The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) now has until January 10, 2018 to act on the Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule proposal. As we previously reported, FERC had been facing a December 11, 2017 deadline set out in the Department of Energy (DOE) proposal, which calls for full recovery of costs for “fuel-secure” generating units in the electricity market. FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, who was Chairman at the time, stated in an interview that FERC was on a trajectory that would allow it to take some action by the deadline. However, Commissioner Chatterjee also recognized the enormity of the task, indicating that fully understanding DOE’s questions on grid resilience and reliability would require a long-term analysis.

Shortly before the deadline, on December 7, 2017, Kevin McIntyre was sworn in as the new FERC Chairman. On that same day, he requested a 30-day extension to the December 11 deadline, citing the voluminous comments FERC received and the fact that FERC had recently sworn in two new commissioners. While Energy Secretary Rick Perry granted the 30-day extension, he emphasized DOE’s belief that “serious threats to the nation’s electricity grid” exist and that FERC must take “urgent action” to address these threats. Thus, Secretary Perry ultimately urged FERC to “act expeditiously,” expressing his desire that FERC accept the DOE proposal prior to the new deadline.

Squire Patton Boggs will continue to monitor FERC’s actions on the proposal and any effects that such actions may have on the electricity markets.