Wednesday, March 20, 2019

2nd Circuit Hears New York ZEC Appeal

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday heard oral arguments in an appeal of a judge’s decision to dismiss a suit against New York’s zero-emission credits program.

In filing the appeal, the Electric Power Supply Association and members Dynegy, Eastern Generation and NRG Energy joined Roseton Generating and Selkirk Cogen Partners in arguing that some generators would lose millions in revenue because the subsidized nuclear plants would suppress NYISO capacity and energy prices.

New York ZEC Program NYISO

Indian Point Nuclear Plant

Judge Valerie Caproni, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, last year granted motions to dismiss the case by the Public Service Commission, the defendant, and intervenor Exelon, owner of the three nuclear plants that would receive ZEC payments (16-CV-8164). (See New York ZEC Suit Dismissed.)

ClearView Energy Partners issued a statement on Monday’s arguments saying that at least two of the three appellate judges appeared skeptical of petitioners’ pre-emption claims that the ZEC program infringes on FERC’s exclusive jurisdiction over wholesale markets.

Miles Farmer of the Natural Resources Defense Council said in a blog post that the 2nd Circuit will likely provide the final say on the validity of New York’s ZEC program under federal law.

New York’s Clean Energy Standard and its provisions for subsidies for nuclear plants are also being challenged in state court. The Albany County Supreme Court in January rejected the state’s motions to dismiss outright a lawsuit challenging the ZEC program. (See New York Court to Consider ZEC Challenge.)

— Michael Kuser