May 27, 2020

May 26, 2020

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FERC Reforms Generator Interconnection Procedures to Accommodate Energy Storage

On February 21, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Order No. 845-A in response to motions for rehearing of Order No. 845, which set forth reforms to the generator interconnection process. In Order 845-A, FERC continues to remove barriers for integrating storage on the electric grid. FERC implemented these reforms to the interconnection process to provide storage customers with better information and more options for obtaining interconnection service so that there would be fewer interconnection requests that do not reach commercial operation.

FERC implemented ten reforms to ensure certainty for interconnection customers, promote more informed interconnection decisions, and enhance the interconnection process. Below is an outline of FERC’s specific reforms in each of those categories:

1. Ensure Certainty for Interconnection Customers

  • Removes limits to using stand-alone upgrades on non-affected systems

  • Requires transmission providers to establish interconnection dispute resolution procedures

2. Promote Informed Interconnection Decisions

  • Requires transmission providers to devise and publish a method for determining contingent facilities

  • Mandates that transmission providers list the specific study processes and assumptions for forming the network models used for interconnection studies

  • Revises the definition of “Generating Facility” to explicitly include electric storage resources

  • Establishes reporting requirements for aggregate interconnection study performance

3. Enhance the Interconnection Process

  • Allows an interconnection customer to request a level of interconnection service that is lower than its generating facility capacity

  • Requires transmission providers to allow for provisional interconnection agreements for limited operation of a generation facility prior to completion of the full interconnection process

  • Mandates that transmission providers create processes for interconnection customers to use surplus interconnection service (that can be accommodated without necessitating the construction of new network upgrades) at existing points of interconnection

  • Allows transmission providers to assess, and if necessary, study an interconnection customer’s technology changes without affecting the interconnection customer’s queued position

The regulations are effective 75 days after the date that the Order is published in the Federal Register. However, each public utility transmission provider must submit, by May 22, 2019, a single compliance filing that revises its LGIP and LGIA.

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About this Author

Andrew Kaplan Energy Attorney

Andrew Kaplan focuses his practice on providers of energy storage, demand response, ancillary services, and electricity and gas transmission and supply, both in the wholesale and retail markets. He regularly represents clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Independent System Operators/Regional Transmission Operators (NYISO, ISO-NE, PJM, Midcontinent ISO, California ISO, SPP and ERCOT), and many state public utility commissions. Andrew has won significant rulings before FERC that helped to pave the way for growth among leaders in the energy storage industry....

Ruta Skučas Energy Electric Natural Gas Attorney

Ruta Skučas counsels her clients on energy issues, focusing primarily on electric and natural gas matters, before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), state and federal entities, including federal courts and state public utility commissions. Her clients range from financial institutions and power marketers to traditional utilities.

Ruta's clients benefit from her years of experience working at FERC. Following graduation from law school, she served as law clerk to several FERC Administrative Law Judges (ALJs), where she assisted the ALJs in administrative litigation and settlements.  Ruta returned to FERC after 8 years of private practice. At FERC, Ruta served as Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur’s legal advisor, focusing particularly on PJM, MISO and natural gas issues.  She helped the Commissioner shape electric and natural gas policy, including on transmission planning and cost allocation through Order No. 1000.  She also worked in FERC's Office of General Counsel where she drafted orders relating to PJM, MISO, electric reliability and natural gas.  She also continued her work on Order No. 1000 in the General Counsel's office, working on the compliance filings for several regions.

Ruta assists her clients in developing and implementing strategies to comply with regulatory requirements.  She also counsels clients involved in formal and informal investigations by FERC's Office of Enforcement.

In addition to Ruta's time at FERC she also practiced energy law at White & Case LLP, with a focus on the federal regulatory aspects of project finance transactions, as well as mergers and acquisitions.

Honors & Distinctions

  • In 2015, named to the National Law Journal's inaugural list of "Energy & Environmental Trailblazers."

Professional Activities

  • Member, DC Bar Association

  • Member, Energy Bar Association

  • Board Member, Foundation of the Energy Law Journal, 2014-2016

Civic Activities

  • Member, Organizing Committee of the 2016 Lithuanian Folk Dance Festival in Baltimore, MD

Sarah Tracy Energy Generation Attorney

Sarah advises energy generation facilities and industrial and large commercial energy users with respect to energy and regulatory issues and due diligence matters.  Sarah also represents electric, natural gas, and telecommunications utilities before state regulatory entities. 

Sarah assists energy project owners and developers with due diligence in connection with energy infrastructure acquisitions and negotiates key energy agreements, including power purchase agreements, natural gas supply agreements and firm gas transportation agreements, and renewable energy credit purchase and...