FERC OASIS Audit Part of Reliability Effort
Tucked inside a "supplemental notice" addressing FERC's interim
reliability measures, the Commission last week said it "has begun
and will continue an extensive review and audit" of electric
transmission owners' Open Access Same-time Information System
(OASIS) sites to ensure compliance.
OASIS originally was set up to provide the bulk power market
with Internet access to information on transmission owners' prices
and available transmission capacity (ATC), but critics contend it
has failed miserably. Only a few OASIS sites provide the pertinent
market data needed to oversee transmission market behavior, they
contend. For example, they say transmission owners often knowingly
post false ATC estimates on the OASIS to deny non-affiliates'
requests for access to their systems.
The Commission revealed the audit plans in a response to an
industry request for it to impose "more specific time requirements"
on transmission owners to adjust their ATC postings on the OASIS.
FERC said the OASIS regulations "already require timely updating of
posted information," and that its review/audit of individual OASIS
sites was intended to ensure "general compliance" with the rules.
In the supplemental notice, the Commission responded to a number
of industry comments on the interim measures it issued in mid-May
to improve reliability of the bulk power market this summer. For
one, FERC said the waivers and other authorizations it granted to
on-site generators would only apply to the wholesale "sales" of
power that they actually produce; the waivers would not apply if an
on-site generator purchases power and then resells it to the
However, if the resale isn't contrary to the on-site generator's
retail authorizations or purchased power contract, the generator
could seek a rate schedule for the sale at the Commission, which
would be "receptive" to granting the waivers.
It further clarified the waivers and authorizations would apply
only to sales by on-site generators into energy markets
administered by an independent system operator (ISO) or a power
exchange. The Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM)
Interconnection urged FERC to allow ISOs to waive rules to
accommodate the sales into energy markets by on-site generators,
but the Commission didn't think such a move was "advisable at this
Moreover, FERC said the waivers do not give on-site generators
carte blanche authority to "abrogate or supersede any existing
contracts or obligations; exempt [them] from existing
environmental, safety or reliability requirements; [or] authorize
the feeding of power into the grid where not otherwise authorized."
FERC further waived for the summer the prior-notice requirement
for "mutually-agreed upon interconnection agreements" needed to
carry out the sales of on-site generation to the bulk market. Such
agreements can be filed along with reports of sales that are due at
the Commission by Oct. 31, 2000, it said.
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