Partial Reversal in Entergy Opportunity Sales Case
FERC on Thursday issued a split ruling on challenges to an administrative law judge’s July 2017 initial decision assessing $85.6 million in damages over Entergy Arkansas’ opportunity sales in a 2009 complaint by the Louisiana Public Service Commission. FERC ruled in 2012 that although Entergy Arkansas had authority under the Entergy System Agreement to sell power to third-party power marketers and others that are not members of the agreement, it improperly allocated lower-cost energy to those sales.
Thursday’s order affirmed in part and reversed in part the initial decision on damages, rejecting the ALJ’s cap on a bandwidth adjustment as unwarranted. It also reversed the ALJ’s assessment of $5.4 million in damages for sales from the Grand Gulf nuclear plants in January through September 2000, which the commission concluded had already been accounted for and did not belong in the damages calculation.
The commission ordered Entergy to make a compliance filing within 60 days explaining how Entergy Arkansas will make the refunds to the other Entergy operating companies.
Clarification, Rehearing in Ameren Illinois Rate Case
FERC on Thursday clarified that it didn’t intend for Ameren Illinois to change its formula rate in its January order denying rehearing of a tax-related complaint against the utility. The order had upheld a September 2016 ruling rejecting a challenge to how Ameren accounted for contributions in aid of construction (CIAC) and accumulated deferred income taxes (ADIT).
The commission’s 2018 order said, “Neither the tax gross-up of CIAC nor the ADIT related to the tax gross-up of CIAC are allowed to be included in the ATRR [annual transmission revenue requirement],” prompting Ameren to request clarification on whether it must change its filed formula rate to remove all CIAC-related ADIT from the account in question.
FERC said that wasn’t its intent. “We clarify that the [order] spoke only to the tax gross-up of CIAC and its related ADIT. However, the commission went further than it intended in the January 2018 order when it directed that the ADIT related to the tax gross-up of CIAC be excluded from the ATRR. The ADIT related to the gross-up is included … in the ATRR per the formula rate template.”
FERC Approves Settlement over Solar LGIA
FERC on Thursday approved an uncontested settlement involving an amended large generator interconnection agreement (LGIA) between Southern California Edison, CAISO and AltaGas in a dispute that arose when AltaGas decided to convert its Sonoran project from a combined cycle plant to a solar PV generator.
EDF Renewables had protested the switch, arguing that allowing the revised project (CAISO interconnection project Nos. 17 and 219) to maintain its full capacity deliverability status would adversely affect two of its own projects that were lower in the interconnection queue, Palen (project No. 365) and Desert Harvest (project No. 643AE). EDF contended the amended LGIA should be rejected or amended to convert the Sonoran project to energy-only deliverability status.
The agreement says that the Sonoran project has complied with all CAISO requirements and that FERC should accept the LGIA as filed. But AltaGas also agreed to convert a portion of its Sonoran project to energy-only status if studies by CAISO and EDF determine EDF’s projects would otherwise be unable to obtain full deliverability for 250 MW before CAISO completes its West-of-Devers transmission upgrades.
FERC OKs Clean Energy Connect Tx Pacts; Rejects Incentives
FERC on Friday approved seven bilateral cost-based transmission service agreements (TSAs) for use of Central Maine Power’s 1,200-MW New England Clean Energy Connect line but rejected the company’s request for incentive adders as moot.
The commission found that the TSAs were presumed just and reasonable under the Mobile-Sierra doctrine because they were individually negotiated, arms-length agreements with sophisticated parties: NSTAR Electric; Massachusetts Electric; Nantucket Electric; Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light and H.Q. Energy Services. That also meant that CMP was not entitled to incentive adders to its return on equity, the commission said.
“In light of our finding that the TSAs are subject to the Mobile-Sierra presumption, we find that Central Maine Power’s request for transmission incentive treatment is moot. Regarding Central Maine Power’s requested conditional ROE adder, we are not granting the adder because our acceptance of the ROE reflected in the TSAs obviates that request. Additionally, with respect to the request for abandonment, we note that the parties have already agreed to the abandonment provisions memorialized in the TSAs. Accordingly, we need not grant Central Maine Power’s request for incentive treatment here.”
Tesla Buys Land in Shanghai for Auto Factory
Tesla last week announced that it had signed agreement for land to build its first factory outside the U.S., in Shanghai.
The move follows the Chinese government’s decision in July to lift restrictions on foreign electric vehicle manufacturers operating in the country. China is the world’s largest market for EVs.
The deal allows Tesla to avoid tariffs placed on trades between the U.S. and China.
More: The Associated Press
Gates Opens $116M Investment Fund in EU
Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures opened a $116 million investment fund for European companies to develop clean technology.
“We need new technologies to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” Gates said in Brussels. “Scientists and entrepreneurs who are developing innovations to address climate change need capital to build companies that can deliver those innovations to the global market.”
Breakthrough has taken stakes in companies pursuing fusion energy, energy storage and bio-technologies.
Dominion Files to Extend Life of Surry Nuke to 80
Dominion Energy last week filed an application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to extend the license for its Surry nuclear plant’s two units by another 20 years.
Located in Newport News, Va., the units began operations in 1972 and 1973, and they were approved for another 20 years in 2003. If Dominion’s latest filing is approved, their licenses would expire in 2032 and 2033, when they are 80 years old.
Surry is only the third plant in the U.S. to file for an extension to 80, after Florida Power and Light’s Turkey Point and Exelon and PSEG Power’s Peach Bottom.