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Utility Dive: Southern, Duke SEEM proposal takes effect as FERC deadlocks on market plan

Posted by Ethan Howland on Oct 14, 2021

Utility Dive cited AEE's Jeff Dennis on SEEM taking effect. Read snippets below and the full article here

A proposed trading platform for 15 utilities across the Southeast — the Southeast Energy Exchange Market (SEEM) — took effect after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission again deadlocked on a major policy issue...

Two weeks after deadlocking on the PJM Interconnection’s revised minimum offer price rule, FERC, which has four sitting commissioners, was unable to get a majority to agree on another major policy issue.

"Commissioners are divided two against two as to the lawfulness of the change," FERC said in a notice released Wednesday. As a result, SEEM took effect on Oct. 12. 

SEEM will make the existing bilateral wholesale electricity market in the Southeast more efficient, eventually producing up to $150 million in annual savings as renewable energy levels in its footprint rise, Southern Co. said when it proposed the market in February on behalf of utilities in the region (ER21-1111)...

Besides Southern, other initial SEEM participants are expected to include Dominion Energy South Carolina, Duke Energy Carolinas, Duke Energy Progress, PPL Corp.'s Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities, the Tennessee Valley Authority as well as cooperative and municipal utilities.

SEEM does nothing to change the status quo, with its utility backers controlling nearly all the generation across the region, according to Jeff Dennis, managing director and general counsel for Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a trade group that opposed the proposal. 

"They've created a platform that mostly works for their generation assets," Dennis said. "It really does nothing to give customers access to more supplies to improve competition among generating resources in the region, or to improve access to the transmission system." 

Parties in the case will likely ask FERC to reconsider its decision, Dennis said, noting AEE is considering its options. Rehearing requests are a required step before asking an appeals court to review a commission decision...

There are other issues at FERC that likely have 2-2 splits between commissioners, but unlike the SEEM proposal, the agency doesn’t have deadlines for making decisions in those cases, according to Dennis.

Read the full article here

Topics: AEE In The News