Since 1992, TAPS has been active in most FERC transmission and market power (e.g., merger) rulemakings, notices of inquiry, and the like. As a general rule, TAPS does not participate in individual contested cases, such as individual mergers or rate filings, for budgetary and other reasons. Individual members are responsible for intervening in contested cases that directly affect them. As discussed in greater detail here, TAPS is also active in FERC proceedings on NERC Reliability Standards.
TAPS achieved a number of victories for transmission-dependent utilities in FERC’s Order 888 proceeding, including comparable treatment of network customers (e.g., with respect to load growth, network resource designations); interface use based on total network resources using the interface (not load ratio share); network customer rights to insist on the filing of unexecuted network service and operating agreements; and credits for customer-contributed reactive power. FERC relied heavily on TAPS’ comments in developing the factual case and legal authority to support issuance of Order 888. In the appeal from Order 888 (consolidated before the D.C. Circuit under the caption TAPS v. FERC (2000)), TAPS supported FERC’s assertion of jurisdiction to require open access transmission service. The D.C. Circuit rebuffed efforts to roll back FERC’s assertion of authority over unbundled retail transmission and low voltage wholesale transmission, while opening the door to revisit what the Court termed FERC’s “policy choice” not to assert jurisdiction over the transmission component of bundled retail sales. After the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari on the jurisdictional issues, TAPS participated by filing briefs and assisting allied parties. The United States Supreme Court affirmed the D.C. Circuit Court decision in New York v. FERC (2002).
Since then, TAPS has participated in major FERC rulemakings dealing with transmission access and pricing, generator interconnection, transmission planning, market power, and organized electric markets. For example, it was very active in the rulemakings implementing the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and revisiting Order 888. TAPS was also heavily involved in the rulemaking proceeding leading to Order 1000, which mandated regional transmission planning and cost allocation, and it participated as an intervenor in the consolidated appeals before the D.C. Circuit, which affirmed the rule under the caption South Carolina Public Service Authority v FERC (2014). FERC staff recognizes TAPS as one of a handful of entities that can be expected to file detailed and knowledgeable comments in major electric policy dockets; and TAPS representatives are often selected from among many applicants to testify before FERC in these proceedings.
TAPS’ attorneys provide TAPS members with regular memoranda that summarize and analyze significant FERC decisions on transmission and market power issues.