The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has scheduled a conference on September 30, 2020 regarding carbon pricing in organized wholesale electricity markets.  According to the conference notice, the purpose is to discuss “considerations related to state adoption of mechanisms to price carbon dioxide emissions…in regions with FERC-jurisdictional organized wholesale electricity markets.”  This conference should be of significant interest to a wide range of market participants and their investors, plus consumers of electricity, state policymakers and other diverse interests.

Although not mentioned in FERC’s notice, a diverse group of stakeholders filed a request with FERC in April to convene a conference to discuss “integrating state, regional, and national carbon pricing in organized regional wholesale electric energy markets.”  As discussed in an earlier post to this blog, the group did not ask FERC to direct carbon pricing but instead to gather a wide range of stakeholders to discuss the technical and implementation issues raised by incorporating carbon pricing policies into those markets.

Wholesale electricity markets operators are grappling with how to reconcile wholesale markets with state carbon reduction policies without interfering with competitive market price signals.  Carbon pricing could alter the economic dispatch of resources to prioritize less carbon-intensive resources and displace more carbon-intensive resources.  This has a bearing on FERC’s jurisdictional scope, such as how wholesale markets function and their prices.

The FERC conference will be held either in-person or electronically.  An agenda for the conference was not included in FERC’s notice.  Supplemental notices will be issued prior to the conference.