Solar Energy Industries Association v. FERC, No. 21-1126 (D.C. Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
The Edison Electric Institute and NorthWestern Corporation, d/b/a NorthWestern Energy (collectively, “Utilities”) petition for review of an order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“Commission”) in which the Commission granted Broadview Solar’s application to become a qualifying facility under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (“PURPA”). The Solar Energy Industries Association (“SEIA”) petitions for review of the Commission’s denial of its motion to intervene in the adjudication of Broadview’s application.
The DC Circuit concluded that the Commission’s interpretation of the statute is entitled to deference and that the Commission did not act arbitrarily or capriciously and accordingly denied the Utilities’ petitions. The court explained that the Utilities challenge the Commission’s decision to look at Broadview’s instantaneous net power output and not its power output over time. The statute measures “power production capacity” in “megawatts.” But power production over time is measured in “megawatt-hours.” Rather than being arbitrary and capricious, the Commission’s focus on instantaneous power production adhered to the statutory language.
Further, the court dismissed SEIA’s petitions because it lacks Article III standing. The court explained that SEIA’s failure to timely intervene is the result of its own mistaken judgment. The effect of that mistake—SEIA’s inability to participate in the Commission’s proceedings—does not give rise to an Article III injury.