FERC grants rehearing request to BPA


FERC on Feb. 6 granted rehearing of its order requiring the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to file revisions to its open access transmission tariff (OATT).

The rehearing provides FERC more time to consider “matters raised or to be raised,” FERC said in the filing (Docket EL11-44-000).  

On Dec. 7, 2011, FERC ruled that the BPA’s OATT resulted in noncomparable transmission service “that unfairly treats non-federal generating resources connected to Bonneville’s transmission system,” namely wind generators. 

BPA on Jan. 6 filed with FERC a request for rehearing and clarification of its order. Had FERC not filed its Feb. 6 response, the rehearing request would have been deemed denied, FERC said. 

A coalition of Northwest wind generators, including Horizon Wind Energy, Invenergy Wind North America, PacifiCorp (NYSE_AMEX:PPW), NextEra Energy Resources and Iberdrola Renewables, in June 2011 filed a complaint over a policy BPA adopted in May that allowed it to curtail non-federal generators and use their firm transmission rights without compensation. 

In its Dec. 7 order, FERC invoked section 211A of the Federal Power Act to exercise authority over BPA, an energy marketing agency within the U.S. Department of Energy that does not fall under FERC jurisdiction.  

FERC’s order represented an action it said was rare and not taken lightly but which underscored the importance of open access transmission.

About Rosy Lum 525 Articles
Rosy Lum, Analyst for TransmissionHub, has been covering the U.S. energy industry since 2007. She began her career in energy journalism at SNL Financial, for which she established a New York news desk. She covered topics ranging from energy finance and renewable policies and incentives, to master limited partnerships and ETFs. Thereafter, she honed her energy and utility focus at the Financial Times' dealReporter, where she covered and broke oil and gas and utility mergers and acquisitions.