Pacific Gas and Electric recently announced that it will file for bankruptcy protection due to, among other reasons, liabilities relating to wildfires in California and that it will make that filing on or about January 29, 2019. In order to protect its wholesale power purchase agreements, NextEra requested in EL19-35 that FERC issue an order finding PG&E may not abrogate, amend, or reject its FERC-jurisdictional wholesale power purchase agreements with NextEra in any bankruptcy proceedings that may be initiated by PG&E without first obtaining approval from FERC. In its January 25, 2019 Order, FERC concluded that it and the bankruptcy courts have concurrent jurisdiction to review and address the disposition of wholesale power contracts sought to be rejected through bankruptcy and, therefore, found that, to give effect to both the FPA and the Bankruptcy Code, a party to a Commission-jurisdictional wholesale power purchase agreement must obtain approval from both FERC and the bankruptcy court to modify the filed rate and reject the contract.
Dr. Paul Dumais
CEO of Dumais Consulting with expertise in FERC regulatory matters, including transmission formula rates.