On June 19, 2015, the American Wind Energy Association (“AWEA”) filed a petition with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) for a rulemaking to revise the FERC’s pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Procedures (“LGIP”) and Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (“LGIA”). In its petition, AWEA indicated that policy and regulatory changes were needed “in order to remedy unduly discriminatory and unreasonable barriers to generator market access that inhibit the development of electric generation.” AWEA noted that since the issuance of FERC’s rules establishing the pro forma LGIP and LGIA in Order No. 2003, much has changed in the industry. In its petition AWEA stated that while changes to FERC’s interconnection process have occurred in various ways throughout the United States, the process today often results “in complex, time consuming technical disputes about interconnection feasibility, cost, and cost responsibility” which result in delays in getting viable projects interconnected. Therefore, AWEA is requesting reforms to FERC’s interconnection rules in order for interconnection customers to have certainty regarding the interconnection process.
Specifically, AWEA indicated that its proposed reforms fall into four general categories: “(1) enhancing certainty in the study/restudy process; (2) providing more transparency in the interconnection process; (3) creating more certainty on network upgrade costs; and (4) ensuring more accountability if a Transmission Provider fails to perform properly its duties.” Among AWEA’s proposed reforms are requests to: (a) subject Transmission Providers to an enforceable obligation to provide timely and more accurate studies and restudies and require Transmission Providers to pay Interconnection Customers liquidated damages for failure to complete studies timely; (b) require Transmission Providers to provide cost estimate information earlier in the study process; (c) limit the number of restudies to one per year or otherwise provide cost certainty that would eliminate the need for restudies; (d) require Transmission Providers to provide more study assumption information; (e) require posting and inclusion in studies of curtailment risks; and (f) require Transmission Providers to provide cost caps for interconnection facilities and network upgrades.
On July 7, 2015, FERC issued a Notice of Petition for Rulemaking noting AWEA’s request and indicated that it would consider comments in order to determine the appropriate action to take with respect to AWEA’s request in Docket No. RM15-21-000. In its notice, FERC noted that comments would be due on August 6, 2015. On July 10, 2015, the Edison Electric Institute and various Trade Associations jointly filed a request with FERC to extend the comment filing deadline by 30 days. On July 16, 2015, FERC granted the request and extended the comment deadline until September 8, 2015.
1 AWEA Petition at p. 1.
2 AWEA Petition at p. 3.
3 AWEA Petition at p. 4.
4 AWEA Petition at pp. 4 – 5.