US federal energy regulator FERC has been accused of promoting fossil fuels after upholding a provision said to be hindering green energy’s involvement in New York state’s capacity market.
On Thursday, FERC was censored by green energy representatives after rejecting a complaint against the power mitigation regime, which applies to projects looking to take part in the installed capacity market (ICAP) auctions run by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO).
The so-called buyer-side mitigation measures set minimum offer prices to ensure those purchasing capacity cannot distort competition by “artificially suppressing” capacity prices. However, various associations have long argued the measures only serve to cripple New York’s renewable progress.
In a complaint filed against NYISO last July, state energy agencies NYSERDA and the New York Public Service Commission said the measures are “unjust, unreasonable, unduly discriminatory” and may prevent storage from growing under state-wide targets for 2025 (1.5GW) and 2030 (3GW).
The complaint was backed by the Energy Storage Association (ESA) – the trade body said the mitigation rule “directly interferes and conflicts with New York’s legitimate policy objectives” – but was, ultimately, quashed by the FERC decision made public this week.
The federal energy regulator said it was dismissing the complaint against NYISO because, among other reasons, it “does not agree” with the claim that subjecting storage to buyer-side mitigation rules limits its entry to the capacity market.
Storage, the FERC argued, can participate in the auctions same as “any other resources”. The regulator noted that the segment is not alone in facing mitigation measures – they apply to all energy projects in certain designated zones – and can be exempted if it meets certain criteria.