Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP) submitted revisions to its Membership Agreement, on August 2, “pursuant to section 205 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) and part 35 of the Commission’s regulations.” The revisions were submitted to “add definitions for the terms Load Serving Entity (LSE) and non-LSE.” SPP’s revisionswent into effect by operation of law on October 1. This is because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) did not act on the filing within the established 60-day period, which means that FERC did not reach a quorum about the proposal.
Chairman Neil Chatterjee and Commissioner Bernard L. McNamee issued a joint statement on their stance on the proposal.
Chatterjee and McNamee said that in 2013 SPP proposed revisions to the same Agreement, wanting to “require a member to post a deposit, at the time the member provides its notice of intent to withdraw, to defray any costs SPP would incur to process the member’s withdrawal from membership in SPP. At the time, SPP proposed basing the amount of the deposit on whether the member is an LSE or a non-LSE, with the former submitting a $150,000 deposit and the latter submitting a $50,000 deposit.” The proposal would adjust the deposit based on the actual costs, “with the member either receiving an invoice for any additional costs exceeding the deposit or a refund of any unexpended deposit amounts.” This proposal had been accepted.
SPP’s current proposal “asserts that the proposed definitions are just and reasonable because they address a gap in the current Membership Agreement and will provide greater clarity to all members as to which level of withdrawal deposit will apply in the event that a member submits a notice of intent to withdraw.9 SPP further asserts that the revisions are just and reasonable because they rely on Commission-accepted definitions set forth in the OATT, under which SPP members have long been operating and should be familiar.”
Both Chatterjee and McNamee say they “would have accepted SPP’s proposed revisions to its Membership Agreement… and found the proposed definitions just and reasonable and not unduly discriminatory or preferential. We would have acknowledged that the proposed definitions are consistent with the definitions for LSE in Attachments C and AE in SPP’s OATT and agreed with SPP that defining these terms in the Membership Agreement provides clarity to members as to which level of withdrawal deposit will apply in the event that a member submits a notice of intent to withdraw.”
They say that since there was no quorum in this proposal, they were not able to “fully discuss the issues that arose in this proceeding with our fellow Commissioner, whose arguments we would have thoughtfully considered.”
Commissioner Richard Glick also released a brief statement on the matter.
Glick said that he “signed an ethics pledge that precludes me from working on any matters in which Avangrid, Inc. or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries is a party until November 29, 2019.” He said that while “Avangrid has not intervened in this particular proceeding, the substantive issues presented relate directly to a contested issue in another pending proceeding, Docket No. EL19-11-000, in which Avangrid intervened.” He decided that to be cautious, he would not have participated in the proceeding.