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POLITICO Pro: PJM to ask FERC for Rehearing on Pricing Order as Nukes, Renewables Plot Exit

Posted by Gavin Bade on Jan 8, 2020

POLITICO covered FERC's proposed pricing rule and PJM's ask for a rehearing on the MOPR, quoting AEE's Jeff Dennis. Read excerpts below and the entire POLITICO piece here (sub. req.)

Officials in the nation's largest power market are planning to ask FERC to reconsider or clarify parts of its decision to block renewable energy sources that receive state subsidies from participating in long-term electricity auctions. FERC last month instituted a strict price floor that will block bids from subsidized wind, solar and nuclear plants in the 13-state PJM capacity market. Owners of coal and gas generation told a meeting of PJM members that the decision, which would boost prices for their power, will provide them with clear price signals to invest in new generation or extend the life of existing plants. PJM CEO Manu Asthana, making his first public appearance at the meeting, said his staff will use today’s meeting to “listen before we decide our next steps.” Rehearing requests are due Jan. 21.

Nuclear-heavy PJM states like Illinois and New Jersey have signaled they may pull their utility sectors out of the capacity market completely in response to the FERC order, and plant owners pushed PJM to allow them time to do so. Nuclear generator Exelon said it could take states more than a year to respond, and proposed to delay its next auction, originally slated for May 2019, until early 2021. Fossil generators opposed that call, which would place the auction only a year before the expected delivery date for the generation capacity, instead of the customary three.

Officials from gas generator Calpine, whose complaint helped spark FERC’s investigation into PJM’s market, said holding the auction in the second or third quarter of 2020 would give states “plenty of time...” Clean energy providers urged PJM to clarify that the so-called “MOPR” would not extend to voluntary purchases of renewables, like a corporation inking a bilateral deal with a solar provider. That would let voluntary resources continue accessing capacity market revenues, allowing them to offer lower prices to companies.

“FERC pretty clearly does not want to subject voluntary bilateral transactions to MOPR,” said Jeff Dennis, general counsel at clean energy trade group Advanced Energy Economy. “Unfortunately [the order] has a little bit of confusing language about voluntary [renewable energy credits]. It doesn't say that voluntary RECs have to be subject to the MOPR, it says it can't distinguish them." Municipally owned utilities called the order a “clear attack” on their business model, saying FERC would block their plants from the market as well and force them to pay twice for capacity — once for their own “self-supply” plants, and again to meet the reliability rules for the PJM market...

Read the entire POLITICO piece here (sub. req.)

Topics: AEE In The News