FERC investigating MISO auction over market manipulation allegations
A jump in prices sparked concerns — and launched a probe — into major Texas-based utility Dynegy’s actions in the April MISO’s capacity auction. Consumer watchdog Public Citizen alleged that the generation company withheld several power plants from the auction or bid them at non-competitive prices.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined up with Public Citizen to ask federal regulators to halt the subsequent rate increase and investigate the utility. Several other stakeholders, including Ameren Illinois and Southwestern Electric Co-op joined up, saying the spike violated the Federal Power Act’s requirement that prices must be just and reasonable.
Dynegy defended its actions, claiming it “offered all of its megawatts into the MISO auction with no physical or economic withholding in accordance with MISO tariffs and as approved by the Independent Market Monitor.”
MISO and its Market Monitor also fended off the allegations saying that the auction followed the commission-approved rules, RTO Insider reports.
“Those higher prices are the source of complainants’ discontent. However, MISO conducted the auction exactly as required under its Tariff, and none of the complainants provides any evidence to the contrary. Accordingly, these complaints should be dismissed with prejudice,” MISO said in its filing.