FERC approves plan to limit MMU's authority

WASHINGTON, D.C. - FERC approved a PJM compliance filing that cuts down on the role the RTO's Market Monitoring Unit (MMU) will play in capping resources offered into the Reliability Pricing Model.

The commission found previously that the RPM settlement had granted the monitor too much discretion in mitigating RPM offers and ordered PJM to fix the situation.

Resources that now fail the market power screen can either submit financial data on actual costs to PJM - or accept a default bid developed by the market monitor.

But once the changes go through, that default bid will be set by the PJM tariff because FERC believes the old system granted too much power to the monitor.

Bids from net capacity buyers that come in below 80% of the cost of new entry (CONE) of applicable asset classes or 70% below CONE without asset classes will be subject to review, rejection and substitution.

The monitor will give the bidder a chance for cost justification and if the explanation isn't satisfactory, the price will be set at 90% of the established asset class or 80% of CONE outside one of the asset classes.

The net asset classes will be set at zero for baseload, hydroelectric plants, upgrades at existing facilities and for any generation built in response to a state mandate.

PJM is setting the CONE for combustion turbine generation at $61,726/mw-year and $84,826/mw-year for combined cycle generation.

Some of the interested parties in the case argued that the change would eliminate market monitor participation entirely.

The MMU itself proposed that it come up with the CONEs each year and file them with FERC but the commission rejected that - saying only PJM was authorized to make such filings.

The market monitor will continue to play an important role in market power mitigation of RPM auctions since that office will still verify that resource-specific caps are calculated appropriately, said FERC.

Commissioner Suedeen Kelly concurred with the order, adding that she would prefer that PJM make the assumption that units are coming back from being mothballed for a year rather than coming out of retirement permanently.

She was more critical of the proposal - in the NPRM on organized markets – to cut market monitors out of energy market mitigation.


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