PJM Issues Compliance Filing with FERC on Minimum Price Rule

In response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s controversial Minimum Offer Price Rule order in December, PJM submitted a 536-page compliance filing last week in an effort to address some stakeholder concerns.

The FERC order raises the floor price for any new state subsidized resources who bid into the wholesale market in an attempt to keep the market competitive. After the ruling, Chairman of FERC Board, Neil Chatterjee stated, “The commission has a statutory obligation, and exclusive jurisdiction, to ensure the competitiveness of the markets we oversee. An important aspect of competitive markets is that they provide a level playing field for all resources, and this order ensures just that within the PJM footprint.”

This order would affect the Ohio Clean Air Program, also known as HB 6, which was signed back in July by Gov. DeWine to financially assist Ohio’s two nuclear power plants to keep them operational.

Back in January, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio filed a request for a rehearing of FERC’s MOPR order. The arguments in the PUCO’s rehearing filing claimed that the order:

  • Violates statutory limitations on federal regulation by attempting to regulate generation choices of some states;
  • Does not provide evidence of a problem supported by state supported resources and will likely result in higher wholesale capacity costs;
  • Is “ambiguous” and includes factual errors regarding Ohio’s nuclear subsidy law (HB 6);
  • Is inconsistent with the Department of Energy’s effort to support nuclear facilities.

To allay stakeholders’ concerns, PJM’s compliance filing allows projects to propose lower MOPR floor prices on a case-by-case basis. The filing also permits reducing the overall adjusted floor prices for clean energy resources to clear upcoming bid auctions. Due to the size and importance of the filing, PJM has asked for a 35-day comment period. In the meantime, FERC will mull over the pending applications for rehearing on the original MOPR directive.

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce will continue to follow the MOPR order as it makes its way through the process.