Tucked inside a “supplemental notice” addressing FERC’s interimreliability measures, the Commission last week said it “has begunand will continue an extensive review and audit” of electrictransmission owners’ Open Access Same-time Information System(OASIS) sites to ensure compliance.

OASIS originally was set up to provide the bulk power marketwith Internet access to information on transmission owners’ pricesand available transmission capacity (ATC), but critics contend ithas failed miserably. Only a few OASIS sites provide the pertinentmarket data needed to oversee transmission market behavior, theycontend. For example, they say transmission owners often knowinglypost 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 anindustry 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 ofposted information,” and that its review/audit of individual OASISsites was intended to ensure “general compliance” with the rules.

In the supplemental notice, the Commission responded to a numberof industry comments on the interim measures it issued in mid-Mayto improve reliability of the bulk power market this summer. Forone, FERC said the waivers and other authorizations it granted toon-site generators would only apply to the wholesale “sales” ofpower that they actually produce; the waivers would not apply if anon-site generator purchases power and then resells it to thewholesale market.

However, if the resale isn’t contrary to the on-site generator’sretail authorizations or purchased power contract, the generatorcould seek a rate schedule for the sale at the Commission, whichwould be “receptive” to granting the waivers.

It further clarified the waivers and authorizations would applyonly to sales by on-site generators into energy marketsadministered by an independent system operator (ISO) or a powerexchange. The Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM)Interconnection urged FERC to allow ISOs to waive rules toaccommodate the sales into energy markets by on-site generators,but the Commission didn’t think such a move was “advisable at thistime.”

Moreover, FERC said the waivers do not give on-site generatorscarte blanche authority to “abrogate or supersede any existingcontracts or obligations; exempt [them] from existingenvironmental, safety or reliability requirements; [or] authorizethe feeding of power into the grid where not otherwise authorized.”

FERC further waived for the summer the prior-notice requirementfor “mutually-agreed upon interconnection agreements” needed tocarry out the sales of on-site generation to the bulk market. Suchagreements can be filed along with reports of sales that are due atthe Commission by Oct. 31, 2000, it said.

Susan Parker

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