FERC investigates PacifiCorp for alleged OATT violations

FERC staff issued a Notice of Alleged Violations Sept. 21 for a preliminary determination that PacifiCorp, a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., violated certain parts of its open access transmission tariff and FERC regulations.

PacifiCorp operates as Pacific Power in Oregon, Washington, and California, and as Rocky Mountain Power in Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho.

In the notice, FERC staff charged that PacifiCorp “granted transmission access to customers who had not properly reserved or paid for that transmission via the Open Access Same-Time Information System (OASIS) website.”

In addition, FERC staff alleged that PacifiCorp “failed to identify and penalize unreserved use of transmission on its system.”

PacifiCorp has an opportunity now to answer the allegations. 

“The company is reviewing the filing, cooperating fully with FERC enforcement staff on the matter, and will respond as appropriate,” a spokesperson for PacifiCorp told TransmissionHub Sept. 26.

FERC’s enforcement hearings are not public, and specific details about the violations and when they occurred were not included in the notice.

“At this point, the issue remains before staff and the party,” a FERC spokesperson told TransmissionHub Sept. 25. “There could be a finding of no violation or the commission could issue a show-cause order to direct the company to show why it shouldn’t be found to have violated commission regulations.”

PacifiCorp also could be fined for the alleged violations.

“Some civil penalty cases begin as notices of alleged violations,” the FERC spokesperson said. “Ultimately there was a settlement. Most of these cases are settlements that can involve both penalty and disgorgement of profit, if there were excess profits made.”