New Jersey explores opportunities - Smart Energy Decisions

Finance, Regulation  -  April 6, 2020

NJ explores alternatives to PJM

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities launched March 27 an investigation into the best methods for the state to reach its carbon-free goal by 2050 in response to the FERC’s December decision to expand the Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR).

According to Utility Dive, Gov. Phil Murphy accused FERC of attempting to support fossil fuel interests through the expanded MOPR in his clean energy plan released in January. This new strategy would allow the state to consider alternatives to participation in PJM Interconnection’s capacity market, such as developing a Fixed Resource Requirement (FRR) approach or requiring load-serving entities to deliver higher percentages of carbon-free energy, for example.

"What FERC is trying to push on PJM, is to penalize states that put a price on carbon," Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, told Utility Dive. "We're going to be targeted to pay more for electricity and use that money to subsidize dirty fossil fuels. ... We've done a lot of work in this state to move forward with renewable energy and energy efficiency and to reduce carbon. And this flies in the face of 20 years of New Jersey policy."

The investigation now underway will determine if an FRR alternative would satisfy the state’s resource adequacy needs and if it could be used to achieve New Jersey’s clean energy goals.

The investigation will accept comments through April 29 and is expected to conclude in the third quarter of 2020.

"Taking control of our own resource mix may be the only way to stop the Trump Administration's attempts to prop up fossil fuels to the detriment of our clean energy program," NJ Board of Public Utilities President Joseph Fiordaliso said in a statement. "We will do everything in our power to prevent that from happening.”

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