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Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-556); Comment Request; Submitted for OMB Review

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Start Preamble May 26, 2009.


Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.




In compliance with the requirements of section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 USC 3507, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) has submitted the information collection described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review of the information collection requirements. Any interested person may file comments directly with OMB and should address a copy of those comments to the Commission as explained below. The Commission received no comments in response to the Federal Register notice (74FR7679, 2/19/2009) and has made this notation in its submission to OMB.


Comments on the collection of information are due by July 6, 2009.


Address comments on the collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Desk Officer. Comments to OMB should be filed electronically, c/o and include OMB Control Number 1902-0075 as a point of reference. The Desk Officer may be reached by telephone at 202-395-4638.

A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and should refer to Docket No. IC09-556-001. Comments may be filed either electronically or in paper format. Those persons filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing. Documents filed electronically via the Internet must be prepared in an acceptable filing format and in compliance with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission submission guidelines. Complete filing instructions and acceptable filing formats are available at​help/​submission-guide.asp. To file the document electronically, access the Commission's Web site, click on Documents & Filing, E-Filing (​docs-filing/​efiling.asp), and then follow the instructions for each screen. New users will have to establish a user name and password. The Commission will send an automatic acknowledgement to the sender's e-mail address upon receipt of comments.

For paper filings, an original and 2 copies of the comments should be submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426, and should refer to Docket No. IC09-556-001.

All comments may be viewed, printed or downloaded remotely via the Internet through FERC's homepage using the “eLibrary” link. For user assistance, contact or toll-free at (866) 208-3676 or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

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Ellen Brown may be reached by telephone at (202) 502-8663, by fax at (202) 273-0873, and by e-mail at

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The Commission uses the FERC Form No. 556 (Cogeneration and Small Power Production, OMB Control Number 1902-0075) to implement the statutory Start Printed Page 26384provisions in Federal Power Act (FPA) section 3 (16 USC 792-828c) and sections 201 and 210 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) of 1978 (16 USC 2601). These statutes authorize the Commission to encourage cogeneration and small power production and to prescribe such rules as necessary in order to carry out these statutory directives. Commission regulations pertaining to FERC Form No. 556 can be found in 18 CFR 131.80 and 18 CFR Part 292.

A primary objective of PURPA, as indicated in section 2 of the FPA, is the conservation of energy through efficient use of energy resources and facilities by electric utilities. One means of achieving this goal is to encourage production of electric power by cogeneration facilities which make use of reject heat associated with commercial or industrial processes, and by small power production facilities which use other wastes and renewable resources as fuel. Congress, through PURPA, established various regulatory benefits to encourage the development of small power production facilities and cogeneration facilities which meet certain technical and corporate criteria. Facilities that meet these criteria are deemed qualifying facilities (QFs).

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005), and in particular section 1253(a), added section 210(m) to the PURPA providing, among other things, for termination of the requirement that an electric utility enter into a new contract or obligation to purchase electric energy from qualifying cogeneration facilities and qualifying small power production facilities, if the Commission finds that the QF has nondiscriminatory access to one of three categories of markets defined in section 210(m)(1)(A), (B) or (C). Thus, to relieve an electric utility of its mandatory purchase obligation under PURPA, the Commission has to identify which, if any, markets meet the criteria contained in 210(m)(1)(A), (B) or (C), and, if such markets are identified, it must determine whether QFs have nondiscriminatory access to those markets.

In 18 CFR Part 292, the Commission provides: (1) QF certification criteria, (2) QF application information, (3) a description of some of the benefits afforded QFs, and (4) transaction obligations that electric utilities have with respect to QFs.

Among the PURPA benefits identified in Part 292, are the requirements for electric utilities: (1) To make avoided cost information and system capacity needs available to the public; (2) to purchase energy and capacity from QFs favorably priced on the basis of the avoided cost of the power that is displaced by the QF power (i.e., the incremental cost to the purchasing utility if it had generated the displaced power or purchased it from another source); (3) to sell backup, maintenance, and other power services to QFs at rates based on the cost of rendering the services; (4) to provide certain interconnection and transmission services priced on a nondiscriminatory basis; and (5) to operate in “parallel” with other interconnected QFs so that they may be electrically synchronized with electric utility grids.

A blank FERC Form No. 556 may be downloaded from the Commission's Web site at​docs-filing/​hard-fil.asp#556. Click on the Electric tab, then click the Form No. 556 link, and choose from an MS Word or RTF format (in the Downloads & Links column). Examples of filings may be viewed through the Commission's eLibrary system. Click on the red eLibrary link found at the top of any of the Commission's web pages, and choose General Search. Under Class/Type Info, choose Type: Qualifying Facility Application or PURPA Energy Utility Filing; then click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.

Action: The Commission is requesting a three-year extension of the current expiration date, with no change to the existing reporting requirements in FERC-556.

Burden Statement: The estimated annual public reporting burden and cost for FERC-556 follow.

FERC-556Number of respondents annuallyNumber of responses per respondentAverage burden hours per responseTotal annual burden hours
FERC Certification412080
Self Certification820132460

The estimated total cost to respondents [1] is $156,670.36 [2,540 hours divided by 2,080 hours per year, times $128,297 equals $156,670.36]. The average cost per respondent is $190.13.

The reporting burden includes the total time, effort, or financial resources expended to generate, maintain, retain, disclose, or provide the information including: (1) Reviewing instructions; (2) developing, acquiring, installing, and utilizing technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, verifying, processing, maintaining, disclosing and providing information; (3) adjusting the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; (4) training personnel to respond to a collection of information; (5) searching data sources; (6) completing and reviewing the collection of information; and (7) transmitting, or otherwise disclosing the information.

The estimate of cost for respondents is based upon salaries for professional and clerical support, as well as direct and indirect overhead costs. Direct costs include all costs directly attributable to providing this information, such as administrative costs and the cost for information technology. Indirect or overhead costs are costs incurred by an organization in support of its mission. These costs apply to activities which benefit the whole organization, rather than any one particular function or activity.

Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including Start Printed Page 26385the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g. permitting electronic submission of responses.

Start Signature

Kimberly D. Bose,


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1.  The average employee works 2,080 hours per year. The estimated average annual cost per employee is $128,297.

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[FR Doc. E9-12701 Filed 6-1-09; 8:45 am]