FERC Rejects Bid to Broaden Scope of Gas-Electric Info Sharing
Federal regulators last week rejected a request by a natural gas distributor to relax restrictions on its sharing of non-public information received from electric utilities.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dismissed National Fuel Gas Distribution’s request in two rulings. In one, FERC dismissed the company’s request for clarification on communication allowed under Order 787, saying it was beyond the purview of its rulemaking (RM13-17-002). The other rejected NFG’s rehearing request on rules adopted by PJM under the order (ER14-1469-002).
With Order 787, the commission in 2013 opened up the sharing of non-public operational information between interstate natural gas pipelines and public utilities, saying that increased coordination would benefit reliability. (See Talk among Yourselves: FERC Urges Gas-Electric Coordination.)
Impact on Local Distribution Companies
It did not codify, however, how utilities could share such information with local distribution companies, leaving the issue to RTOs and ISOs to address individually through tariff changes. Subsequently, FERC received filings from PJM and NYISO amending their rules. (See FERC OKs Gas-Electric Talk.)
NFG is an LDC serving western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania.
FERC ultimately approved a PJM Operating Agreement change requiring LDCs and intrastate pipeline operators to promise not to disclose non-public, operational information received from PJM to third parties “or in an unduly discriminatory or preferential manner or to the detriment of any natural gas or electric market.” It also barred sharing of the information through a “conduit.”