Issues

The Sustainable FERC Project advocates on behalf of our coalition on several high priority issues, summarized in the following Issue Briefs. We also work on other issues as they arise at FERC or in different regions. Please feel free to send us comments and suggestions for additional information/resources to add to these Briefs.

FERC Should Remove Barriers to DER & Storage in Markets

March 10, 2017 by Jennifer Chen, Attorney, The Sustainable FERC Project The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)—the agency tasked by Congress to remove barriers to competition in the wholesale electricity markets—has proposed a rule seeking to remove several such obstacles to electric storage and distributed energy resources (DERs), such as electric vehicles plugged into the grid and rooftop solar panels.…

read more

Auction Shows Mid-Atlantic/Midwest Consumers Will Pay More and For Dirtier Electricity Under New Rule

PJM, the grid operator serving 61 million energy customers in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, has released its latest “capacity” auction results determining how much energy resources can charge to supply PJM’s region with adequate electricity in the future. This year’s auction generated about $10.9 billion, mostly for power from fuel-burning plants, which means that electricity consumers in PJM’s region will…

read more

Grid Planning for Extreme Weather Events

Many of the nation’s major high power electric transmission owners have formed entities called regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) to manage the grid within their defined boundaries. Among other things, the RTOs and ISOs are responsible for maintaining the grid’s reliability as consumer demand rises and falls.  The RTOs and ISOs do system-wide planning for the…

read more

Non-Transmission Solutions for Grid Problems

Electric transmission grid managers routinely face grid planning challenges like aging infrastructure, power plant retirements, and a changing resource mix (more wind and gas-fueled generation, less coal).  For example, existing transmission capacity in a rapidly growing suburb may be nearing its limits or a large coal power plant that provides a significant portion of a town’s power may announce its…

read more

Rethinking Electricity Capacity Markets

In the field of electricity regulation, the primary goal of a capacity market is to ensure that sufficient power “capacity” exists in a region to maintain grid reliability and prevent blackouts. Unlike short-term energy markets, which help to manage the balance between energy supply and consumption on a daily basis, capacity markets look farther into the future. Capacity markets focus…

read more

Integrating Renewable Energy Resources into the Grid

The amount of electricity produced with renewable energy, especially wind and solar power, is growing rapidly in the United States. In the last decade alone, wind power has increased from a modest 500 megawatts (MW) to 60,000 MW of installed capacity. Solar power is increasing even more rapidly. Thirty states now have renewable energy standards requiring a set percentage of…

read more

Transmission Planning

Transmission planning is the process of planning and implementing the most reliable and cost-effective ways to move power from where it is generated to, ultimately, our homes and businesses. The Sustainable FERC Project is engaged in transmission planning activities across the country because when done correctly, it can significantly improve environmental quality and support rather than frustrate clean energy policies…

read more

Phasing Out Dirty Plants

The Sustainable FERC Project’s priority is to accelerate the deployment of clean energy resources into America’s electricity transmission grid. Part of our priority is ensuring that older, dirtier and costlier power plants – nearly all of which are powered by coal and oil –do not block the entry of these new resources onto the grid. Hundreds of these power plants…

read more