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Clean Energy Groups Ask for Rehearing of FERC’s PJM MOPR Order

Posted by Monique Hanis on Jan 21, 2020

Joint filing says FERC erred on multiple areas, will force customers to pay more for fossil fuels

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, four national organizations representing the range of clean energy companies in the United States filed a request for rehearing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on its order to impose a Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) in the PJM capacity market.

In their joint request for rehearing, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said they strongly oppose instituting the MOPR, as it would block new clean energy resources from participating in wholesale capacity markets.

The rehearing request makes clear that FERC simply does not have the authority under the Federal Power Act to interfere with the states’ ability to choose clean energy generating facilities and, in turn, undermine state clean energy programs.

Further, the effect of FERC’s order will be to pad profits for incumbent fossil fuel generators, on the backs of customers forced to pay more, by preventing state-supported clean generators from clearing the capacity market. By supporting resources like renewables that do not produce air pollution, the states are doing what the current PJM market fails to do – protecting the environment and their citizens from the harmful effects of air pollution. FERC should not be in the business of nullifying states’ decisions to bring more clean energy to their communities.

FERC must reconsider its regulatory overreach. The four organizations will continue to work with their members, PJM, and federal and state regulators to ensure that clean energy deployment moves forward and that state policies are respected.

Specifically, the Clean Energy Associations’ Request for Rehearing says that:

  • FERC’s MOPR Order exceeds its jurisdiction under the Federal Power Act
  • FERC’s MOPR Order directs PJM to implement rates and practices that are incompatible with the Federal Power Act
  • FERC’s handling of the MOPR proceeding is arbitrary, capricious, and inconsistent with reasoned decision making; and
  • FERC’s MOPR Order improperly reconsiders and upholds findings from its June 2018 Order while failing to address timely petitions for rehearing that order.

Additionally, the Clean Energy Associations’ Request for Rehearing asks FERC to:

  • Clarify that the MOPR Order does not apply to certain voluntary renewable energy credits (RECs); and
  • Clarify that it does not consider a property tax abatement to be a state subsidy.

Select quotes from the Clean Energy Associations’ Request for Rehearing include:

  • “The Commission offers a cavalier and factually inaccurate justification for the Order.” (p.9)
  • “[T]he Order goes beyond the precedent on which the Commission relies because it has no other precedent for which it can reach.” (p. 9)
  • “The Order, with little explanation, drastically and arbitrarily expanded the application of the MOPR to the point where it ‘could potentially apply to any conceivable state effort to shape the generation mix.’” (p.28)
  • “Simply put, if the Commission cannot craft a replacement rate that would make sense under its flawed premise, it must withdraw that premise.” (p.43)

For a copy of the joint filing click here.

About AEE:
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.

About ACORE:
Founded in 2001, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is the nation’s premier pan-renewable organization uniting finance, policy and technology to accelerate the transition to a renewable energy economy. For more information, please visit www.acore.org.

About AWEA:
AWEA is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. We represent 1,000 member companies and over 114,000 jobs in the U.S. economy, serving as a powerful voice for how wind works for America. Members include global leaders in wind power and energy development, turbine manufacturing, and component and service suppliers. They gather each year at the Western Hemisphere’s largest wind energy event, the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, next in Denver, June 1-4, 2020. WINDPOWER 2020 will be housed within CLEANPOWER, the new exhibition hub for utility-scale renewable energy, bringing together wind power, solar power, and energy storage industries. Find information about wind energy on the AWEA website. Gain insight into industry issues on AWEA's blog, Into the Wind. And please join us on Facebook and follow @AWEA on Twitter and LinkedIn

About SEIA®: 
Celebrating its 46th anniversary in 2020, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, which now employs more than 242,000 Americans. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to build jobs and diversity, champion the use of cost-competitive solar in America, remove market barriers and educate the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.

Topics: Press Releases