Blog

The Sustainable FERC Project is a coalition of environmental and clean energy organizations focused on developing policies for a cleaner, more efficient electric grid (more here). Our blog site is intended as a location for the productive and constructive sharing and exchange of policy ideas for use by all interested members of the coalition and others interested in our issues. Read the full blogging policy.

Fossil lab misses mark in cold weather “resilience” report

Michael Goggin, Vice President at Grid Strategies LLC A new report by the Department of Energy and its fossil energy laboratory (National Energy Technology Laboratory, or NETL) overstates the contribution of coal power plants and understates the contribution of renewable resources to keeping the lights on during the January 2018 “Bomb Cyclone” cold snap event across much of the Mid-Atlantic…

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Electric Grid Resilience and FERC: What Happens Next?

March 7, 2018 by John Moore, Director, The Sustainable FERC Project On March 9, the nation’s regional grid operators are poised to tell their regulator—the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)—what they are doing about grid “resilience” and what, if anything, FERC should do about it. Here’s a preview of what the grid operators are likely to say, and how FERC…

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What’s Resilience? DOE Should Say Before Spending Your Money

October 23, 2017 by Jennifer Chen, Attorney, The Sustainable FERC Project The Department of Energy (DOE) recently proposed that American consumers further subsidize certain power plants (essentially, coal and nuclear power plants) by paying them billions of dollars to stockpile 90 days worth of fuel onsite. This proposal hinges on the idea that onsite fuel will somehow provide the electric grid with “resilience.” But the DOE…

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DOE’s Coal and Nuclear Bailout Proposal Should Be Rejected

October 23, 2017 by Miles Farmer, Clean Energy Attorney  The Trump administration’s outrageous plan to prop up the sagging coal and nuclear industries would irreparably change how our electric system works, cost consumers billions of dollars annually, and dampen investment in more efficient, more flexible, and cleaner technologies, NRDC and others across the political spectrum are saying in official comments due today. Department of Energy…

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Transforming the Grid Is Essential for a Safe Climate Future

October 11, 2017 by John Moore, Director, The Sustainable FERC Project This is part of a series of blogs on NRDC’s new report, “America’s Clean Energy Frontier: The Pathway to a Safer Climate Future,” A safer climate future will require that the United States cut climate pollution by at least 80 percent by 2050. Doing so will require a modern, responsive,…

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Our Transforming Grid: Focus on Reliability, Not the Fuels

October 3, 2017 by John Moore, Director, The Sustainable FERC Project Whenever coal or nuclear interests claim America needs their fuel to avoid power blackouts, you should check your wallet. Every time they see a threat to their business, they claim the sky will fall unless they’re subsidized in some way. We’re seeing it again now, with the added twist that they…

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New York Stumbles in Finalizing Value-Based Solar Credits

September 18, 2017 by Miles Farmer, Clean Energy Attorney New York’s quest to expand access to clean energy has taken a worrying turn. In issuing an order setting forth its plan to implement its new solar policy that credits solar projects based on the benefits they provide (known in the utility world as the “Value of Distributed Energy Resources” policy), the New York…

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DOE’s Grid Study: Clinging to the Past

August 24, 2017 by John Moore, Director, The Sustainable FERC Project and Miles Farmer, Clean Energy Attorney  DOE’s long-awaited grid study grasps for any possible rationale to support outdated, expensive, and highly polluting coal plants, but fundamentally fails to come up with concrete reasons to do so. The report is disjointed, making misguided recommendations to relax environmental rules and saddle customers with extra…

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Senate Approves FERC Nominees; Agency Regains Quorum

August 03, 2017 by John Moore, Director, The Sustainable FERC Project The Senate has confirmed President Trump’s nominees to fill two of the four open seats on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), producing a quorum for the first time since February for the independent agency that oversees the high power electric grid, natural gas pipelines, and hydroelectric dam licensing.…

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Perry’s DOE Study Has Little Power to Shape the Grid

July 28, 2017 by John Moore, Director, The Sustainable FERC Project and Miles Farmer, Clean Energy Attorney  Anticipation is building in advance of the release of a study ordered by Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry to examine “critical issues central to protecting the long-term reliability of the electric grid.” It is more likely to end with a fizzle than a bang,…

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