N.J. regulator threatens to pull out of PJM power market
The president of New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities is threatening to pull his state out of the PJM Interconnection, the 13-state regional transmission organization stretching from Maryland to Illinois.
Joseph Fiordaliso says he is frustrated by the lack of coordination between the RTO and its member states. Fiordaliso, who was installed as BPU president by Gov. Phil Murphy (D) earlier this year, says he would prefer to work with PJM to improve communication between the RTO and its member states, but is preparing to leave PJM in the event coordination does not improve.
“I’ve asked staff to research that,” Fiordaliso said in an interview Tuesday. “But there are a lot of options on the table. That is an option of last resort. My top priority, my preference, I want to work collaboratively with PJM.”
Fiordaliso’s comments, first reported in an interview with RTO Insider, came at a time of heightened tensions among states, power companies, PJM and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
State lawmakers have increasingly strayed into the power sector in recent years to stave off the retirement of struggling nuclear plants and to advance climate policies. Murphy signed a bill in May that provides $300 million annually to New Jersey’s nuclear fleet while boosting the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 35 percent by 2025 and 50 by 2030 (Energywire, May 24).
That has raised concerns from some electricity companies and federal regulators, who worry state subsidies are distorting wholesale power markets. Last week, FERC rejected PJM’s plan to overhaul its capacity market, essentially saying state-subsidized power plants will need to choose between their subsidy and participating in the market for reserve power (Energywire, July 2).
Fiordaliso said his angst was not prompted by any one issue, but more by a general lack of communication.