Market Manipulation Allegations in Illinois

Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen filed a request last week with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to block a planned electricity price increase, according to the website Common Dreams. The group is claiming that Dynegy, a Houston-based competitive power supplier, intentionally withheld some of its plants from a recent wholesale energy supply auction, causing power prices to spike from $16.75 per MW-day last year (about $6,000 per year) to $150 this year (nearly $55,000 per year). The company has faced similar charges in California (and settled out of court), and it has paid fines related to price manipulation in two federal cases.

The Houston Chronicle’s FuelFix blog reports that Dynegy released a statement to the effect that it followed market rules, offering all its capacity into the market in accordance with rules set by the Midcontinent System Operator (MISO). The company also stated that MISO confirmed that it had followed all rules and tariffs governing the auction.

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