Docket No. RM11-17-000

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") issued a Final Rule amending its regulations to require each regional transmission organization ("RTO") and independent system operator ("ISO") to electronically deliver to FERC, on an ongoing basis, data related to the markets that it administers. Specifically, FERC is requiring ongoing electronic delivery of data relating to physical and virtual offers and bids, market awards, resource outputs, marginal cost estimates, shift factors, financial transmission rights, internal bilateral contracts, uplift, and interchange pricing. FERC is requiring this information be provided in order for FERC to develop and evaluate its policies and regulations and to enhance FERC's efforts to detect anti-competitive or manipulative behavior, or ineffective market rules, thereby helping to ensure just and reasonable rates.

FERC's action is based on authorization granted to it under sections 301(b) and 307(a) of the Federal Power Act ("FPA"). Under FPA section 301(b), FERC has the right to have access at all times, and the right to inspect and examine, all accounts and records of public utilities. FPA section 307(a) gives FERC authority to investigate any facts, conditions, practices, or matters it deems necessary or proper to determine whether any person, electric utility, transmitting utility, or other entity may have violated or might violate the FPA or FERC's regulations, as well as to aid in the enforcement of the FPA and FERC's regulations, or to obtain information about wholesale electric energy sales or the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce.

While some commenters on FERC's proposed rule on this issue questioned whether the rule would be duplicative of existing requirements of Market Monitoring Units ("MMU") of RTOs/ISOs, FERC found that its rule does not displace or duplicate the MMUs' existing efforts to evaluate market rules and market designs, or modify any of their market monitoring functions, and instead will enhance FERC's ability to perform cross-market analysis as it looks across all RTO and ISO markets. FERC stated that this cross-market analysis will enhance its ongoing efforts to improve surveillance and monitoring of the markets and assess the performance of different market designs and rules.

Moreover, FERC found that the reporting requirements placed on RTOs/ISOs in the Final Rule are different from those required of market participants in their Electric Quarterly Reports. FERC noted that the data and its format collected in each situation is different, and the Final Rule requires ongoing, rather than merely periodic, delivery of such data. FERC also emphasized that there is no regulatory burden place on market participants through the new regulations, as the data sought is already collected by the RTOs/ISOs and will not be separately collected from the market participants. FERC also noted that information that is commercially sensitive, and thus exempt from public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, will be kept non-public.

FERC required that each RTO/ISO submit a compliance filing, amending its open access transmission tariff to reflect the requirement for the ongoing electronic delivery of data and implement delivery of at least one initial data set along with descriptive information necessary to understand each data set, within 45 days of the effective date of the Final Rule, with phased ongoing delivery of all remaining data sets according to the following schedule: (a) within 90 days of the effective date of the Final Rule, virtual offers and bids, and demand bids for energy; (b) within 150 days, marginal cost estimate, energy and ancillary service awards, resource output, internal bilateral contracts, and uplift data; and (c) within 210 days, all remaining data sets, namely day-ahead shift factors, supply offer and demand bids for ancillary services, capacity market offers, designations and prices, pricing data for interchange transactions, and financial transmission rights data. Following this initial implementation schedule, RTOs/ISOs must provide ongoing data to FERC within seven (7) days after the data is created or updated.

The Final Rule will become effective sixty (60) days after its publication in the Federal Register, which we expect will occur within the next week or two.