• Parties Request Rehearing of Order No. 1000-A
  • June 30, 2012 | Authors: Kevin C. Fitzgerald; Peter S. Glaser; Kevin C. Greene; Clifford S. Sikora; Lara L. Skidmore
  • Law Firms: Troutman Sanders LLP - Washington Office ; Troutman Sanders LLP - Atlanta Office ; Troutman Sanders LLP - Washington Office ; Troutman Sanders LLP - Portland Office
  • On June 15, 2012 and June 18, 2012, various parties submitted Requests for Rehearing and/or Clarification of FERC’s May 17, 2012 Order on Rehearing and Clarification of Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation by Transmission Owning and Operating Public Utilities (“Order No. 1000-A”). The Requests focused on a variety of issues, including: 1) the definition of transmission facilities “selected in the regional transmission plan for purposes of cost allocation,” 2) whether FERC must first prove that existing rates are unjust and unreasonable before “forcing” public utilities to file particular rates, and 3) related Mobile-Sierra contract issues.

    Several parties, including American Electric Power Service Corporation (“AEP”) and the Organization of MISO States (“OMS”), filed limited requests for clarification on narrow issues. AEP asked the Commission to clarify that “selection” in a regional transmission plan includes the identification of the project eligible for regional cost allocation and identification of the qualified entity (or entities) to develop that project. OMS requested clarification or rehearing on Cost Allocation Principle 2, which addresses involuntary allocation of costs to those who receive no benefit from transmission facilities. OMS requested assurance that the Commission is not “removing, or reading out” the part of Cost Allocation Principle 2 that requires benefits to be shown for a party under a “likely future scenario” in order for costs to be allocated to that party.

    MISO Transmission Owners (“MISO TOs”), Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company (“OG&E”), and Transmission Access Policy Study Group (“TAPS”) each filed lengthier requests for rehearing or clarification of Order No. 1000-A. MISO TOs expressed concern over the potential expansion of the definition of transmission facilities “selected in the regional transmission plan for purposes of cost allocation” and the related implications for the federal right of first refusal. OG&E argued: 1) that FERC must first prove that existing rates are unjust and unreasonable before forcing public utilities to file particular rates, 2) that it cannot require TOs to file to remove a federal right of first refusal before deciding whether the contract is a Mobile-Sierra contract, and 3) it is not the contracting parties’ burden to present alternative tariff proposals until FERC has met its burden of proof under Federal Power Act Section 206. TAPS argued that the Commission should require utilities to file under Section 205 for project-specific applications of the regional cost allocation methodology, or leave to the compliance filing process a determination of whether such a Section 205 filing should be required. TAPS also argued that the Commission should make it clear that Order No. 1000-A does not alter or limit the long-term rights of Load Serving Entities under Order No. 681 concerning long-term firm transmission rights.

    Copies of these requests for rehearing or clarification are on file at the Commission in Docket No. RM10-23.