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Utility Dive: PJM MOPR Compliance Plan Allays Renewable Sector Concerns of Being Shut Out of Capacity Auctions

Posted by Catherine Morehouse on Mar 19, 2020

Utility Dive covered PJM Interconnection's compliance filing with FERC proposing implementation plans for FERC's  Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) order, quoting AEEs Jeff Dennis. Read excerpts below and the entire UD piece here. 

PJM Interconnection on Wednesday issued a compliance filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that largely satisfied some of the biggest critics of the regulatory body's controversial Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) order. FERC's December order attempted to effectively raise the floor prices for state subsidized resources bidding into the wholesale market, eliciting concerns that the new rules could effectively nullify state policies attempting to increase deployment of new zero-emissions resources.

But Wednesday's filing quelled some of the concerns initially raised by the renewables industry, allowing projects to advocate for lower MOPR floor prices on a case-by-case basis and lowering the overall adjusted floor prices for clean energy technologies to clear future bid auctions...

PJM's 536-page filing was a "phenomenal" attempt to assuage stakeholder concerns, Managing Director and General Counsel at Advanced Energy Economy Jeff Dennis told Utility Dive, despite flaws he and other clean energy stakeholders still see at the root of the FERC order.

"The FERC order issued in December significantly expanded the application of the MOPR used in PJM's capacity market," the grid operator said in a statement. Since then, "PJM has heard from every stakeholder sector, conducting nine formal stakeholder meetings."

PJM originally submitted the MOPR for FERC approval to address new natural gas resources coming into the market, where they expected the most market interference to come from. But FERC ended up applying the rule much more broadly, in a move that attempted to "level the playing field" across all resource types bidding into the capacity market... 

But several stakeholders, including the grid operator itself, expressed concerns over FERC's response and its potential impacts on the market.

"MOPR, like the rest of the capacity market, is designed around the economics of natural gas, and therefore doesn't create a level playing field for renewables," said Dennis.

PJM raised similar concerns in its comments filed with FERC in January, and in its Wednesday filing seemed to largely act to the extent that it could to not disadvantage wind and solar in its market, clean energy industry groups said...

Read the entire UD piece here. 

Topics: AEE In The News