On March 9, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved an ISO-New England capacity market proposal that changes how clean energy resources supported by state policies can participate in the market. According to FERC, the new market design will maintain resource adequacy at just and reasonable rates while allowing state-supported resources to continue to participate.
In a partial dissent / partial concurrence, FERC Commissioner Glick strongly disagreed with the order’s suggestion that FERC must mitigate any effects that state-supported clean energy resources have on market prices. Glick writes that he “do[es] not believe that it is — or should be — the Commission’s mission to create an electricity market free from governmental programs aimed at legitimate policy considerations, such as clean air and combatting climate change.”
Citing Electricity Law Initiative Director Ari Peskoe’s article on FERC’s legal authority to integrate state clean energy policies into its markets, Glick explained that “given Congress’ design and, in particular, the allocation of jurisdiction over generation to the states, I believe that a Commission policy of ‘mitigating,’ rather than facilitating, state public policy preferences places the Commission in a role that Congress never intended it to play.”
Commissioner Glick’s dissent/concurrence will likely be cited by clean energy advocates as they push for market reforms that facilitate the achievement of clean energy and climate goals.