NRECA Concerned with FERC RulingsBy Michael W. Kahn | ECT Staff Writer Published: February 11th, 2013
NRECA is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a clarification or rehearing of its final rule on a revised Bulk Electric System definition by the North American Electric Reliability Corp.
FERC’s final rule, issued in late December, approved most elements of the NERC revised definition. But it also directed several additional modifications and interpretations.
“While NRECA believes the new definition will likely reduce regulatory burdens on some electric co-ops, we also believe that additional modifications to FERC’s ruling would result in fewer regulatory burdens,” said Rich Meyer, NRECA senior regulatory counsel.
“If clarification is not provided,” Meyer added, “we have requested a rehearing on those issues.”
NRECA also filed a FERC rehearing request in response to a final rule requiring regular reporting of complete electronic tagging, or e-tag, information used to schedule transmission of electric power in wholesale markets.
The association’s concern is that the final rule, issued in December, requires e-tag authors, including electric co-ops that are not otherwise under FERC jurisdiction, to provide e-tag information to the commission.
NRECA expressed concern that FERC lacks authority to require such reports, and that it could lead to the commission extending regular reporting obligations on co-ops in other contexts.
In another development, NRECA joined a new rehearing request at FERC in the ongoing Iberdrola Renewables v. Bonneville Power Administration proceeding.
FERC ruled in 2011 that BPA was “unduly discriminatory” in curtailing transmission of wind energy during a surge of hydropower. The ruling extends limited FERC transmission jurisdiction over co-ops that own large transmission assets and that are otherwise not under FERC jurisdiction.
NRECA also filed a request at FERC to intervene in regulatory proceedings related to the application by Entergy Corp. and ITC Holdings Corp. for approval to spin off and merge their electric transmission businesses into a unit of ITC.
FERC approval is needed for the merger, which would make ITC one of the largest U.S. transmission companies. NRECA filed its motion to preserve its rights to participate in the underlying regulatory proceedings on merger.