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Commissioner Cheryl A. LaFleur Statement
October 19, 2017
Docket Nos.
ER16-471-001
Item No. E-16
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MISO Generator Interconnection Agreement with enXco Development Corp

“Today’s order denies rehearing of the Commission’s March 4, 2016 order that accepted a notice of termination filed by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) for the generator interconnection agreement (GIA) entered into by enXco Development Corporation (subsequently assigned to Merricourt Power Partners, LLC (Merricourt)), Montana-Dakota Utilities Company, and MISO.1 I believe that today’s rehearing order, as well as a companion order issued concurrently in Docket No. EL18-17-000,2 provide a reasonable resolution to the outstanding issues identified in this proceeding, and I therefore concur.

“My earlier dissent in this proceeding was driven by two related concerns: (1) that the Commission was unnecessarily muddling its precedent regarding how it reviews requests for GIA commercial operation date (COD) extensions; and (2) in so doing, it failed to provide relief to Merricourt that was warranted by the record. On the first issue, today’s rehearing order resolves the ambiguity in the March 4 Order regarding the Commission’s analysis that supported its decision. Along with the directives in the GIP Clarification Order, these orders will provide needed clarity to MISO and interconnection customers regarding their respective obligations going forward.

“Critically, the Commission also confirms in the GIP Clarification Order that, if an interconnection customer believes relief from its COD deadline is appropriate, it may seek waiver of the applicable tariff provisions, which will allow the Commission to provide relief in individual cases if justified by the record. This backstop authority is necessary to ensure that the strict application of bright line rules does not inadvertently result in an unjust and unreasonable outcome for a particular project. I believe that the clarity required in MISO’s generator interconnection procedures and pro forma GIA, coupled with the Commission’s authority to consider relief in individual cases, strike the right balance by ensuring MISO’s ability to process its queue while also protecting against the unjustified termination of a project’s GIA.

“Finally, I concur in the decision to deny Merricourt’s requested relief at this time. While I would have granted that relief in March 2016, it is now over a year and a half later, past even the September 30, 2017 COD extension date sought by Merricourt. I do not see a basis to grant rehearing at this point.

“Accordingly, I respectfully concur.”






                                               

    1 Midcontinent Indep. Sys. Operator, Inc., 154 FERC ¶ 61,172 (2016) (March 4 Order).
    2 Midcontinent Indep. Sys. Operator, Inc., 160 FERC ¶ 61,076 (2017) (GIP Clarification Order).
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