FERC Issues Dominate MIC

Although the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission may currently lack commissioners, it was the center of discussion at the Market Implementation Committee on Feb. 8.

PJM gave a number of FERC-related presentations, starting with how the commission will operate with the absence of a quorum. Chairman Norman Bay resigned, effective Feb. 3, leaving the commission with just two commissioners. That day, the FERC issued an order which delegates additional authority to agency staff to continue certain agency operations.

The order outlines specific delegation of agency authority regarding rates and other filings, time extensions, waiver requests and uncontested settlements.

For PJM’s purposes, the issue that could be most affected is its filing on enhanced aggregation/seasonal capacity. If the FERC does not rule by March 24, the filing will then go into effect by operation of law and PJM will implement its proposal in the May 2017 base residual capacity auction.

The FERC staff could, however, issue an order under its delegated authority. PJM would need to see what that order states specifically before it could take action. The delegated order could accept the filing, subject to refund and suspension and set it for further proceedings.  FERC staff does not have delegated authority to accept the filing outright.

Under the FERC umbrella, PJM presented updates on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing uplift cost allocation and transparency, implementation of Order 831, hourly offers and fuel cost policy update and financial transmission rights forfeitures.

There will be two special MIC meetings in February – one to discuss hourly offers and fuel cost policies, the other to provide education on the market operations price transparency problem statement and issue charge approved at the January MRC.

PJM also presented an update on the recent FERC order on PJM’s compliance filing impacting the annual financial transmission rights and auction revenue rights process. The update detailed each issue, PJM’s modification and how the FERC ruled on it (with explanation).

Stakeholders motioned to modify problem statement and issue charge language for new black start units and their annual revenue requirements which will be reviewed and voted on at the March MIC. The proposed language will designate a second phase for discussion related to minimum tank suction level costs, since stakeholders and PJM agree that the discussions have gone beyond the original problem statement scope.

All oil tanks at PJM units have minimum tank suction levels regardless of whether they are black start. Many black start units use fuel tanks that are shared with other units that participate in the PJM energy market.

The committee approved a revised problem statement and issue charge for reviewing meter correction for generators connected to PJM via pseudo-ties and dynamic schedules. The MIC approved the original problem statement and issue charge in January.

 Other committee business/working issues

In response to a stakeholder request at the January MIC, PJM also provided an update on details related to the third incremental auction planning parameters.