Chatterjee opposes MOPR as ‘standard solution’ for state policies
FERC’s view of paragraph 22 is likely to affect how it views pending market reforms from other grid operators — not least the PJM Interconnection, which has both a MOPR proposal and two-part capacity market plan currently pending before the commission.
The paragraph would establish MOPRs as the “standard solution” in the absence of other reforms to adapt electricity markets to state energy policies like renewable portfolio standards and nuclear subsidies. MOPR rules set a minimum price under which resources may not bid into the market, limiting the price effect of subsidies.
The paragraph was controversial from the release of FERC’s decision approving ISO-NE’s Competitive Auctions with Subsidized Power Resources (CASPR) proposal.
The plan was approved 3-2, with Chatterjee, McIntyre and LaFleur supporting it. But LaFleur and Glick opposed paragraph 22 in separate statements, saying it would go too far to counteract state policies.
Chatterjee’s silence on the matter had led some market observers to assume he did not oppose the paragraph. That’s a sentiment he hoped to correct in his appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week.
“Quite frankly it was after we issued CASPR when I realized that because I hadn’t issued a concurrence people were assuming that I then supported the MOPR concept laid out in paragraph 22,” Chatterjee told Utility Dive the day after the hearing. “Now, looking back on it, I should have seen that they would assume that I therefore supported that language as it was written. I should have done a concurrence.”
Chatterjee said that while he never supported paragraph 22, he concluded approving CASPR was more important and the provision was necessary to secure its passage.
“The three of us who were going to support [CASPR] had to work together to have it pass, and at the end of the day, to me, it was more important that it get out the door than I get caught up on the specifics of language,” he said. “So while I would have preferred paragraph 22 to be edited out or edited in some degree, in the end, it was necessary to secure the three votes to pass.”
LaFleur expressed a similar opinion in her concurrence, writing that her opposition to paragraph 22 was a separate issue from the two-part capacity auction proposal. She reiterated that sentiment to Utility Dive on Wednesday.