FERC rejects rehearing request over Entergy QF change

The members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on April 21 denied a rehearing request from Occidental Chemical related to a Jan. 21 commission order altering the QF obligations of the Entergy Corp. companies.

In the Jan. 21 order, the commission granted in part, and denied in part, an application filed by Entergy Services on behalf of the Entergy Operating Companies seeking termination, on a service territory-wide basis, of the requirement to enter into new power purchase obligations or contracts to purchase electric energy and capacity from qualifying cogeneration or small power production facilities (QFs) with a net capacity in excess of 20 MW (over-20 MW QFs).

Given that the Entergy Operating Companies are transmission-owning members of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), Entergy relied on the rebuttable presumption, set forth in section 292.309(e) of the commission’s regulations, that MISO provides over-20 MW QFs with nondiscriminatory access to independently-administered, auction-based day-ahead and real-time wholesale markets for the sale of electric energy and to wholesale markets for long-term sales of capacity.

The commission found that, based on the unrebutted statements in Entergy’s application, MISO provides all over-20 MW QFs in Entergy’s service territory (with the exception of Dow Chemical Co.’s over-20 MW Plaquemine QF) nondiscriminatory access to MISO’s markets. Accordingly, the commission granted Entergy’s request to terminate its mandatory purchase obligation pursuant to section 210(m) of PURPA, with the exception of the Plaquemine QF.

Occidental Chemical attempted to rebut the presumption that its qualifying cogeneration facility at its Hahnville, Louisiana, chemical plant site (Taft QF) had nondiscriminatory access to the MISO markets, but the commission disagreed. The commission found unpersuasive Occidental’s argument that transmission constraints in the Amite South load pocket and elsewhere prevent the Taft QF from having nondiscriminatory access to the MISO markets. The commission stated that, because the Taft QF is located in a load pocket in Amite South, it is generally advantaged in making sales in the MISO markets. Moreover, the commission found that the Taft QF’s energy is more likely to be dispatched and will receive a relatively high locational marginal price (LMP) for its energy in the MISO centralized markets compared to the rest of MISO.

The commission noted that several other orders also issued on Jan. 21 that related to a settlement among MISO, the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and other parties would further reduce the constraint between MISO Midwest and MISO South and improve access to transact within the MISO markets.

On Feb. 22, Occidental filed a request for rehearing of the Jan. 21 order.

Said the April 21 FERC order about one of the Occidental complaints: “Occidental claims that the Commission ignored record evidence that the discrimination inherent in the MISO QF Integration Plan denies the Taft QF nondiscriminatory access to the MISO markets, despite Occidental specifically introducing such evidence and explicitly stating that Occidental’s complaint in Docket No. EL13-41-000 was incorporated in this docket by reference. We disagree. The Commission analyzed all pertinent evidence in the record in this proceeding before determining that Occidental failed to rebut the presumption that the Taft QF has nondiscriminatory access to the MISO markets.”

The Entergy Operating Companies are Entergy Arkansas, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, Entergy Louisiana, Entergy Mississippi, Entergy New Orleans and Entergy Texas.

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.