Public Service Commission Joins Lawsuit Over Federal Energy Order

New Jersey and Maryland energy regulators are suing their federal counterpart over a recent decision to uphold a controversial order they issued in December 2019 that could have broad impacts on the future of clean energy in the region.

The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) has joined the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) in a lawsuit challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commisison’s (FERC) divisive minimum offer price rule (MOPR) change issued in a December order. Earlier this month FERC denied requests from both state regulators and the clean energy sector to reconsider the most controversial part of the rule change that would place more burden on renewable energy generators in PJM’s capacity market.

When FERC issued the initial order in December, Maryland’s Public Service Commission signaled their disapproval in a statement expressing concern over the impact it would have on current and future renewable energy generation development. Since then, New Jersey has threatened to leave the capacity market, and FERC has held firm on its decision.

This has led both the PSC and NJBPU to file a petition for review in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. They believe that FERC is overstepping its authority through the rule change by regulating areas left to states and failing to consider the cost of the order.

From New Jersey’s press release:

“For too long, FERC has ignored the impact of climate change and the importance of moving to a clean energy economy,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso.

“Further, FERC’s decision to define the Board’s annual Basic Generation Service auction as a state subsidy is a direct attack on electric competition and is an unwarranted intrusion into how states manage their retail electricity markets,” President Fiordaliso

Useful Links:

New Jersey Press Release

Petition for Review

Prior Conduit Street Coverage:

Maryland Public Service Commission Disappointed With Federal Energy Order

New Jersey Could Exit PJM’s Capacity Market

FERC Denies Request to Reconsider Controversial Order