

FERC gives notice of intent to enforce PURPA against the Idaho PUC

On Tuesday, November 20, 2012, FERC issued a Notice of Intent to Act and Declaratory Order, declaring its intent to initiate an enforcement action in federal court against the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC) under Section 210(h)(2)(A) of PURPA. In doing so, FERC is challenging the IPUC’s rejection of three Firm Energy Sales Agreements between Idaho Power Company and three under-10 average MW wind qualifying facilities proposed by Murphy Flat Power, LLC (Murphy Flat). The IPUC initially rejected the agreements on June 8, 2011 because they contained avoided cost rates that the Commission changed (lowered) before the agreements were fully … Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , ,

Benefits (and Pitfalls) of Sharing Qualifying Facility Interconnections

Benefits (and Pitfalls) of Sharing Qualifying Facility Interconnections by Ken Kaufmann, Partner, and Charles von Reis, Senior Associate, Lovinger Kaufmann LLP[1] September 2012   I.  Introduction Much of the wind and solar generation under development in the western United States is built and operated by private energy companies who contract to sell their output as qualifying facilities (QFs) to an electric utility pursuant to the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA).[2]  These new generators naturally cluster in areas with favorable sun and wind conditions, often in remote areas with little existing electrical infrastructure.  Solar and wind resources often … Continue reading

Posted in Article | Tagged , , , , , ,

Federal Power Act cross-reference

FULL TEXT of the Federal Power Act with parallel FPA and U.S.C. section numbering The above link contains the full text of the Federal Power Act (FPA) with parallel citations to United States Code (U.S.C.) sections. We have compiled this page to facilitate the study of the FPA and cross-referencing between FPA section numbering and U.S.C. section numbering.

Posted in Article | Tagged , ,