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AEE Files Comments on FERC's Proposed PURPA Revisions

Posted by Monique Hanis on Dec 3, 2019

National business group raises concerns about competitive market access for smaller electric power generation resources in FERC proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 3, 2019 – Today, national business group Advanced Energy Economy filed comments in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC's) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) issued Sept. 19 (Docket Nos. RM19-15 and AD16-16) that proposes revisions to regulations implementing the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA).  

AEE noted concerns with many aspects of the NOPR, but chose to focus its comments on competitive market access for generation resources under 1 megawatt (MW). Specifically, AEE focused on “the creation of a rebuttable presumption that resources greater than 1 megawatt have non-discriminatory and meaningful access to organized wholesale markets.”

"While we agree that PURPA can be modernized to better reflect today’s market, FERC’s proposal significantly misses the mark by ignoring the first principle of the law: fostering market competition," said Jeff Dennis, Managing Director and General Counsel at Advanced Energy Economy. "We agree with Chairman Chatterjee that advanced energy resources are now cost-competitive across the United States. Despite this reality, advanced energy resources, including the qualifying facilities that are the focus of PURPA, still face many barriers that prevent them from accessing competitive wholesale electricity markets and participating on a level-playing field with incumbent interests."

"Congress has affirmed that tools like PURPA remain necessary to encourage wholesale electricity competition, and we strongly caution FERC against diverting from this national policy," said Dennis

AEE comments state that “regulatory changes that fail to recognize this illuminating purpose of PURPA and the clear intent of Congress (both when it enacted PURPA in 1978 and when it amended the law in 2005) to encourage alternatives to monopoly utility-owned generation and greater competition in wholesale energy markets are unlikely to prove legally sufficient and will represent a significant departure from over four decades of national policy.”

Background Resources:

  • FERC News Release on Sept. 19 NOPR proposing revisions to PURPA
  • AEE’s Wholesale Market Barriers to Advanced Energy — and How to Remove Them (features 21 case studies) is here.
  • What Distributed Energy Resources Could Bring to Wholesale Markets — If They Are Given a Chance (summary of white paper with five project case studies) is here.

About Advanced Energy Economy:
Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a national association of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. Advanced energy encompasses a broad range of products and services that constitute the best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy businesses. Engaged at the federal level and in more than a dozen states around the country, AEE represents more than 100 companies in the $238 billion U.S. advanced energy industry, which employs 3.5 million U.S. workers. Learn more at www.aee.net, track the latest news @AEEnet.

Topics: Press Releases