FERC pressured to revist order targeting renewables

Source: By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner • Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2020

FERC PRESSURED TO REVISIT ORDER TARGETING RENEWABLES: A coalition of clean energy groups called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Wednesday to revisit its controversial December order to raise payments to fossil fuel plants in the PJM power market to combat state policies that subsidize renewables and nuclear.

The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), American Wind Energy Association, Solar Energy Industries Association, and Advanced Energy Economy filed a joint request for rehearing and suggested they would sue if FERC does not change course.

“FERC’s MOPR Order in the PJM capacity market actually bars consumers from paying less money for cleaner power,” said ACORE President and CEO Greg Wetstone. “It is a poorly disguised effort to undermine the success that cost-effective renewable energy has enjoyed in competitive electricity markets, and on every state’s authority to decide for itself where its electric power is generated.”

The groups argue the order violates the Federal Power Act by interfering with states rights to choose its energy mix.

“If left uncorrected, FERC’s MOPR Order is certain to be challenged in court, and will likely be withdrawn by future commissioners,” Wetstone said.

PJM is not content either: The grid operator called on FERC to rewrite portions of its order, warning that some states that subsidize clean energy could decide to remove their power sectors from PJM, creating inefficiencies in the market, unless FERC allows individual plants to opt out.

The order “does not maintain the careful balance followed by prior FERC orders and, in fact, disrupts the balance that has successfully worked to accommodate the interests of states and integrated utilities,” PJM wrote to FERC.