Regulatory Updates

Rich Glick Named New Chairman of FERC

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On January 21, 2021, President Biden named Rich Glick as the new Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”).  Glick steps into the position previously held by James Danly.  Chairman Glick has served as a Commissioner at FERC since his appointment in November 2017.  He previously served as general counsel on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for the Democrats.  His term runs through June 30, 2022.

For more information, please see FERC’s announcement and bio.

FERC Issues Inquiry Regarding Hydroelectric Financial Assurance

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On January 19, 2021, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) regarding its practices for requiring financial assurance measures in hydroelectric licenses.  FERC issues the NOI based on the observation that certain projects are not in compliance or cannot maintain compliance with their license conditions, particularly in connection with safety and environmental measures.  The failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams in 2020 prompt FERC to consider measures to assure that financial resources are available to ensure public safety.  Possible measures for which FERC seeks comment include posting bonds, obtaining insurance, or instituting industry-wide remediation funds.

FERC’s NOI can be found here.  Public comment can be submitted 60 days after publication of the NOI in the Federal Register.

For more information, please contact Joshua Adrian or Donald Clarke.

A New Administration Changes Energy Priorities

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The inauguration of Joe Biden as President on January 20, 2021 brings changes to energy and environmental policy and priorities in Washington.  Aside from the anticipated reentry of the United States into the Paris Climate Agreement, President Biden’s plan for a clean energy future promises significant implications for the energy industry.  Key features of the plan include investment in energy infrastructure and transformation of the automobile industry toward electric vehicle production. 

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FERC Issues Order Seeking Reports on Hybrid Resources

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During its January 19, 2021 Open Meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) approved an order in Docket No. AD20-9, where it recognizes the ongoing initiatives Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators (“RTO/ISO”) are undertaking to address hybrid resources. The order asks RTO/ISOs to submit reports within six months regarding four topical areas: terminology, interconnection, market participation, and capacity evaluation. In his remarks, Commissioner Neil Chatterjee expressed his support for continued work on hybrid resources, mentioning that expanding market access to storage resources in Order No. 841 was a foundational element of his agenda as the Chair of FERC. Commissioner Allison Clements commented that this order will further FERC’s efforts to assess the technical and market issues affecting hybrid resources in particular. The order was approved as part of the consent agenda.

The Order may be found here.

For more information, please contact Peter Scanlon, Sean Neal or Lauren Perkins.

Drew Solar Project Completes Project Financing

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DWGP congratulates NTUA and D.E. Shaw Renewables Investments on the closing of financing for the 100 MW Drew Solar Project that will provide energy to Sacramento Municipal Utility District. The project located in Imperial Valley, CA will begin construction this spring and will provide an employment preference for qualified Navajo renewable energy employees.  The project brings much needed revenue to NTUA for the electrification of homes on the Navajo Nation.  DWGP continues to support NTUA on energy transactions, such as the 100 MW Drew Solar project, to identify resources for NTUA in unique and creative ways to meet NTUA's goal of bringing electricity to all homes in the Navajo Nation.  For more information, please contact Derek Dyson

Mark Christie Sworn In as FERC Commissioner

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On January 4, 2021, Mark C. Christie (R) former Chair of the Virginia State Corporation Commission, was sworn in to serve a term as Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“Commission”).  Commissioner Christie’s term will run to mid-2025.  With the recent addition of Allison Clements (D) in December, all five seats of the Commission are filled.  The Commission’s announcements of the swearing in of its new Commissioners can be found here (Clements) and here (Christie).

January 1, 2021 Newly Effective Reliability Standards

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As of January 1, 2021, the following standards become effective:

CIP-008-6  - Cyber Security – Incident Reporting and Response Planning
PRC-002-2 - Disturbance Monitoring and Reporting Requirements
(50% compliance for Requirements R2-R4, R6-R11)
PRC-012-2 - Remedial Action Schemes
PRC-025-2 - Generator Relay Loadability
(phased-in implementation of Attachment 1: Relay Settings, Table 1 Options 5b, 14b, 15b, and 16b)

All Reliability Standards, along with their status, purpose, implementation plans, relevant FERC Orders, and Reliability Standard Audit Worksheets, can be accessed at NERC’s One-Stop Shop.

For more information on the NERC Reliability Standards and their potential applicability and impact, please contact Kristen Connolly McCullough, Lisa Gast, or Sean Neal.