ACORE calls for quick elimination of an anti-renewable rule in New England


ACORE has flagged that a proposal by New England transmission grid operator ISO-NE to remove the “minimum offer price rule” from its capacity market in 2025 represents a two-year delay from ISO-NE’s plan last May to end the rule in 2023. 

The rule, known as MOPR, applies only to new generation resources on the grid. It sets a minimum price for new resources to offer capacity on the forward capacity market. Existing generation resources can box out new resources from the capacity market by bidding capacity at a price below the MOPR minimum.  

In New England, renewables and storage make up 96% of proposed generation but only 10% of existing generation.  

Extending the MOPR rule for New England capacity markets will “keep clean energy from competing in the regional capacity markets for another two years,” said ACORE President and CEO Gregory Wetstone. He said the “anti-renewable” rule should be “quickly removed.”  

ISO-NE announced it will file its plan to extend MOPR through 2025 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the coming weeks. 

While solar alone may have a modest year-round capacity value in New England, when both solar and storage are present on a regional grid, each increases the capacity value of the other, said an ACORE report last November. Proposed storage additions in New England nearly match proposed solar additions. 

FERC Chairman Richard Glick said at a conference last year that transmission system operators should be allowed “to come up with an approach that’s different on the current MOPR rules around the country…but to the extent they don’t come up with something, I think we have an obligation, under the Federal Power Act, to act where rates and terms of these markets are unjust and unreasonable.” 

In the 13-state region served by transmission system operator PJM, the MOPR rule increases PJM’s market clearing price for capacity, costing electricity consumers at least $1.1 billion per year, as estimated in a 2020 study by consulting firm Grid Strategies. 

ACORE’s membership includes renewables developers and manufacturers, institutional investors, corporate offtakers, and “the country’s most forward-leaning utilities,” says the group’s website.

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