On July 16, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission) approved a Final Rule revising the Commission’s regulations implementing the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) (See a prior GT Alert for more details on PURPA and FERC’s overhaul). The Final Rule will take effect 120 days after its publication in the Federal Register.

PURPA, among other things, requires electric utilities – private and public – to purchase power from certain cogeneration facilities and small power producers that are QFs under the statute.

When FERC released the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) in September 2019, it said that the proposed changes were intended to continue encouraging development of Qualifying Facilities (QFs), described further below, while addressing concerns regarding how the current regulations work in today’s competitive wholesale power markets. The NOPR proposed to revise the Commission’s regulations implementing sections 201 and 210 of PURPA and incorporated the record of a FERC 2016 technical conference addressing issues involving PURPA’s implementation.

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