United States: FERC Issues NOPR Proposing To Revise Offer Caps In RTO/ISO Markets

On January 21, 2016, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NOPR") proposing to revise the $1,000/MWh cap on supply offered in day-ahead and real-time markets run by regional transmission organizations ("RTOs") and independent system operators ("ISOs"). Specifically, FERC proposes to revise the offer cap in RTO/ISO markets to the higher of $1,000/MWh or that resource's verified cost-based offer.

Currently, offers are capped at $1,000/MWh under the tariffs for all RTOs/ISOs except PJM's, which has a $2,000/MWh offer cap on cost-based incremental energy offers used for purposes of calculating Locational Marginal Prices ("LMPs") (see December 21, 2015 edition of the WER). Although the current offer cap for each RTO/ISO restricts incremental energy offers, the offer cap does not limit LMPs to the level of the offer cap because the LMP can exceed the offer cap due to congestion and loss components of the LMP, scarcity pricing, and emergency purchases. In addition to the offer cap, a resource's incremental energy offer is subject to market power mitigation provisions for each RTO/ISO.

In the NOPR, FERC found that the current offer cap may no longer be just and reasonable for several reasons. First, FERC stated that the offer cap may unjustly prevent a resource from recouping its costs by not permitting that resource to include all of its short-run marginal costs within its supply offer. Second, FERC found that the offer cap can suppress LMPs to a level below the marginal cost of production. Third, FERC stated that, because of the offer cap, a resource with short-run marginal costs above the cap may choose not to offer its supply to the RTO/ISO, even though the market may be willing to purchase that supply. Finally, FERC determined that, when several resources have short-run marginal costs above the offer cap but are unable to reflect those costs within their incremental offers due to the cap, the RTO/ISO is unable to dispatch the most efficient set of resources because it will not have access to the underlying costs associated with the multiple incremental energy offers above the offer cap. FERC found that these issues run counter to two of FERC's goals in the price formation process: (1) clearing prices in the energy and ancillary services markets should ideally "reflect the true marginal cost of production, taking into account all physical system constraints"; and (2) LMPs should "ensure that all suppliers have an opportunity to recover their costs."

To remedy these potential issues, FERC proposes three requirements to the revised offer cap. First, a resource's incremental energy offer used for purposes of calculating LMPs must be capped at the higher of $1,000/MWh or that resource's cost-based incremental energy offer. The cap would apply to incremental offers in both the day-ahead and real-time markets. Second, the costs underlying a resource's cost-based incremental energy offer above $1,000/MWh must be verified by the Market Monitoring Unit or the RTO/ISO before that offer can be used for purposes of calculating LMPs. If a resource submits an incremental offer above $1,000/MWh and the costs underlying that offer cannot be verified before the market clearing process begins, that resource's incremental offer in excess of $1,000/MWh may not be used to calculate LMPs. Under that scenario, a resource would be eligible for a make-whole payment if that resource clears the market and the resource's costs are verified after-the-fact. Third, all resources, regardless of type, are eligible to submit cost-based incremental offers in excess of $1,000/MWh. To implement the revision, FERC proposes to make the offer cap applicable to all RTOs/ISOs through a rulemaking to avoid exacerbating seams issues that might arise if one RTO/ISO has an offer cap that materially differs from a neighboring RTO/ISO's offer cap.

In the NOPR, FERC also rejected alternatives to its proposal. Specifically, FERC rejected a floating offer cap that would change with natural gas prices, finding such a cap would be unduly preferential to natural gas-fueled resources. Furthermore, FERC argued that setting the offer cap for all resources based on the price of natural gas would allow non-natural gas resources to submit offers above $1,000/MWh and below the natural-gas based offer cap with no cost basis for doing so, thereby potentially allowing these resources to exercise market power when natural gas prices rise but when these resources' costs do not similarly rise. In addition to the floating cap, FERC rejected raising the offer cap to a higher fixed level because, according to FERC, a higher fixed offer cap could still limit a resource's incremental energy offer below its short-run marginal cost and potentially suppress LMPs if that resource's costs rose above the fixed offer cap. FERC also argued that, like the floating offer cap, a higher fixed offer cap could raise market power concerns.

Going forward, FERC is seeking comment on several aspects of the proposal, including whether to adopt a hard cap on cost-based incremental offers used for purposes of calculating LMPs and, if so, what the hard cap level should be. Comments on the NOPR are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. A copy of the NOPR can be found here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Troutman Sanders LLP
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Troutman Sanders LLP
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions