Maxim to FERC: Prosecute or Drop Probe
A power generator fined $5 million for allegedly cheating ISO-NE wants federal regulators to drop two other allegations or combine them with the original complaint (IN15-4).
FERC fined Maxim Power in May for overcharging ISO-NE by offering into the day-ahead market with a price for oil-fired generation when in fact it was burning cheaper natural gas. (See FERC Fines Maxim Power $5M in Switching Scheme.)
FERC filed suit July 1 in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts to enforce its penalty.
FERC’s suit followed a Notice of Alleged Violations in November that included two other alleged schemes: that the company gamed ISO-NE market mitigation rules in 2012 and 2013, and that it boosted its generators’ outputs during testing using “extraordinary measures” in order to collect inflated capacity payments from 2010 to 2013.
Those two allegations were not mentioned by the commission in its filings seeking to collect the fine.
On Wednesday, Maxim attorney William S. Scherman sent a letter asking four FERC commissioners to add the “unpursued claims” to their federal court suit or confirm that they are no longer pursuing them. Commission Chairman Norman Bay, who headed the Office of Enforcement during the cases’ investigations, has recused himself in the matter.
“Maxim Power should not be forced to litigate piecemeal in federal district court,” Scherman wrote. “This would not only be inefficient and burdensome but also significantly add to Maxim Power’s litigation costs. As the commission knows, all companies consider litigation costs as part of their case assessment. But intentionally seeking to drive up a private entity’s litigation costs is not a reasonable litigation strategy.”
Scherman asked the commission to take action by Sept. 3.