Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Wholesale Electricity Markets at a Crossroads? Examining PJM Market Designs from the Perspective of the States

Date and Time
Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Westin Columbus, 310 South High Street, Columbus, OH 43215


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Experts, state officials, and stakeholders from across the PJM Interconnect convened for a one-day workshop on September 28 to explore state energy and environmental policy objectives and what they mean for FERC-regulated wholesale markets.

Mark McCullough
Mark McCullough

This workshop featured multiple perspectives in panel sessions that explored ongoing challenges and recent proposals to make state policies and regional market design work together. Mark McCullough, executive vice president of generation of American Electric Power, served as the lunchtime keynote speaker.

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The workshop was hosted by:

Great Plains Institute Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions


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10 – 10:30 a.m. Registration and Coffee

10:30 – 10:40 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

10:40 – 12 p.m. State Policy Objectives and What they mean for FERC Regulated Wholesale Markets

What states and electricity consumers demand from the electric system has evolved significantly since the PJM Interconnection was established and the wholesale markets were designed. Many states have sought to increase the amount of renewables on the system or reduce emissions. Still others have acted to protect existing nuclear plants. This panel will examine a range of state policy objectives that fall outside the current market design and how they affect the PJM markets. What objectives do states have that are not reflected the PJM markets? Are some state policies or policy designs more compatible with the markets than others? Are there benefits to designing the markets to protect competitive prices for other resources or to reflect additional state goals?

Moderator: Doug Scott, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Great Plains Institute

Michael Dowd, Director, Air Division, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Asim Haque, Chairman, Ohio Public Utilities Commission

Andrew Place, Vice Chairman, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission

Susan Tierney, Senior Advisor, Analysis Group

12 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch and Keynote

Mark McCullough, Executive Vice President of Generation, AEP

1:30 – 2:50 p.m. State Policies and Regional Market Design: Making it Work Together

PJM, other eastern RTOs, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are actively considering whether and how RTO market design should take state policies into account. The options under consideration range from not taking any state policies into account at one extreme to requiring every state policy to be factored into capacity market bids at the other extreme.  The PJM proposal, which falls somewhere between those extremes, has proposed a two-tier capacity pricing mechanism to address some yet-to-be-defined set of state subsidies. This panel will examine PJM’s proposal and consider alternative approaches to make the wholesale markets work better with state policies.

Moderator: Sarah Adair, Senior Policy Associate, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Kathleen Barron, Senior Vice President Federal Affairs & Competitive Market Policy, Exelon

Peter Fuller, Vice President Market and Regulatory Affairs, NRG Energy

Marissa Gillett, Senior Advisor to the Chairman, Maryland Public Service Commission

Darlene Phillips, Director, Strategic Policy & External Affairs for PJM

2:50 – 3:10 p.m. Break

3:10 – 4:50 p.m. PJM’s Proposed Carbon Pricing Framework and Alternative Proposals

PJM has released a proposal entitled “Advancing Zero Emission Objectives through PJM’s Energy Markets,” which provides the general outline of a carbon pricing framework that could apply to the entire footprint or a subregion of PJM states. PJM’s proposal follows concepts floated in the Midcontinent region and later in New England.  This panel will explore these proposals. How might a carbon price value attributes that states have sought to advance through state policies?  What are the opportunities and challenges with these approaches?  How far would they go toward harmonizing RTO markets and state policies?  

Moderator: Tim Profeta, Director, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Nicole Bouchez, Principal Economist, New York ISO

Jennifer Chen, Attorney, Sustainable FERC Project

Gary Helm, Lead Market Strategist in the Emerging Markets Department of PJM Interconnection

Talina Mathews, Commissioner, Kentucky Public Service Commission

Karen Palmer, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future

4:50 – 5 p.m. Closing Remarks 

This gathering is in compliance with our understanding of the requirements and restrictions of the North Carolina Ethics Act and Lobbying Law, NCGS §138A-32(e).