Electricity Markets

APPA, AMP seek court review of FERC orders involving PJM MOPR expansion

The American Public Power Association and American Municipal Power (AMP) are asking an appeals court to review Federal Energy Regulatory Commission orders that responded to requests for rehearing and clarification of prior Commission decisions that expanded the application of the minimum offer price rule (MOPR) in PJM Interconnection’s capacity construct. 

At its April 16 open meeting, FERC issued orders in response to requests for rehearing and clarification of its June 2018 and December 2019 orders that expanded the application of the MOPR in PJM’s capacity construct. 

In its December 2019 order, FERC found that the MOPR should apply to new public power self-supply resources, taking the position that the public power business model is a form of “state subsidy” for generation resources.  APPA and AMP have been sharply critical of that conclusion, arguing that new public power resources will run the risk of not clearing the capacity auction (even after they have initially cleared an auction), causing public power utilities and their customers to face the risk of paying twice for that resource every year and directly interfering with public power’s fundamental business model.

Similarly, state-sponsored resources will be subject to the MOPR, raising the same risks for the states and impeding the states’ rights to make their own resource choices, APPA and AMP have argued.

In the orders approved by FERC on April 16, it denied rehearing of the earlier orders while also granting or denying various requests for clarification. 

APPA had been among the parties that requested rehearing of the both the June 2018 and December 2019 orders. The Public Power Association of New Jersey joined APPA and AMP in these requests for rehearing.

FERC Commissioner Richard Glick dissented from both orders approved at the agency’s April 16 meeting.

Glick referred to the PJM MOPR rehearing/clarification orders as “stunningly awful” and predicted that appeals of the PJM orders would be successful.

APPA and AMP on April 20 filed a petition for review with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that seeks review of FERC’s orders.