The New England transmission owners (NETOs) have had four challenges since 2011 to the base ROE. The first case was decided by FERC in 2014. The decision was challenged in the DC Court of Appeals, which in 2017 vacated the FERC decision. FERC has made no decisions in the three subsequent base ROE cases. Once the Court vacated the first case decision , the NETOs filed a compliance filing with FERC in October 2017 to reinstate the base ROE that was in effect prior to the FERC decision in the first ROE case. FERC rejected the compliance filing and ordered the NETOs to maintain the base ROE which FERC determined in the first base ROE case, even though the Court had vacated that decision. The NETOs requested rehearing in late 2017, after which FERC issued a tolling order that purported to grant rehearing until FERC issued a further order on rehearing. The DC Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion holding that FERC’s use of tolling orders to afford itself more time to act on rehearing did not comport with the Natural Gas Act (and thus the Federal Power Act). Based upon the Court’s tolling order opinion, the NETOs now deem their request for rehearing on the rejected compliance filing denied. As a result, on September 9, 2020, the NETOs petitioned the Court for review of FERC’s Order rejecting their 2017 compliance filing.
Dr. Paul Dumais
CEO of Dumais Consulting with expertise in FERC regulatory matters, including transmission formula rates.