Electricity Market Power, Manipulation, Regulation & Enforcement

Electricity Market Power, Manipulation Regulation and Enforcement

April 20-21, 2021 | Online, Central Time

Charges of market power and manipulation are investigated and enforced by multiple regulators and ISO market monitors; running afoul of them can incur stiff penalties. This course will examine what these two market transgressions mean, how they are evaluated, and what FERC as well as other industry oversight agencies and market participants do to safeguard against these practices.

Attendees at this course will:

  • Develop an in depth understanding of actions that trigger market power and manipulation concerns, including how they differ
  • Evaluate how monitoring, prevention, and enforcement measures are administered by FERC and other oversight agencies
  • Review the merger analysis screens applied by FERC and DOJ in electric mergers and covered actions
  • Learn the measures that market participants take to safeguard against violations

Electricity market members and participants will find this program essential for optimizing their transaction outcomes without pushing the compliance envelope.

Learning Outcomes

  • Review the concepts of electricity market power and market manipulation
  • Evaluate the roles of internal and independent market monitors in RTO/ISOs
  • Identify FERC’s assessment of market power under Section 205 of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) as part of generation owners’ applications for and renewals of market-based rate authorization
  • Review the role of independent system operator (ISO and RTO) market monitors
  • Discuss FERC’s approach to analyzing the competitive impact of mergers and acquisitions under Section 203 of the FPA
  • Highlight potential future developments in relevant regulations and enforcement during the Biden administration

Agenda

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In

9:00 a.m. – 4:#0 p.m.
Course Timing

9:00 – 9:15 am :: Overview & Introductions

9:15 – 10:15 am :: Introduction to Market Power and Manipulation

  • What are market power and market manipulation?
    • Differences between market power and market manipulation and how potential exercises are identified and assessed
    • Differences between buyer and seller market power
  • Introduction to monitoring, prevention, and enforcement
    • Monitoring and prevention of market power exercises
      • The role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
      • The role of market monitors in regional transmission organizations (RTOs)/independent system operators (ISOs)
    • Protection of competition through merger reviews
      • The role of FERC and the U.S. Dept of Justice (DOJ)
      • The role of market monitors and other parties
    • Market manipulation enforcement
      • The role of FERC
      • Other agencies’ roles
      • Relationship between market power and manipulation

10:15 – 10:30 am :: Morning Break

10:30 am – 12:30 pm :: Merger Analysis

  • FERC’s approach to analyzing mergers
    • Vertical and horizontal analyses
    • Relevant product markets
    • Relevant geographic markets
    • FERC’s delivered price test
    • Mitigation measures
  • Differences between FERC’s approach and the DOJ’s approach
  • Recent developments in FERC’s approach to analyzing mergers
  • Mergers of interest

12:30 – 1:15 pm :: Lunch Break

1:15  – 2:45 pm :: Market Monitors’ Roles in RTO/ISOs

  • Testing for buyer and seller market power
  • Mitigation of market power
  • Developments in market monitors’ monitoring and mitigation of market power within RTOs/ISOs

2:45 – 3:00 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

3:00 – 4:30 pm :: FERC Market-Based Rate Authority

  • FERC’s indicative screens for capacity, energy, and ancillary services products
  • Recent developments in FERC’s market-based rate authority regulations
  • Lessons from FERC’s approach to the California energy imbalance market (EIM) for other emerging and/or proposed markets (CAISO EDAM, SPP EIS, Southeast US utility SEEM)
  • Cases of interest

4:30 pm :: Course Adjourns for Day

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In

9:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Course Timing

9:00 – 10:30 am :: FERC’s Enforcement of Its Anti-Manipulation Rule

  •  Types of manipulation prohibited by the anti-manipulation rule
  • FERC’s approach to identifying potential misconduct in electric energy and natural gas markets
  • FERC’s process for investigating and prosecuting potential misconduct
  • The evolution in FERC’s authority to prevent and prosecute manipulation
  • Manipulation cases of interest

10:30 – 10:45 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:45 am – 12:15 pm :: Case Studies and Current Developments

  • California energy crisis
  • Texas power crisis
  • Select market manipulation cases

12:15 pm :: Course Adjourns for Day

Instructors

Megan Accordino, Manager, Analysis Group

Megan Accordino is Manager at Analysis Group, where she has been since 2015. She specializes in applying microeconomic theory, econometrics, and statistical methods to complex antitrust, securities litigation, and energy markets and policy matters. Her litigation and advisory experience includes analyzing market power in market-based rate authority applications and electric power mergers; allegations of market manipulation in natural gas and electric power markets, insider trading in equity markets, and fraudulent misrepresentations by bond issuers. In the field of energy economics, Dr. Accordino has authored articles on the impact of overlapping greenhouse gas emissions policies (published in The Energy Journal), market definition in electric power markets (published in the ABA Economics Committee Newsletter and The Electricity Journal), and the incentives for and detection of market manipulation. Prior to joining Analysis Group, Dr. Accordino worked as a statistical analyst and an energy analyst at other economics consulting firms.  She earned her BA degree in economics and international studies from Case Western Reserve University, and M.Phil and Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles. 

 

Joe Cavicchi, Vice President, Analysis Group

Joe Cavicchi is a Vice President with Analysis Group and is based in Boston, Massachusetts.  He is an energy economist whose expertise is focused on wholesale and retail electricity markets.  He conducts economic analyses evaluating the impact of regulatory policies on electricity markets, applies rigorous analytical modeling tools to power system operations, conducts power market antitrust analyses, and leads economic analyses in association with a variety of wholesale and retail power contracting arrangements. Mr. Cavicchi has extensive experience as an expert witness before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and other federal and state regulatory authorities. He also presents and publishes frequently on issues relevant to electricity market design and evolution.  Prior to joining The Analysis Group, Mr. Cavicchi was Executive Vice President at Compass Lexecon.  Before that he was a staff mechanical engineer and a project manager at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Mr. Cavicchi holds an S.M. in technology policy from MIT, an S.M. in environmental engineering from Tufts University and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Connecticut. 

 

Wesley Heath, Of Counsel, Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Wesley Heath is Of Counsel at Steptoe & Johnson LLP.  He counsels clients on energy and commodities enforcement matters and government investigations and litigation. He also assists clients in developing energy regulatory compliance programs. Mr. Heath additionally counsels clients on the intersection of antitrust with energy and commodities manipulation law and has litigated and advised clients concerning a wide variety of antitrust matters.  Prior to joining Steptoe, he served as a litigator and investigator in the Division of Investigations within the Office of Enforcement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In this position, he served as lead litigator in FERC’s first modern federal-court enforcement action, alleging manipulation of the electric markets by a major financial institution. The case resulted in the largest settlement in a litigated enforcement matter in FERC history. He also worked on the first administrative litigation implementing FERC’s anti-manipulation authority and is one of the few attorneys to have litigated cases under all three of FERC’s major statutory enforcement schemes: the Federal Power Act, the Natural Gas Act, and the Natural Gas Policy Act. Mr. Heath previously served as special assistant attorney general in the Office of the Attorney General of the District of Columbia.  He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington University and earned his law degree at Harvard Law School.

 

Eric Korman, Vice President, Analysis Group

Eric Korman is Vice President at Analysis Group.  He is an expert on issues related to regulatory, antitrust, and securities matters – with extensive experience analyzing market power in wholesale electric power markets. He has analyzed such markets in several mergers and acquisitions (M&A) proceedings, and supported the preparation of numerous wholesale power market analyses related to company applications for market-based rate authority from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In his 18 ½ years at Analysis Group, Mr. Korman has extensive experience supporting securities litigation antitrust cases involving allegations of price-fixing, market manipulation, predatory pricing, and attempted monopolization, as well as M&A analyses.  He earned a BA in economics at Brandeis University and MA and MBA degrees from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

 

Laura Swett, Of Counsel, Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Laura Swett is Of Counsel at Steptoe & Johnson LLP.  She represents oil pipelines and electric power companies before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in a broad range of matters involving rates, market rules and regulation, cybersecurity, market manipulation, and wholesale power sales. She also advises clients on licensing and enforcement proceedings, and environmental regulatory compliance.  Prior to joining Steptoe, Ms. Swett served as senior legal and policy advisor to FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre, and then Commissioner Bernard McNamee. In these positions, she directed and advised on matters related to oil, wholesale electricity markets, nuclear energy, electric grid reliability, cybersecurity, enforcement, congressional relationships, and public engagement. Prior to serving as a commission advisor, She was a lawyer in the FERC Office of Enforcement, where she ran and supported matters through all stages, from their genesis through federal court litigation.  Ms. Swett earned her law degree at Georgetown University Law Center.

 

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: After November 30 you will not be able to join a Teams meeting using Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft recommends downloading and installing the Teams app if possible. You may also use the Edge browser or Chrome.
  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.

Register

Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

Event Standard RateAttendees

CEUs

Credits

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EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.9 CEUs for this event.

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must log in each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the event to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Case studies, PowerPoint presentations, and panel discussions will be used in this program.

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