Looks like the Market Monitor also smells a couple of incumbent rats exercising unfair advantage over their competition in the PJM cartel. The IMM doesn't come right out and say that PJM is complicit, but what other conclusion could there be? The IMM loves themselves some competition to make their little markets work, and PJM's decision to grant ownership of an independent transmission company's projects to incumbents smacks of uncompetitive, unfair advantage won through schmoozing and arm-twisting of PJM's management. That's really nothing new. The favoritism of incumbents has been going on at PJM for years, and will continue until a responsible entity puts a stop to it. Bravo, IMM, for at least taking a stab at it.
IMM says, "PJM has not adequately justified its decision"
and thinks the following ambiguities in PJM's rules need to be corrected:
2. New vs. Revised Projects
3. Upgrades/rights of way/incumbent property rights
They also take issue with the fact that "PJM compares Primary Power’s costs to build the original projects against incumbent transmission owners’ cost to build the revised projects. There does not appear to have been a process that would have permitted direct competition between Primary Power and the Incumbents."
The IMM recognizes that PJM's "cost competition" arguments are bogus and cause undue expense for consumers and that some control needs to be put on cost estimates. Perhaps the IMM should have weighed in on FERC's Transmission Incentives NOI as well, where this issue has been a part of discussions.
"The fact that the referenced costs are only estimates which cannot be enforced gives rise to significant questions about the significance of whether one project’s estimated costs are less than the estimated costs of another project. The Commission should consider whether transmission owners, whether incumbent or potential entrant, should provide firm, enforceable cost estimates. This would make a reasonable comparison of costs possible and would also define the assignment of risks between investors and customers."
PJM thinks they are omnipotent and invincible (because the incumbents tell them so while hefting their golf tackle around at ratepayer expense). Someone needs to let Kerry Stroup know that PJM exists to serve CONSUMERS, and not the profit margins of their corporate members.
"They don't realize that PJM doesn't report to anybody ... although we are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission," Stroup said."
Maybe FERC should spend less time in private "visits" with energy company CEOs, and start doing some regulating.