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“FERC Order Could Bar Offshore Wind From U.S. Power Market”

“A contentious order that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued last year could block offshore wind developers from the nation's largest capacity market, analysts say.

While the nascent offshore industry is likely to recoup lost revenue from the pricing mechanism, FERC's move will undermine efforts to slash carbon dioxide emissions by extending a lifeline to fossil fuel generators that would otherwise have retired, according to experts. Now, states with ambitious clean energy goals say they are grappling with how to respond.

“This really matters … because it prevents offshore wind from displacing fossil plants,” said Tom Rutigliano, a senior advocate for the Sustainable FERC Project.

FERC's 2019 decision to expand the minimum offer price rule, or MOPR, in the PJM Interconnection LLC capacity market — which spans 13 Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia — raises floor prices for state-subsidized generation (Energywire, Jan. 7). Proponents of the rule, including Republican FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee, say it levels the energy playing field for power producers. FERC has also granted exemptions, which has eased concerns among solar and nuclear developers that worried the rule would prevent them from competing with fossil fuel plants.”

Heather Richards and Arianna Skibell report for Energywire May 13, 2020.