FERC Orders $15 Million Penalty in PJM Market Manipulation Case
Federal regulators ordered a Florida energy trader to pay $15 million in penalties and repay almost $1.3 million in profits for making riskless up-to-congestion trades in PJM to cash in on line-loss rebates.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission imposed the penalty July 2 against City Power Marketing, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and its founder K. Stephen Tsingas (IN15-5), ruling that they were guilty of market manipulation and making false and misleading statements to commission investigators.
The commission ordered City Power to pay $14 million and Tsingas to pay $1 million in civil penalties and disgorgement of $1,278,358 in unjust profits, plus interest.
Chairman Norman Bay, who headed the Office of Enforcement during the City Power investigation, did not participate in the order.
The commission said City Power cashed in on line-loss rebates — or marginal loss surplus allocations (MLSA) — through three types of UTC transactions: “round-trip” trades that canceled each other out; trades between import and export pricing points of the same PJM interface with equivalent prices (SOUTHIMP-SOUTHEXP); and trades between two PJM nodes that historically had a very small price spreads (NCMPAIMP-NCMPAEXP).