FERC Fines Pittsfield Power Plant Owners For Fraudulent Scheme
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has fined the owners of a Pittsfield power plant $5 million for a fraudulent scheme to overcharge New England’s grid operator, ISO-New England. FERC’s decision, released in May, finds that during the summer of 2010, Maxim Power Corporation made offers to sell energy from its Pittsfield plant based on high oil prices when it was really burning cheaper natural gas. FERC finds that when Maxim was questioned by a market monitor, the Canadian-based company repeatedly said it was unable to get natural gas because of restrictions on a Tennessee Gas pipeline. This was done so that the company would receive higher payments of roughly $3 million, an amount the company paid back.
FERC has also fined Maxim’s market analyst Kyle Mitton $50,000 for his role. Maxim’s president John Bobenic says Maxim intends to vigorously defend itself in district court and is confident it can demonstrate it did not violate any rules.