FERC rejects reconsideration request from Exelon Wind companies

The members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on April 21 denied a request from several Exelon wind project companies to reconsider a 2012 commission order.

In August 2012, the commission issued an order giving notice that it declined to initiate an enforcement action against the Public Utility Commission of Texas under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) on behalf of Exelon Wind 1 LLC, Exelon Wind 2 LLC, Exelon Wind 3 LLC, Exelon Wind 4 LLC, Exelon Wind 5 LLC, Exelon Wind 6 LLC, Exelon Wind 7 LLC, Exelon Wind 8 LLC, Exelon Wind 9 LLC, Exelon Wind 10 LLC, Exelon Wind 11 LLC and High Plains Wind Power LLC (collectively referred to as Exelon Wind).

The federal commission also accepted clarifications to two of the provisions of Southwestern Public Service Co.’s (SPS) tariff for purchases of “as available” energy from qualifying facilities (QFs) (SPS Tariff) that were approved by the Texas commission to be consistent with PURPA and FERC’s regulations implementing PURPA, and so dismissed Exelon Wind’s petition for declaratory order in part as it applied to those provisions.

Regarding a third provision involving the methodology for calculating avoided cost rates, FERC concluded that the Texas commission’s approval of the SPS Tariff was inconsistent with the requirements of PURPA and the federal commission’s regulations implementing PURPA, and therefore granted Exelon Wind’s petition for declaratory order in part.

In September 2012, the Texas commission, Occidental Permian Ltd. and Xcel Energy Services (on behalf of SPS) filed requests for reconsideration of the 2012 Order. “In this order, the Commission denies reconsideration of the 2012 Order, as discussed below,” said the April 21 FERC ruling.

In June 2012, Exelon Wind, the owner of several QFs, filed a petition requesting that FERC initiate an enforcement action under section 210(h) of PURPA or, in the alternative, issue a declaratory order finding that the Texas commission’s 2010 order that approved an application by SPS to revise its tariff for purchases of “as available” energy from QFs failed to implement PURPA and the Commission’s regulations implementing PURPA.

Xcel, acting on behalf of SPS, and Exelon Wind’s QFs have long disputed SPS’s obligation to purchase from Exelon Wind’s QFs. 

Said the April 21 order: “We will deny reconsideration of the 2012 Order. We take administrative notice that, since our issuing the 2012 Order, SPP has evolved from an energy imbalance service market into an Integrated Marketplace, with day-ahead and real-time energy and operating reserve markets. In a proceeding separate from the one underlying the Texas Commission’s 2010 Order, the Texas Commission approved a separate request from SPS to substitute [locational marginal price] for [locational imbalance price] in calculating avoided costs. Accordingly, we find that the issue of whether LIP may be used to calculate avoided costs has been overtaken by events. We therefore deny the Texas Commission’s, Occidental’s, and Xcel’s requests for reconsideration.”

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.