The Public Service Commission (PSC) of West Virginia filed a complaint at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) against PJM Interconnection for failing to comply with its Tariffs and denying the PSC access to observe Member Liaison Committee meetings with PJM’s Board of Managers. PJM is a regional transmission organization for the regional grid, which includes 13 states and the District of Columbia. It administers the wholesale electric markets and conducts regional transmission planning.
“PJM’s refusal to allow the PSC access to discussions with the PJM Board that can be observed by electricity producers, transmission companies and other market participants is wrong,” said PSC Chairman Charlotte Lane. These discussions allow market participants that stand to gain from PJM Board decisions to advocate for particular market designs and rules that may not be in the best interest of West Virginia. “This compromises the PSC’s ability to understand the full range of underlying factors and special interests driving PJM decisions so that it can be fully armed to protect the West Virginia electric customers in grid decisions, as well as in decisions we make in regulating West Virginia electric utilities,” said Lane.
While a state regulatory Commission is not a market participant, the PSC became an ex officio, nonvoting member of PJM for the purpose of attending these meetings. The PJM complaint explains why it believes that the PJM rules, as well as FERC rulings on transparency, specifically require that even ex officio, nonvoting members of PJM must be allowed to observe the Member Liaison Committee meetings with the PJM Board. The PSC contends that by denying the PSC access to these meetings with the PJM Board and other members, PJM is violating its FERC-approved Tariff, which contains the rules PJM is obliged by FERC to follow.
PJM-related costs, which affect power supply and transmission costs, comprise about two-thirds of a West Virginian’s electric bill. PJM’s action in denying the PSC access to the information discussed in these closed door meetings compromises the PSC’s ability to act in the interests of West Virginia.
“We are disappointed that PJM has required the PSC to take this extraordinary step in filing a complaint to access information needed to protect West Virginia electric customers,” Lane said.