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.

NRDC, 61 Other Orgs to FERC: Reform Gas Pipeline Reviews

July 27, 2018 by Montina Cole, Senior Attorney and Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney, Sustainable FERC Project NRDC, the Sustainable FERC Project (in which NRDC is a member), and 60 other public interest organizations sent a clear message this week to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC): it’s time for FERC to reform the way it evaluates applications for new interstate gas pipeline infrastructure.…

read more

Lost in Transmission: World’s Biggest Machine Needs Update

 July 2, 2018 by Jennifer Chen, Attorney, Sustainable FERC Project Coauthored by Katherine Worden, Legal Intern, Stanford Law School. America’s grid carries electricity from over 7,700 power plants across 707,000 miles of high-voltage lines, and through millions of miles of low-voltage lines and transformers to millions of customers. It’s an impressive machine, but like other early 20th century technologies, it’s due for a reboot. Hundreds of…

read more

Regulator Confirms Electric Reliability and Resilience Continue to Improve

 June 21, 2018 by Michael Goggin, Vice President at Grid Strategies LLC “Grid Shows Improved Resilience” is the headline of the just-released “State of Reliability” report by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the entity tasked by the U.S. government with regulating electric grid reliability. Across 13 metrics of electric reliability and resilience, NERC found improvements in 11, one was inconclusive,…

read more

The Coal/Nuke Bailout, or DOE’s Game of Whack-A-Mole

June 21, 2018 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney, Sustainable FERC Project, Climate & Clean Energy Program  If it feels like you’ve been reading about a potential federal bailout for America’s aging and uneconomic coal and nuclear plants for a long time, you’re not wrong. In fact, the Sustainable FERC Project team at NRDC has blogged about this issue over 14 times since…

read more

PJM Auction: Wind, Solar, Efficiency Still Face Barriers

 May 29, 2018 by Jennifer Chen, Attorney, Sustainable FERC Project PJM’s latest auction for utilities to buy and sell commitments to deliver electricity in the future, known as capacity, produced prices nearly twice as high as the previous year, and even at these higher prices, PJM still over-procured capacity. That means the 65 million electricity customers served by PJM will be paying too much…

read more

FERC Takes a Step Backward on Environmental Impacts

 May 21, 2018 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney A 3-2 majority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) unveiled a new policy last Friday that limits FERC’s analysis and disclosure of the environmental impacts of natural gas pipeline projects. The decision is a step backward for FERC, right when it is soliciting public comment on how to improve its pipeline project reviews.…

read more

State Clean Energy Laws Make New England Grid More Resilient

 May 9, 2018 by Bruce Ho, Senior Energy Advocate The New England power grid is growing more resilient and reliable thanks to state renewable energy and energy efficiency laws that are reducing the region’s dependence on natural gas and other imported fossil fuels. That’s the evidence-based message NRDC and many other stakeholders in the region delivered to the Federal Energy Regulatory…

read more

What’s Resilience? It’s Not More Fuel or Higher Prices, PJM

May 9, 2018 by Jennifer Chen, Attorney, Sustainable FERC Project  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) early this year rejected the Department of Energy proposal that would have further subsidized coal and nuclear power plants, and instead opened a new proceeding to investigate the concept of resilience on the interstate transmission system that it regulates (known as the bulk power system). We along with other…

read more

Worried About Grid Resilience? Don’t—You Can Sleep Well

May 9, 2018 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney, Sustainable FERC Project  Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has warned of an energy nightmare in which coal and nuclear power plant retirements threaten the resilience of the power grid and risk widespread blackouts. But as the Sustainable FERC Project (housed within NRDC) and 16 other organizations explain in comments filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today, Perry’s…

read more

Grid Resilience Efforts Should Focus on Customer Benefits

May 3, 2018 by John Moore, Director, Sustainable FERC Project & Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney, Sustainable FERC Project   In the time since U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry first asked whether coal and nuclear power plants deserved special treatment, “resilience” has been the talk of the energy world. Most of the discussion has centered on the high-voltage electric grid. But a…

read more