Maryland Power Plant Project Provides Proof that Subsidies Are Not Necessary To Build Capacity

Another proposed power plant has received regulatory approval in Maryland, once again demonstrating that new generation facilities can get built in the Free State without consumer subsidies.

Panda Power, one of a trio of companies that had sought to obtain state-sanctioned customer subsidies, has received an order from a Maryland Public Utility Law Judge for a planned 990-MW gas-fired power plant in Prince George’s County, according to industry publisher Platts. Panda expects to finalize financing for the plant next year.

Panda’s Mattawoman project is the fourth large gas-fired power plant approved without subsidies, PJM Power Providers President Glen Thomas noted in an interview with Platts.

Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Appeal of Case Denying Consumer Subsidies for Generation Plants

When Maryland sought to require the state’s electricity consumers to subsidize the construction of new power generation plants, first a federal district court judge, and then a three-judge U.S. appeals court, agreed that the subsidy program represented an infringement of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s authority under the Federal Power Act.

Supreme Court Urged To Reject Appeals of Rulings Rejecting Power Plant Subsidies in MD, NJ

Maryland and New Jersey have both sought Supreme Court relief after federal appeals courts roundly rejected those states’ efforts to build new generation plants with consumer subsidies. The subsidized generation capacity incentives were clearly preempted by the Federal Power Act, two separate federal appeals court panels ruled.

Power Plant Gets Financing in Maryland Without Need for Customer Subsidies

A $775 million proposed power plant in southern Maryland that had been slated for consumer subsidies is moving forward with financing after the courts concluded the subsidies were unlawful. The fact that the plant has obtained financing demonstrates that the state-sponsored subsidies were unnecessary to begin with.

Federal Appeals Court Rejects Maryland Program to Subsidize Generation Plant Development

In a resounding legal victory for electricity consumers, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling finding that Maryland impermissibly intruded on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authority in requiring the state’s electricity consumers to subsidize development of in-state generation capacity in the FERC-regulated PJM Interconnection capacity market.

Leading Business Group Weighs In Against State-Sponsored Market Interventions

The Business Roundtable, an influential organization representing the chief executives of leading jobs-producing companies, has issued a report outlining its energy policy agenda that includes an admonition against state interventions in well-functioning competitive wholesale electricity markets.
“Certain regions of the country that operate within independently managed competitive wholesale electricity markets are seeing an increase in state-sponsored efforts to promote the construction of new power plants, rather than rely on the market to provide the necessary resources,” the Business Roundtable said in its energy policy blueprint, Taking Action on Energy: A CEO Vision for America’s Energy Future.

Competition Drives Growing Electricity Choice for Consumers

Across the country, residents and businesses are continuing to exercise their ability to choose their electricity provider. Electricity shopping in competitive markets ensures providers are more innovative and efficient in their efforts to attract customers. As a result, consumers have access to the highest quality service at the most competitive prices. 

Federico Pena: Maryland’s Competitive Electricity Market Continues to Thrive

Today’s Baltimore Sun features an op-ed by COMPETE Co-Chairman Federico Pena. His column highlights, among other things, the myriad benefits Maryland’s competitive electricity market has delivered to the state – from efficiency, innovation and reliability to greater customer choice and competitive prices. Since introducing competition in the late 1990s, Maryland has been one of the greatest success stories around the country. The full column, which details that success, follows…

Preserve Maryland’s Competitive Electricity Market

Recent calls for Maryland to revert from a competitive electricity market to a monopoly system may be good-intentioned, but they are quite misguided. Innovation has replaced the inefficiencies of the old monopoly system, giving customers new choices, competitive prices and an efficient, reliable power supply.

Robust Competition Creates Economic Benefits for Maryland Consumers

Several major competitive power suppliers have recently entered Maryland’s electricity markets, and the resulting competition is driving switching rates higher among consumers – a trend noted in a recent COMPETE report on the success of retail electricity markets.
These developments come fast on the heels of similar upward switching trends in other Mid-Atlantic states, and happen as lower energy prices present opportunities for consumers to lower their costs.