FERC again rejects complaint from Acciona Wind against MISO

The members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Feb. 10 denied a rehearing request from Acciona Wind Energy USA LLC over the commission’s September 2015 denial of a complaint filed by Acciona Wind Energy USA against the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO).

Acciona had alleged that MISO:

  • denied or delayed transmission service requests for long-term firm point-to-point transmission service;
  • improperly applied the provisions of the MISO Open Access Transmission, Energy and Operating Reserve Markets Tariff by restricting transmission service available to Acciona Wind; and
  • improperly limited Acciona Wind’s ability to access markets administered by PJM Interconnection.

Acciona Wind had sought rehearing of the complaint order from last September, alleging that the commission did not sufficiently consider an argument raised in the complaint. “In this order, the Commission denies rehearing, reaffirming that Acciona Wind did not raise the specific argument in the complaint,” said the Feb. 10 ruling from the FERC commissioners.

Acciona Wind is an indirect owner and operator of a 180-MW wind facility (Tatanka Project) located in South Dakota. The direct owner of the Tatanka Project is Tatanka Wind Power LLC, which is indirectly owned by Acciona Wind. Tatanka Wind, MISO and Montana-Dakota Utilities are parties to a generator interconnection agreement on file with the commission.

In its request for rehearing, Acciona Wind alleged that the September 2015 complaint rejection order from FERC is arbitrary and capricious and not based on substantial evidence or reasoned decisionmaking. More specifically, Acciona Wind alleged that the commission “erred in failing to direct MISO to grant deferred transmission service to [Acciona Wind’s] Tatanka Project, conditioned upon the completion of the identified transmission upgrades,” and that the commission “further erred in determining that the Complaint failed to explicitly request such deferred transmission service and that the Commission was precluded from ruling on the matter.”

Acciona Wind argued that it did, in fact, request that the commission require MISO to study the impact of the completion of the Multi-Value Project (MVP) and to provide deferred transmission service conditioned on the completion of the MVP. In support, Acciona Wind pointed to its request in the complaint that the commission direct MISO to approve 108 MW of firm transmission service as soon as possible and to study the impact of the MVP on Tatanka Wind’s transmission service request.

Acciona Wind stated that Tatanka Wind submitted to MISO a transmission service request for 180 MW of long-term firm point-to-point transmission service commencing Jan. 1, 2019, and conditioned upon the final identified transmission contingency (i.e., the MVP entering into service). Acciona Wind acknowledged that it “associated the conditional service with its argument that the full 180 MW of the Tatanka Project should be studied under the Pre-Certified Path Study Process.”

Said the Feb. 10 FERC ruling: “Acciona Wind contends that the Commission must synthesize an argument in the complaint from the arguments that Acciona Wind actually raised. We disagree. Commission regulations require that complaints state the specific relief or remedy requested. The complaint in this proceeding failed to specifically request that the Commission direct MISO to offer firm point-to-point transmission service upon completion of the MVP. Therefore, we find that the Commission appropriately declined to pre-judge whether MISO should have alternatively considered offering the 144 MW of transmission service on a delayed basis contingent upon completion of the MVP in the transmission service request system impact study process consistent with section 15.5 of the MISO Tariff.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.