By Christen Smith
FERC said Monday that the Independent Market Monitor’s filing of complaints regarding PJM’s fuel-cost policies doesn’t violate Tariff conditions or commission rulings, ending — for now, at least — a long-simmering debate over the extent of the IMM’s authority (ER16-372).
The commission denied the RTO’s request for clarification regarding the Monitor’s ability to file complaints regarding issues besides market seller offers in capacity auctions.
The Monitor had protested PJM’s August 2016 proposed Tariff revision regarding the fuel-cost policies that generators submit showing how they calculated their cost-based offers. It said the RTO was trying to usurp its authority to regulate the policies. (See PJM Attempting to Usurp Market Mitigation Role, Monitor Says.)
FERC ultimately sided with PJM in February 2017, saying the changes didn’t alter the fundamental roles of the RTO and the Monitor, “but rather [they] codify the role of the IMM in advising and providing input to PJM in its determination of whether to approve a fuel-cost policy submitted by a market seller.”
But FERC also rejected PJM’s proposal that any disputes between PJM and the Monitor be referred to the commission’s Office of Enforcement, saying that was the province of its administrative law judges.
When the RTO filed further changes on compliance in March, it also filed the clarification request, questioning whether the commission intended “to enable the IMM to initiate a complaint against PJM” when they disagreed over the policies.
“Although PJM is correct that its Tariff explicitly delineates one instance in which the IMM has the right to file a complaint with the commission, the inclusion of an express right to bring a complaint does not necessarily foreclose an entity’s general right to file complaints under Section 206 of the [Federal Power Act],” the commission said. “In any case, we need not reach that issue here because we are unpersuaded by PJM’s narrow reading of Attachment M” of its Tariff.
FERC accepted PJM’s March 2017 compliance filing in the same order. (See FERC Seeks More Details on PJM’s Fuel-Cost Policy Proposal.) The commission accepted the RTO’s clarifications on several issues, including:
Clearly specifying when a penalty for noncompliance with a fuel-cost policy would be terminated by PJM.
Allowing a new resource a 90-day time period before it submits its fuel-cost policy.
Specifying that a market seller may only update its minimum run time for the uncommitted hours in real time and that a market seller’s make-whole payment be based on the minimum run time specified at the time of commitment.
The Tariff and Operating Agreement revisions for the penalty structure became effective May 15, 2017, and the rest of the provisions Nov. 1, 2017.