Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Consumers may get whacked by regulatory decision
From the Times Ledger:
The state is demanding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission turn back a recent decision regarding how market rates for one of Astoria’s power plants are calculated on the grounds that the ruling could increase electricity bills across the state by up to $500 million.
“FERC is modifying the rule in a way that will artificially force [Astoria Energy II] to increase its offer price for capacity to a point where it will not be accepted,” the state Public Service Commission said in a press release.
The PSC’s request for a hearing was in response to FERC overturning last month a 2010 decision by the New York Independent System Operator. The latter agency determined that the costs of operating Astoria Energy II, a 550-megawatt plant, at 17-10 Steinway St. in Astoria’s Con Edison complex, were smaller than the predicted revenues the plant was projected to earn from the electrical market.
Astoria Energy II’s local competitors — US Power Generating’s Astoria Generating and TransCanada’s TC Ravenswood — had issued complaints against the ISO’s decision and FERC decided to have the ISO redetermine Astoria Energy II’s operating costs with changes to the test the PSC said would set up Astoria Energy II’s cost to be higher than the market rates.
The PSC estimated this could increase electricity bills for consumers both in New York City and upstate by $500 million in 2013.