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.

Order 1000 Has Its Day in Court

Mar 21, 2014 by John Moore The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an important set of reforms intended to save consumers money and improve the transmission planning process more than two years ago, but the merits of “Order 1000” were still being debated yesterday in a Washington, D.C., federal courtroom. Order 1000 includes several major changes: expanding regional and…

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FERC Takes Three Actions to Harmonize Gas and Electric Coordination

FERC today took several steps to address the growing interdependence between natural gas and electricity. Citing the Southwest Cold Weather Event in 2011 and the Polar Vortex and sustained cold weather this past winter, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would help to harmonize the natural gas and electric industry schedules. The Proposed Rulemaking would: begin the natural…

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Demand Response- An Underutilized Asset in the Midwest

Mar 17, 2014 by Steve Dahlke Steve Dahlke is a Policy Associate for the Great Plains Institute. Imagine yourself lying on a warm beach, maybe in Hawaii, a Mai Tai in one hand and a good book in the other. Once you’ve caught enough rays you take a stroll back to your comfortable air-conditioned hotel where you relax some more.…

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FERC Takes Action to Protect Grid Infrastructure

In the wee hours of April 16, 2013, a sniper attack on PG&E Corporation’s Metcalf transmission substation just outside San Jose, California caused enough damage in nineteen minutes to require rerouting of power for nearly a month while repairs were made. Jon Wellinghoff, the former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), called it “the most significant incident of…

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Nation’s Largest Grid Operator: Huge Renewables Expansion Won’t Be a Problem

Mar 10, 2014 by John Moore PJM Interconnection, the nation’s largest power transmission grid organization, announced last week that wind and solar power could generate about 30 percent of PJM’s total electricity for its territory covering the Mid-Atlantic region and part of the Midwest by 2026 without “any significant issues.” That’s engineer-speak for “no big deal.” Even better, we would…

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Cybersecurity is Key to our Clean Energy Future

Mar 7, 2014 by Allison Clements Noting that experts generally agree the risk of a large-scale cyber attack on America’s electricity transmission grid “is significant and must be addressed,” a new report by the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC)’s Electric Grid Cybersecurity Initiative recommends that government and industry work together to put strong protections in place. This week, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary…

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Looking to Reduce CO2 Emissions 40% from the Power Plant Sector?

Mar 4, 2014 by Mike Jacobs Mike Jacobs is a Senior Energy Analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists' Climate & Energy Program. Power grid manager PJM has an answer. Results of a three-year study of the power plant fleet operations from Chicago to Virginia show that raising renewable energy to 30 percent of the electricity supply can reduce CO2 emissions…

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FERC Affirms Support for Removing Market Barriers to Energy Storage, Other Clean Energy Resources

Feb 26, 2014 by Allison Clements The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has once again demonstrated its commitment to removing unfair market barriers standing in the way of the grid flexibility necessary to incorporate high levels of renewable energy like wind and solar. It did so last week by issuing an order clarifying aspects of Order 784. Order 784, which…

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A Reminder of the Need to Get More Clean Power onto the Electric Grid

Feb 10, 2014 by John Moore A cold Sunday morning in Washington, DC isn’t when you would expect to find hundreds of utility regulators and energy geeks talking about electric power resource adequacy, but that’s exactly what happened yesterday morning. The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) is holding its annual Winter Committee meetings this week, and one of its…

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Polar Vortex Shows We Need More Efficiency, Wind, and Solar, Not Coal or Gas

Feb 5, 2014 by Mark Kresowik Mark Kresowik is the Eastern Region Deputy Director for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign. The East Coast was hit with record lows in the last month, and I’m not just talking about the Broncos’ Super Bowl performance.  As our heaters kicked it up a notch, gas and power prices spiked across the region. …

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