Clean Energy Sector Disappointed in FERC’s MOPR Decision

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today largely rejected the clean energy sector’s Request for Rehearing on its order to impose a Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) in the PJM capacity market. While clarifying that voluntary RECs are not considered by the Commission to be a state subsidy, FERC otherwise affirmed its December 2019 decision.
In their January joint Request for Rehearing(Opens in a new window), Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said they strongly oppose instituting the MOPR because it unjustifiably interferes with state decisions to bring low-cost and reliable clean energy to their communities.

Following are statements in response to today’s decision:

Jeff Dennis, Managing Director and General Counsel, Advanced Energy Economy

“FERC’s decision to deny rehearing will only increase the growing tension and costly misalignment between state clean energy policies and federally regulated wholesale markets. This decision reaffirms the misguided position that the states’ lawful exercise of their authority to regulate in-state generation facilities and the environmental impacts of power sector emissions must be ‘mitigated’ rather than accommodated. As states and consumers continue to choose advanced energy technologies to meet their clean energy and environmental goals, FERC should turn its attention to ensuring that the wholesale markets reflect these legitimate choices, rather than seeking to exclude them.”  

Gregory Wetstone, President and CEO, American Council on Renewable Energy: 

“This is a deeply disappointing decision that undermines state policies designed to accelerate the transition to pollution-free, renewable power. While we are encouraged by today’s acknowledgement that voluntary RECs are an appropriate market tool, these last-minute clarifications only highlight the lack of reasoned decision-making behind the MOPR. FERC is financially penalizing American consumers for the clean energy they want and deserve to bail out increasingly uneconomic fossil fuel generators. As a result, we will be exploring our options to ensure that state policies are respected and renewable deployment moves forward.”

Amy Farrell, Senior Vice President, Government & Public Affairs, American Wind Energy Association: 

“This decision intrudes on states’ authority to determine the fuel mix within their own borders, undermining policies aimed at moving toward a cleaner, more cost-effective, and more reliable electric system for their residents. While we remain opposed to the MOPR, we are hopeful that FERC will approve the pending PJM MOPR compliance filing, which better recognizes the important value that renewable energy can provide in a competitive capacity market.”

Katherine Gensler, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association:

“In largely rejecting this rehearing request, FERC is undermining PJM’s competitive market and is standing in the way of states’ ability to choose low-cost clean energy. We were pleased that FERC preserves the opportunity for voluntary REC contracts. MOPR is a wrongheaded policy, but markets do need certainty. We again urge FERC to act quickly to approve PJM’s recent compliance filing and restore annual capacity market auctions.”