Archive: April 2015

1
FERC Issues Rule to Reduce Regulatory Burdens for Generators That Own Generator Tie-Lines
2
Powers of Regulators Brought Into the Spotlight by High Court Decision
3
Security of Payment Legislation and Set-Off Under Commonwealth Insolvency Laws
4
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FERC Issues Rule to Reduce Regulatory Burdens for Generators That Own Generator Tie-Lines

I. Introduction

Last month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued its final rule on Open Access and Priority Rights on Interconnection Customer’s Interconnection Facilities (“Order No. 807” or “Final Rule”)[1]. Order No. 807 is intended to reduce the regulatory burdens for generators that own generation tie-lines (referred to in the Final Rule as “Interconnection Customer’s Interconnection Facilities” or “ICIF”)[2], and to promote the development of generation resources. The Final Rule makes three significant changes to the treatment of ICIF under FERC’s regulations. First, it establishes a blanket waiver of the Open Access Transmission Tariff (“OATT”), Open Access Same-Time Information System (“OASIS”) and the Standards of Conduct requirements for all ICIF owners who in the past were subject to such requirements solely as a result of their ownership of ICIF. Second, the Final Rule requires that all third-party requests for service on ICIF eligible for the blanket waiver be made pursuant to Sections 210, 211 and 212 of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”). Finally, the Final Rule establishes a five-year safe harbor period during which ICIF owners who are eligible for the blanket waiver will benefit from a rebuttable presumption that they or their affiliates have definitive plans to use any excess capacity available on the ICIF.

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Powers of Regulators Brought Into the Spotlight by High Court Decision

Recently the High Court of Australia handed down its unanimous decision in Australian Communications and Media Authority v Today FM (Sydney) Pty Ltd [2015] HCA 7 (HCA Decision) which relates to the powers of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (Authority).

The HCA Decision accepts that the Authority was permitted to make a finding of fact that a licensee committed a criminal offence and in doing so had breached a licence condition, despite the fact that no proceedings in relation to the criminal offence had been commenced or successfully prosecuted.

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Security of Payment Legislation and Set-Off Under Commonwealth Insolvency Laws

A recent Victorian Supreme Court case[1] has clarified the impact of Commonwealth insolvency set-off provisions on State-based security of payments legislation.

The case demonstrates that although a principal is generally precluded from relying on a set-off or counterclaim in certain contexts under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) (BCISP Act), this general preclusion does not apply if the claimant is in liquidation, due to the operation of section 553C of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act).

The case also provides useful commentary on what is considered a ‘payment schedule’ for the purposes of the BCISP Act.

If you would like to read more about this case, please click here.

[1] Façade Treatment Engineering Limited v Brookfield Multiplex Construction Pty Ltd [2015] VSC 41.

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