Monday, February 18, 2019

CORRECTED: FERC Seeks More Info on CPV Plant’s Ownership

By Rory D. Sweeney

Competitive Power Ventures must provide additional information to prove it adequately mitigated market power to continue making market-based sales at its newly opened Towantic Energy Center, FERC ruled Thursday (ER13-343-008, et al.).

FERC’s ruling came in response to CPV’s triennial market power update, which it filed on June 30, 2017, for Towantic, a 785-MW generator in Oxford, Ct., and three other gas-fired plants in CPV’s Northeast region.

CPV FERC pension funds

CPV Towantic Energy Center in early May, with construction nearly complete. | CPV

The commission’s market-based rate rules require applicants to provide information regarding affiliates and upstream ownership. It considers as affiliates any entity that owns at least 10% of the outstanding voting securities of the applicant.

Two pension funds indirectly own more than 10% of Towantic, but CPV argued that they are only allowed to vote 9% of their shares in an upstream entity. FERC said that doesn’t account for their entire ownership.

“Because the pension funds are included among the stockholders whose votes determine how the votes of the excess shares will be allocated, the sum of votes by the pension funds of their 9% of the shares plus the proportional vote of their excess shares gives the pension funds an effective vote greater than 10%,” the commission said.

It instructed the applicants to update their horizontal and vertical market power analysis with their affiliates’ generation and transmission assets and inputs to electric power production. FERC gave them 30 days to comply.

The updated market power analysis included Towantic and the 680-MW CPV Valley in Wawayanda, N.Y., both of which began operating this year and were granted market-based rate authority (MBRA) in March 2016 (ER16-700, ER16-701). (See CPV: Subsidies, not Gas Fears, Challenge for New Plants.)

The other plants are the 725-MW CPV Woodbridge Energy Center in Keasbey, N.J., and the 725-MW CPV St. Charles Energy Center in Waldorf, Md., which were granted MBRA in February 2013 (ER13-342, ER13-343).

[Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that FERC was questioning the ownership of all four CPV plants and that they did not already have MBRA.]