The experts do battle over capacity market design.
Bruce W. Radford is publisher of Public Utilities Fortnightly. Contact him at email@example.com.
Back in late September, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gathered some two dozen experts to explain to FERC what capacity markets ought to look like, and if needed, to recommend new policies.
The group arrived with lofty credentials, prompting junior Commissioner Tony Clark to salute all the “regulatory geeks” that had come to Washington:
“It’s not often we get together in the same room to pick the brains of some of the smartest minds in the country.”
But his colleague, Cheryl LaFleur – and recently tabbed as the new interim FERC chairman by outgoing head Jon Wellinghoff – wondered what exactly had been learned after a full day of discussion:
“About the only thing your testimonies have in common,” she observed, “is maybe that none of the markets are getting the prices right … Does anyone have any suggestions as to what we should do?
“Or we can go back to being like the blind man and the elephant, only eight hours smarter.”