Proposal from New England’s grid operator could disadvantage new clean energy sources, prop up fossil fuel generators, delay climate solutions, and increase electricity bills for households
Boston (April 14, 2022) – In front of the offices of Independent System Operator of New England (ISO-NE), Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today called on federal regulators to reject and require reform of the recent proposal sent by New England’s grid operator to unjustifiably disadvantage clean energy in favor of dirty fossil fuels and unnecessarily drive up energy bills for New England households and prevent renewable energy and energy storage from qualifying for wholesale electricity auctions. In a letter sent today to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Senator Markey outlined the harmful consequences the proposal – also called the Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) - could have for New England ratepayers and for the state’s climate and clean energy goals, including giving fossil fuels preferential treatment over clean energy, increasing the overall costs for consumers, creating rules that unfairly limit competition, and preventing renewable energy and storage projects from scaling up as quickly as possible. FERC commissioners have already signaled a preference for ISO-NE to eliminate the proposal and do so expeditiously.
“It should come as no surprise that three New England natural gas plant operators developed what became the ISO-NE proposal,” the Senators write in their letter to FERC Chairman Richard Glick. “By requiring the immediate reform of the MOPR, FERC can ensure that all of New England is able to realize the climate and cost benefits of a renewable energy transition as soon as possible. In doing so, FERC will signal that renewable energy should be allowed to fully and freely compete in wholesale markets. This will ultimately lead to lower prices for household customers and facilitate our overdue and necessary transition to a decarbonized electricity grid.”
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.
Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have also signed onto the letter.
In February 2019, Senators Markey and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I) led their colleagues in a letter to FERC to finalize guidance on a rule to grow a more flexible and resilient grid by allowing Americans to connect their rooftop solar, wind, and energy storage devices to the electrical grid.