(ARLINGTON, VA.) A newly revised manual released by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and other utility industry associations provides new guidance to state commissions and electric utilities on how to comply with the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA).
The new PURPA Title II Compliance Manual–authored by the non-partisan Institute for Public Utilities at Michigan State University–provides guidance to State commissions and electric utilities in dealing with issues related compliance with the law. The Compliance Manual summarizes original PURPA provisions, changes from the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceedings and enforcement actions.
Financially supported by NRECA, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissions, the American Public Power Association and the Edison Electric Institute, the manual was revised to help policymakers and industry navigate the significant increase in activity around distributed generation and interconnections across the country.
The manual provides historical context for PURPA and spells out the rights and obligations of public power, cooperative, and investor-owned utilities as well as State public utility commissions with respect to the qualifying facilities the law was implemented to promote. The Compliance Manual contains, among other things, the following:
- Frequently Asked Questions regarding PURPA compliance and implementation
- The definition of “avoided cost” and several methods of determining avoided cost
- Summary and explanation of PURPA regulations, including the EPAct 2005 changes
- Discussion of recent PURPA-related cases and FERC proceedings.
While State commissions and utilities have some flexibility for implementation within FERC rules, failure to implement invokes a higher standard for enforcement action. The Compliance Manual was prepared by Robert E. Burns, an independent consultant and attorney who spent more than 25 years at the National Regulatory Research Institute and Kenneth Rose, PhD, an independent consultant and Senior Fellow with the Institute of Public Utilities at Michigan State University.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.