FERC standard of conduct waiver rescinded for Cross-Sound Cable

FERC on Feb. 24 revoked a standards of conduct (SOC) waiver previously granted to Cross-Sound Cable Company (CS Cable).

The waiver, which was granted in 2004, was based on CS Cable’s lack of involvement in the operations of the cable, according to the FERC decision (Docket TS10-1-001).

In 2009, the company advised the commission of a change in the circumstances it had relied upon in the 2004 waiver, and requested that the waiver be renewed. In its ruling on the renewal request, FERC found that CS Cable had not demonstrated that it has relinquished access to information on the operation of the transmission facilities, a requirement for companies seeking an SOC waiver.

In its decision on the 2009 filing, FERC denied the company’s request but provided two options for remediation: file additional information to support its request for continued waiver under the clarified criteria, or comply with the standards of conduct.

On June 20, 2011, CS Cable provided additional information it said demonstrated that it did not have control over the transmission facility.

CS Cable pointed out that firm capacity on the Cross Sound Cable is fully subscribed by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), that functional control over the line had been turned over to ISO New England (ISO-NE), and that any capacity LIPA did not use was made available on an hourly, non-firm basis through the ISO-NE’s Open-Access Same-Time Information System (OASIS).

Citing criteria in 18 C.F.R. § 358.1(c), FERC said eligibility for a waiver depends on three factors: whether an applicant has turned over operation or control of its transmission system to the ISO/RTO; that an applicant has no access to information concerning the operation of the transmission facilities it has turned over to the ISO/RTO; and that the applicant obtains information about such matters only by viewing the ISO/RTO’s OASIS postings.

In its ruling, the commission said information in the June 20 filing revealed that CS Cable still performs some transmission functions including calculating available transfer capacity (ATC), executing transmission agreements, and enforcing eligibility and credit functions.

The commission also noted that CS cable “still has access to several types of transmission function information, including ATC and maintenance (presumably planned transmission outages) information” outside ISO-NE’s OASIS. “In addition, CS Cable concedes that it has access to information about the activities undertaken by CS Cable or its contractors respecting the physical operation of the line,” FERC said.

These functions, the commission ruled, constituted operating a transmission system to an extent great enough that CS Cable could not be exempted from standards of conduct under commission rules.

The commission therefore revoked the previously granted waiver of the Commission’s Standards of Conduct requirements and directed CS Cable “to comply with the Standards of Conduct under Part 358 within 60 days” of the order.

Calls seeking comment from Cross-Sound Cable were not returned by press time.