The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has largely rejected the clean energy sector’s Request for Rehearing on its order to impose a Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) in the PJM capacity market.

FERC rejects US clean energy sectors request for rehearing MOPR order

Courtesy of NREL

FERC affirmed its December 2019 decision while clarifying that Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are not considered by the Commission to be a state subsidy.

In their January joint Request for Rehearing, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said they strongly oppose instituting the MOPR because it unjustifiably interferes with state decisions to bring low-cost and reliable clean energy to their communities.

“FERC’s decision to deny rehearing will only increase the growing tension and costly misalignment between state clean energy policies and federally regulated wholesale markets” said Jeff Dennis, Managing Director and General Counsel, Advanced Energy Economy. “This decision reaffirms the misguided position that the states’ lawful exercise of their authority to regulate in-state generation facilities and the environmental impacts of power sector emissions must be ‘mitigated’ rather than accommodated. As states and consumers continue to choose advanced energy technologies to meet their clean energy and environmental goals, FERC should turn its attention to ensuring that the wholesale markets reflect these legitimate choices, rather than seeking to exclude them.”

Gregory Whetstone, President and CEO, American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), added that the last-minute clarifications only highlight the lack of reasoned decision-making behind the MOPR and that FERC is financially penalising American consumers for the clean energy they want and deserve in order to bail out increasingly uneconomic fossil fuel generators.

Mr Whetstone said that as a result of the decision, ACORE will be exploring its options in order to ensure that state policies are respected and renewable deployment moves forward.

Amy Farrell, Senior Vice President, Government & Public Affairs, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said that the decision intrudes on states’ authority to determine the fuel mix within their own borders, undermining policies aimed at moving toward a cleaner, more cost-effective, and more reliable electric system for their residents. She added that while AWEA remains opposed to the MOPR, it is hopeful that FERC will approve the pending PJM MOPR compliance filing, which better recognises the important value that renewable energy can provide in a competitive capacity market.

 

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