The electricity grid operator that supplies energy to southern and central Illinois said it followed the auction rules correctly and parties complaining to the federal government haven’t proved otherwise.
The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, which runs the grid in all or parts of 15 states filed a response on Thursday, with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The filing was in response to a complaint made by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office, as well as other complaints made by Public Citizen, Inc. and the Southwestern Electric Cooperative.
An annual capacity auction resulted in $150 per megawatt day for MISO’s southern and central Illinois zone. Other zones had prices of $3.50 per megawatt day.
Last year’s auction resulted in a $16.75 per megawatt day for southern and central Illinois.
The capacity charges did not apply to customers who are part of a municipal aggregation program or have their own contracts with an alternative retail energy supplier.
MISO said it followed its commission accepted, tariff-based rules. The grid operator added an independent market monitor confirmed the auction complied with tariff rules and produced result it should have produced.
The grid operator also said the auction results were just and reasonable, and the complainants have not proven their case.
“MISO conducted the auction exactly as required under its tariff, and none of the complainants provide any evidence to the contrary,” Jay Hermacinski, of MISO Corporate Communications said in a statement. “Accordingly, these complaints should be dismissed with prejudice.”
Ameren Illinois passes on the capacity charge to customers without any markups.
For the typical electricity owner who uses about 10,000 kwh of energy a year, the capacity price was set to lead to an $11 a month increase in bills.
To help lower prices for Ameren Illinois customers, MISO provided an $84 million credit, which translates to a $2 a month decrease for the typical residential customer.
MISO spokesman Andy Schonert said the credit comes from the lower-priced electricity capacity that comes from outside of southern and central Illinois and is imported into the area.
“MISO’s tariff recognizes that in circumstances where some of a zone’s capacity is met by lower-priced capacity from outside of the zone, a credit is due,” Schonert said.