Monday, February 18, 2019

NextEra Settles CRR Complaint Against CAISO

FERC last week approved a settlement that will grant a NextEra Energy subsidiary congestion revenue rights (CRRs) that CAISO denied the company in 2015.

The agreement among the ISO, Southern California Edison and NextEra Desert Center Blythe allocates Desert Center CRRs created by its investment in a Southern California transmission project (EL15-47).

The Interim West of Devers (IWOD) project is meant to move renewable energy from eastern Riverside County to the Los Angeles area, and includes the removal and upgrade of 140 miles of existing 220-kV transmission lines.

ferc caiso crrs nextera energy

CAISO, NextEra and Southern California Edison settled a case involving congestion revenue rights for the West of Devers transmission upgrade project in Southern California’s Riverside and San Bernardino counties. | CPUC

In denying Desert Center the CRRs in 2015, CAISO contended that its Tariff awards CRRs under only two circumstances: for facilities proposed and evaluated under the ISO’s transmission planning process; and for network upgrades identified in the generator interconnection process, when the generator funding the upgrades elects to receive the CRRs in lieu of a cash payment.

CAISO said the temporary upgrades for the IWOD — a project undertaken before construction of a permanent transmission solution — did not arise out of either circumstance.

FERC subsequently denied NextEra’s complaint and its request for a rehearing. In January 2016, NextEra filed a petition for review of the commission’s orders in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and in April 2017, the court remanded the matter to the commission.

Afterward, the parties engaged in settlement talks and came to an agreement, which FERC approved Oct. 4. The settlement stipulates that the CRR entitlements begin Jan. 1, 2019, and will remain in place as long as the IWOD project stays in service.

“For purposes of clarity, no merchant transmission CRRs will be awarded retroactively to Desert Center or SCE for the period of time that the IWOD project was in service prior to Jan. 1, 2019,” the settlement states.

— Hudson Sangree