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Utility Dive: Renewables Industry Questions Whether Duke, Southern SEEM Proposal Would Limit Competition

Posted by Catherine Morehouse on Mar 17, 2021

Utility Dive outlined the Southwest Energy Exchange Market (SEEM) proposal, highlighting AEE and others’ joint comments on the plan's shortcomings. Read excerpts below and the full story here.  

Many questions remain unanswered on a proposal by Southeast utilities to form a centralized energy exchange market, stakeholders said in comments filed with federal regulators on Monday, including if it will facilitate more competition, or instead allow utilities to strengthen their position in the region...SEIA, AEE, the Advanced Energy Buyers Group and the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance in joint comments argue that what the utilities are proposing is actually a "loose" power pool because it proposes to combine parts of the utilities' individual transmission systems, and it allows discounted transmission arrangements between parties "with special terms and conditions."

"Some Members of the SEEM Filing Entities have asserted that the SEEM Proposal is not a loose power pool," the groups write. "This is not the case." Because it meets the definition of a power pool laid out by FERC in its Order 888, intended to ensure nondiscriminatory access to transmission, in order to operate, SEEM utilities need to file an open access transmission tariff with the commission.

Even if the commission ultimately does not ask the SEEM utilities to file additional tariffs, the proposal still faces significant shortcomings on transparency, governance and more, the clean energy groups wrote. Currently, membership is restricted to transmission-owning utilities, which only serves to exacerbate their monopoly status in the Southeast markets, and won't help improve competition, the groups wrote.

"This governance structure is not just and reasonable, not only because it excludes whole classes of interested parties from any participation in governance ... but also because it allows for control entirely by vertically integrated utilities," the groups wrote...

Read the full story here.  

Topics: AEE In The News