Oregon Public Utility Commission

Rule Rule 860-082-0080
Arbitration of Disputes


(1)

An interconnecting public utility or an interconnection applicant may petition the Commission for arbitration of disputes arising during review of an application to interconnect a small generator facility or during negotiation of an interconnection agreement. If the public utility or the applicant petitions the Commission to arbitrate their dispute, then the Commission will use an administrative law judge (ALJ) as arbitrator unless workload constraints necessitate the use of an outside arbitrator.

(2)

A petition for arbitration of an interconnection agreement must contain:

(a)

A statement of all unresolved issues;

(b)

A description of each party’s position on the unresolved issues; and

(c)

A proposed agreement addressing all issues, including those on which the parties have reached agreement and those that are in dispute.

(3)

A petition for arbitration of a dispute arising during review of an application to interconnect a small generator facility must contain:

(a)

A statement of all unresolved issues;

(b)

A description of each party’s position on the unresolved issues; and

(c)

A proposed resolution for each unresolved issue.

(4)

Respondent may file a response within 25 calendar days of the petition for arbitration. In the response, the respondent must address each issue listed in the petition, describe the respondent’s position on those issues, and present any additional issues for which the respondent seeks resolution.

(5)

The filing of a petition for arbitration of a dispute arising during review of an application to interconnect a small generator facility does not affect the application’s queue position.

(6)

The arbitration is conducted in a manner similar to a contested case proceeding, and the arbitrator has the same authority to conduct the arbitration process as an ALJ has in conducting hearings under the Commission’s rules, but the arbitration process is streamlined. The arbitrator holds an early conference to discuss processing of the case. The arbitrator establishes the schedule and decides whether an oral hearing is necessary. After the oral hearing or other procedures (for example, rounds of comments), each party submits its final proposed interconnection agreement or resolution of disputed issues. The arbitrator chooses between the two final offers. If neither offer is consistent with applicable statutes, Commission rules, and Commission policies, then the arbitrator will make a decision that meets those requirements.

(7)

The arbitrator may allow formal discovery only to the extent deemed necessary. Parties are required to make good faith attempts to exchange information relevant to any disputed issue in an informal, voluntary, and prompt manner. Unresolved discovery disputes are resolved by the arbitrator upon request of a party. The arbitrator will order a party to provide information if the arbitrator determines the requesting party has a reasonable need for the requested information and that the request is not overly burdensome.

(8)

Only the two negotiating parties have full party status. The arbitrator may confer with Commission staff for assistance throughout the arbitration process.

(9)

To keep the process moving forward, appeals to the Commission are not allowed during the arbitration process. An arbitrator may certify a question to the Commission if the arbitrator believes it is necessary.

(10)

To accommodate the need for flexibility, the arbitrator may use different procedures so long as the procedures are fair, treat the parties equitably, and substantially comply with the procedures listed here.

(11)

The arbitrator must serve the arbitration decision on the interconnecting public utility and the interconnection applicant. The parties may file comments on the arbitration decision with the Commission within 10 calendar days after service.

(12)

The Commission must accept, reject, or modify an arbitration decision within 30 calendar days after service of the decision.

(13)

Within 14 calendar days after the Commission issues an order on a petition for arbitration of an interconnection agreement, the petitioner must prepare an interconnection agreement complying with the terms of the decision and serve it on respondent. Respondent must either sign and file the interconnection agreement or file objections to it within 10 calendar days of service of the agreement. If objections are filed, respondent must state how the interconnection agreement fails to comply with the Commission order and offer substitute language complying with the decision. The Commission must approve or reject a filed interconnection agreement within 20 calendar days of its filing or the agreement is deemed approved.

(14)

If petitioner, without respondent’s consent, fails to timely prepare and serve an interconnection agreement on respondent, respondent may file a motion requesting the Commission dismiss the petition for arbitration with prejudice. The Commission may grant such motion if the petitioner’s failure to timely prepare and serve the interconnection agreement was the result of inexcusable neglect on the part of petitioner.

(15)

The public utility and the applicant may agree to hire an outside arbitrator rather than file a petition with the Commission. The public utility and the applicant must share equally the costs of an outside arbitrator unless they mutually agree to a different payment arrangement.
Source

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021