Avangrid could stand to benefit — or not — from the restoration of FERC’s quorum. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (15-1118) in April overturned FERC’s 2014 order setting the base return on equity for a group of New England transmission owners — including Avangrid’s Central Maine Power — at 10.57%. The court ruled that the commission failed to meet its burden of proof in finding the existing 11.14% rate to be unjust and unreasonable. (See Court Rejects FERC ROE Order for New England.) The TOs are seeking to begin billing at the prior ROE.
“That is the most recent rate that’s legally in effect at this point, and we requested to begin billing that again 60 days after FERC has a quorum, with retroactive billing to June 8 of this year,” Torgerson said. “If no FERC decision is reached, we’ll start doing that.”
FERC has lacked the necessary three-person quorum since the February departure of former Chair Norman Bay, and has been down to one commissioner — acting Chair Cheryl LaFleur — since Colette Honorable left last month.
LaFleur may be joined by four new members if Democrat Richard Glick and Republicans Kevin McIntyre, Robert Powelson and Neil Chatterjee win Senate confirmation. (See Trump Names Energy Lawyer McIntyre as FERC Chair.) Glick is a former vice president of government affairs for Avangrid.