On April 2, 2020, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) adopted a policy to expeditiously review and act on requests for relief in response to the national emergency caused by COVID-19, and that it will give its highest priority to processing filings made for the purpose of assuring the business continuity of regulated entities’ energy infrastructure and issued several orders[1] to provide the following specific regulatory relief:

  • Facilitated social distancing by approving a blanket waiver of requirements in Open Access Transmission Tariffs that require entities to hold meetings in-person and to provide or obtain notarized documents. This waiver will remain in place through September 1, 2020.
  • Prioritized efficient processing of requests for waiver and other requests for relief made in response to the emergency conditions created by COVID-19 by:
    • Delegating authority to the Director of FERC’s Office of Energy Market Regulation to act on uncontested requests for prospective waiver of certain regulatory obligations. This delegated authority is effective until June 1, 2020.
    • Approving an Instant Final Rule delegating authority to the Director of FERC’s Office of Energy Policy and Innovation to act on motions for extension of time to file, or requests or petitions for waiver of the requirements of, FERC Form No. 552 (Annual report of Natural Gas Transactions) and FERC-730 (Report of Transmission Investment Activity).
  • Extended the time period for Regional Transmission Operators and Independent System Operators to post all Uplift Reports and Operator Initiated Commitment Reports. The time period for all reports that otherwise would have been required to be posted between April 2020 and September 2020 is extended to October 20, 2020.

In addition, the Secretary of FERC issued a supplemental notice granting extensions of time for certain non-statutory deadlines, waiving regulations and shortening answer periods for motions for extensions of time due to the pandemic emergency.

[1] At: https://www.ferc.gov/media/news-releases/2020/2020-2/EL20-37-000.pdf, https://www.ferc.gov/media/news-releases/2020/2020-2/RM17-2-000.pdf, https://www.ferc.gov/media/news-releases/2020/2020-2/AD20-13-000.pdf and https://www.ferc.gov/media/news-releases/2020/2020-2/RM20-13-000.pdf, respectively.

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