Thursday, December 14, 2017

Bay Blasts MOPR on Way Out the Door

By William Opalka

FERC on Friday again rebuffed generators’ request to apply ISO-NE’s minimum offer price rule (MOPR) to 200 MW of renewable generation that were granted an exemption in 2014 (ER14-1639-005).

Although the order mainly rehashed old arguments, it offered Commissioner Norman Bay one last chance to blast the MOPR, which he did in a six-and-a-half-page concurrence.

ferc norman bay mopr

Bay | © RTO Insider

The commission rejected a request by NextEra Energy Resources, Public Service Enterprise Group and NRG Energy that it rehear its April 2016 order upholding the exemption. The 2016 remand order came after the companies challenged the exemption in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. (See FERC Affirms ISO-NE’s MOPR Exemption for Renewables.)

The commission reiterated expert testimony and economic theory that it said indicated the renewables exemption was necessary to protect consumers from paying for excess capacity and did not suppress capacity prices. It said the results of Forward Capacity Auctions 9 and 10 in 2015 and 2016 — as well as the qualifying filing for FCA 11 on Feb. 6 — “substantiate the reasonableness of the commission’s original determination.”

Bay, whose last day at FERC was Friday, used the order to offer a parting shot at MOPR.

“Despite the best intentions of the commission, in my view, the MOPR has turned out to be unsound in principle and unworkable in practice,” Bay wrote. “No other market in the United States is subject to the same construct in which a federal agency reviews state action and imposes an administrative price floor on supply offers from certain resources that have received state support. This places the commission in direct and recurring conflict with the states, ignores the pervasiveness of state and federal policies that support resources in one fashion or another, and represents a significant intervention in the market that raises costs to consumers.”

Bay appended a similar statement to another order on Friday that endorsed a MOPR exemption for demand response resources in NYISO capacity auctions.

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