The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently issuedan order rejecting a Common Facilities Agreement (CFA) under section 205 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) and related request for waiver from open access requirements. The CFA between Sky River and Windstar Energy involved a 9-mile, 230 kV generator tie-line in California known as the Wilderness Line. Sky River owns and operates a 77 MW wind facility and has an interest in the Wilderness Line along with several other Qualifying Facilities (QFs).

Windstar is developing a 60 MW wind facility for which it already has a generator interconnection agreement with SoCal Edison and the California ISO. Sky River entered into the CFA with Windstar to license a portion of Sky River’s interest in the Wilderness Line to enable the output from Windstar’s wind facility to reach the point of interconnection with SoCal Edison. In other words, the CFA served to support Windstar’s interconnection with SoCal Edison. Sky River sought approval of the CFA and the open access waivers on the basis that the gen-tie line is not an integrated component of the grid and was designed solely as an interconnection line.

FERC did not accept the CFA or the waiver from the open access transmission tariff (OATT) filing requirement. FERC determined that the CFA was an “attempt to govern transmission service for an unaffiliated third party over the Wilderness Line outside the context of an OATT, with all its attendant rights and obligations.” Further FERC noted that waiver of obligation to file an OATT applies only until such time as a request for transmission service is made and that any transmission over the Wilderness Line for non-owners must be made pursuant to an OATT.