Update on FERC’s Minimum Offer Price Rule Order

On Monday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission received a flood of lawsuits from a wide variety of groups, such as public and municipal power groups and environmental groups, potentially affected by the controversial MOPR order. Last Thursday, FERC upheld most of their ruling by a 3-1 vote that was proposed last December which triggered the onslaught of lawsuits. The order will not be applicable to resources obtained through voluntary Renewable Energy Credits supplied by private companies, or resources implemented as a result of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

The electric cooperatives and the municipal power groups argued that they fall “within the State Subsidy definition because they are created by state law, or, in the case of municipal utilities, are a subdivision or agency of the state, and thus are appropriately treated as units of state or local government.” FERC outlined in its rejection of the American Public Power Association’s request for rehearing that “even through an arms-length transaction through a third party, public power entities cannot engage… without triggering the MOPR.”

FERC has still not approved the PJM’s Interconnection compliance filing that was submitted in March, which would lower the floor prices for certain resources, including nuclear power. It is still uncertain how this order will affect the recently passed Ohio Clean Air Program, also known as HB 6, but the outcome of FERC’s decision could require Ohio legislators to take action to preserve Ohio’s nuclear energy. Other states such as Illinois filed a lawsuit against FERC and have threatened to leave PJM all together.

In the meantime, FERC will continue to mull over PJM’s compliance filing and consider next steps in the MOPR order.