Richard A. Drom
Rick Drom is one of the leading Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) attorneys in the country, with exceptional knowledge of wholesale energy markets, FERC regulations, regulatory compliance, Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), demand response compensation, resource adequacy, and capacity market issues. He is well known in the industry for his ability to successfully manage multiple ongoing matters and skillfully build consensus among a diverse group of stakeholders.
Rick focuses his practice on energy regulatory matters, including corporate transactions, complex contracts, and state and federal regulatory legislative issues. He has extensive experience in electricity and natural gas matters, and he played an essential role in the development of the comprehensive energy market rules for the Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc. (Midcontinent ISO). He represents clients in an array of emerging energy technology fields including: FERC and North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) compliance, energy storage, demand response, distributed solar PV, and waste heat recovery systems.
Rick has wide-ranging experience conducting and participating in RTO stakeholder meetings to review and to modify RTO tariff terms and conditions. He provides legal advice regarding virtually every aspect of RTO FERC tariff provisions, including:
- generation interconnection procedures;
- operation of the Day Ahead and the Real Time Energy Markets;
- market settlement procedures;
- market monitoring protocols;
- RTO governance protocols;
- capacity market developments;
- regional transmission expansion protocols; and
- compliance with applicable FERC requirements.
Rick previously served as vice president, general counsel and board secretary with PJM Interconnection, LLC, one of the nation’s oldest RTOs and the nation’s largest wholesale electricity market. He played a pivotal role in the development of the wholesale energy market platform and multi-state RTO operation, and pioneered innovative electric generation interconnection queuing tariff provisions and procedures.
Prior to practicing law, he was a logistics engineer with Lockheed.
- Provided advice to potential seller of electric generation facility regarding FPA Section 203 requirements prior to sale.
- Advised Energy Efficiency Resource provider of PJM and ISO-NE tariff compliance requirements.
- Represented a retail electricity provider in clarifying Maryland environmental disclosure reporting requirements.
- Represented a Top 10 electricity wholesale competitive marketer in a successful FERC audit proceeding.
- Provided legal advice to hydroelectric company regarding QF requirements, billing error resolution, and NY Clean Energy Standard issues.
- Advised a municipal LNG developer of legal requirements to limit FERC jurisdiction over transactions.
- Provided FERC advice to project financers and developers – enabling them to successfully acquire renewable energy generation assets.
- Advised on energy market tariff issues, Federal Power Act (FPA), Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA), and Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) matters.
- Ensured that qualifying facility re-certification applications for cogeneration and small power production facilities met all applicable FERC requirements.
- Provided legal advice regarding energy, capacity and ancillary services markets to a variety of clients, including: a regional transmission organization (RTO), demand response providers, a state utility commission, and a vertically integrated electric utility.
- Oversaw compliance with FERC requirements mandating the development of enhanced resource adequacy tariff provisions- satisfying a FERC mandate while enabling the RTO to balance conflicting stakeholder requirements.
- Obtained FERC approval for Extended Locational Marginal Pricing (ELMP) – creating precedent for more accurate calculation of wholesale electricity prices.
- Obtained the first FERC declaratory order that a wholesale demand response service provider would not be a FERC public utility if it made no sales of capacity or electricity for resale.
- Obtained the first FERC declaratory order that large energy storage devices could qualify as jurisdictional wholesale transmission facilities and be entitled to favorable transmission incentive rates.
- Enabled a major RTO to successfully comply with a NERC compliance audit.
- Filed the first successful market-based rate application for a demand response provider.
- Successfully represented a demand response provider in a FERC Office of Enforcement investigation.
- Successfully obtained FERC approval for all elements of a comprehensive Energy Markets Tariff for the Midcontinent ISO – resulting in the implementation of competitive wholesale energy market provisions across a 12-state region.
- Successfully implemented a monthly capacity market construct for an RTO.
- Provided legal advice on a variety of FERC issues including: development of Day-Ahead and Real-Time Energy Market tariffs; financial transmission rights (FTRs); and regional transmission planning protocols prior to development of Order No. 1000.
- Assisted a major oil producer in addressing oil pipeline quality concern issues with an interstate oil pipeline.
- Obtained successful declaratory order regarding an RTO’s compliance with Order Nos. 888 and 2000 energy market design elements.
- Assisted a state utility commission in significantly reducing wholesale electricity transmission rates.
- Successfully represented a nation-wide demand response provider in a non-public Office of Enforcement FERC inquiry.
- Prepared Qualifying Facility re-certification applications for cogeneration facilities and small power production facilities.
- Represented Wall Street financial institutions in FERC matters.
- Represented large energy consumers in state retail rate matters and in the negotiation of long-term contracts for electric and natural gas service.
- Provided advice regarding oil and gas developmental lease terms
- Represented international chemical company in an oil pipeline dispute regarding restrictive transportation terms and conditions.
- Represented a paper plant regarding the acquisition of a PURPA cogeneration steam sales agreement.
- Provided advice regarding an ethanol fuel supply agreement.
- Provided advice regarding power purchase agreements for wind turbine projects in Kenya.
- Energy Bar Association, past Northeast Chapter Board of Director, and past president
Awards and Recognition:
- Selected for inclusion in Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers in Business for Electricity (Regulatory & Litigation), 2009
- Selected for inclusion among “Washington, D.C.’s Top Rated Lawyers” in Energy and Natural Resources Law by American Lawyer Media, 2012
News and Insights
- “Ruling On FERC’s Tolling Orders Could Slow Pipelines,” Law360, February 2020.
- “Does FERC Have the Authority to Radically Change PURPA Regulations?” Eckert Seamans’ Energy & Utilities Blog, October 9, 2019.
- “New Ohio Energy Law Impairs Competition, Reverses History,” Law360, August 19, 2019.
- “McNamee Should Sit Out FERC ‘Grid Resilience’ Ruling,” Law360, April 9, 2019.
- Would a PJM Carbon Market Address State Subsidization Issues?” Eckert Seamans’ Energy & Utilities Blog, August 29, 2018.
- “State Electric Generator Subsidies Challenge FERC Markets,” Law360, April 24, 2018.
- “Courts confirm de novo review rights for FERC defendants,” Eckert Seamans’ Energy & Utilities Blog, January 17, 2018.
- “PJM’s Pricing Reformation: Will It Replace the DOE NOPR?” Eckert Seamans’ Energy & Utilities Blog, November 21, 2017.
- “Texas Rejects Right of First Refusal for Transmission Utilities,” Eckert Seamans’ Energy & Utilities Blog, October 31, 2017.
- “DOE NOPR: Enormous Impacts to Competitive Wholesale Energy Markets,” Eckert Seamans’ Energy & Utilities Blog, October 5, 2017.
- “Court: FERC Cannot Propose Major Changes To Tariff Filing,” Eckert Seamans’ Energy & Utilities Blog, July 14, 2017.
- “Court Affirms PJM’s Capacity Performance Program,” Eckert Seamans’ Energy & Utilities Blog, July 5, 2017.
- “How Should Customer Electricity Data Be Shared in Maryland?” April 7, 2017.
- “Will Seasonal Capacity Resources Become Obsolete at PJM?” Eckert Seamans’ Energy & Utilities Blog, April 3, 2017.
- “Do Buyer-Side Market Power Rules Apply to Demand Resources?” Eckert Seamans’ Energy & Utilities Blog, February 21, 2017.
- “FERC requirements affecting electricity generation projects,” Eckert Seamans’ Construction Law Update, Spring 2017.
- “Energy Efficiency Resources Must Stay In The Mix,” Law360, June 6, 2017.
- “NY Clean Energy Order: Unfair to Small Hydro Facilities?” Law360, August 2016.
- “PJM Protocols: Ignoring Reliability And Cost Benefits?” Law360, July 14, 2016
- “Electricity Capacity Markets: A Primer,” Natural Gas Electricity Magazine, May 2014.
- “Maintaining System Reliability: Responding to the Retirement of Coal-Fueled Electric Generation Resources,” Energy Law Journal, January 2014.
- “New Metrics for Measuring the Success of a Non-Profit RTO,” Energy Law Journal, March 2007.
- “Settlement of Contested Transportation Rate Cases at FERC,” Energy Law Journal, November 1991.
- “NY Part 4: New York’s Stand Against NatGas Throws Fate of Opposed Pipelines Into Doubt,” Natural Gas Intelligence, September 2017.
- “Cutting Carbon – The Grid and Market Rules” panel moderator at the 2018 Regional Executive Energy Summit in Hershey, PA, November 2018.
- “Outside Counsel Roundup” panel presenter for the Power Trading Institute’s 2018 Policy Conference, Washington, D.C., April 24, 2018.
- “Managing the Wholesale Electricity Warehouse”, panel moderator at the Executive Energy Seminar in Hershey, PA, October 2017.
- “Recent FERC Developments,” panel presenter for The Commodity Markets Council’s Power Trading Institute, November 2016.
- “Recent FERC Anti-Market Manipulation Developments,” panel presenter for the Power Trading Institute’s annual Compliance Conference in Washington, D.C., April 24, 2016.
- “Capacity Markets: Reliability and Resource Adequacy,” EUCI Conference; November 7, 2013.
- “How Power Markets in the Pacific Northwest Compare with Others Around the Country,” Law Seminars International’s Buying and Selling Electric Power in the West Conference, 2012.
- “EPA Regulations and Potential Impact on Fossil-Fueled Generation Facilities,” moderator, EBA Northeast Chapter webinar, March 9, 2011.
- “Smart Grid Regulatory Developments Affecting Utility Scale Financing,” Critical Drivers for Utility Scale Renewable Energy Conference; January 19, 2011.
- “Transmission Planning: Who Should Build It?,” presented at the Organization of PJM States, Inc.; September 18, 2008.
- “Cost Allocation Developments for Network Upgrades in RTOs/ISOs,” presented at the 30th Annual National Conference of Regulatory Attorneys; June 2007.
- “Integrating Stakeholder Interests for a Brighter Energy Future,” presented at the 26th Annual Bonbright Center Conference; October 5, 2006.
Rick enjoys kayaking and bike riding.