PV-Tech Quotes Jessica Bayles on Benefit for Solar Industry of Recent FERC PURPA, MOPR Rulings

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Energy regulatory attorney Jessica Bayles was quoted in PV-Tech in an article titled “FERC signals state support for solar projects in PURPA, MOPR rulings,” published March 19, 2021. The article discusses two key decisions recently announced by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that provide clarity to U.S. solar developers regarding the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) and distributed network operator PJM Interconnection’s minimum offer price rule (MOPR).

In the first decision, regulators reversed a ruling that blocked a solar-plus-storage facility from receiving payments under the PURPA. In September 2020, FERC broke away from a precedent that 80 MW net capacity is the legal threshold for a facility to qualify for the payments and deemed the Broadview Solar facility in Montana ineligible based on its gross capacity, which exceeded 160 MW.

Bayles said the reversal of the order, which allowed Broadway Solar to qualify for the payments, “restored certainty” to the solar sector on how a system’s net power production capacity is calculated, also clarifying eligibility thresholds for qualifying status and PURPA contracts.

In the second decision, FERC ruled against a decision by PJM Interconnection that counted a local property tax relief mechanism used by solar power facilities in Virginia as a state subsidy — subjecting Hollow Road Solar LLC to PJM’s MOPR in its Base Residual Auction, which opens in May.

Bayles said that the declaratory order on Hollow Road provided “more guidance to the industry on how the commission will interpret the boundaries of State Subsidies that subject recipients to the PJM MOPR.”

For more on the decisions and other topics related to climate policy, renewable energy and sustainability, please subscribe to our Renewable + Law® blog.

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