Energy Efficiency

New England Grid Operator Ignores Value of Offshore Wind

April 3, 2019 by Bruce Ho, Senior Clean Energy Advocate The operator of New England’s regional electricity grid is asking federal regulators to approve a plan to pay power generators more in the name of winter energy security—essentially an assurance that there will be enough power to meet customers’ needs during extended periods of cold weather. Unfortunately, the plan continues…

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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…

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Teach-In Thursday on Why NY Needs More Energy Efficiency

March 20, 2018 by Miles Farmer, Clean Energy Attorney With Gov. Cuomo promising to announce a comprehensive energy efficiency strategy for New York by Earth Day, April 22, it’s important for New Yorkers to understand how ambitious energy-saving targets will dramatically clean our air, spur new clean energy jobs, and cut our utility bills. That’s why I plan to speak about…

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Our Grid Needs to Go on a Diet to Get Leaner and Greener

 December 28, 2017 by Jennifer Chen, Attorney, Sustainable FERC Project Part of NRDC’s 2017 year-end retrospective in hopes of informing changes to come Many regions of the United States have overbuilt and retained too many power plants, which can be detrimental to their owners, consumers, clean alternatives like wind and solar power, and flexible resources like energy storage and demand response (compensating customers for…

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Supreme Court Will Weigh the Scope of States’ Authority over Their Electricity Mix

February 23, 2016 by Miles Farmer, Legal Fellow, Energy & Transportation Program In what is shaping out to be a banner year for energy regulatory law wonks, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in its second case this year addressing the boundary between state and federal authority over the electricity sector. While the first case, FERC v. Electric…

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Reliability Prescription for States for Cutting Carbon Pollution: Plan Ahead, Plan Together

February 9, 2016 by John Moore, Senior Attorney, The Sustainable FERC Project The Clean Power Plan requires states to take grid reliability into account when developing their compliance plans. What does this mean? New guidance from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the organization which oversees the reliability of the North American electricity system, provides some answers. NERC recommends…

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NERC’s 10-Year Grid Assessment: Enough Power, And Some Challenges

December 17, 2015 by John Moore, Senior Attorney, The Sustainable FERC Project The latest edition of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) report on long-term power supply and reliability trends over the next decade says that we have enough power to meet demand through at least 2025. NERC, the nation's overseer of high power electric grid reliability, also says that…

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Highlights from the November FERC Open Meeting

December 9th, 2015 by Miles Farmer, Legal Fellow, Energy & Transportation Program Promoting Competitive Provision of Primary Frequency Response Service (RM15-2). In February 2015, FERC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) to allow sellers with market-based rate authority for energy and capacity sales to also sell primary frequency response service at market-based rates. Frequency response service, according to FERC,…

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What’s the (Demand) Forecast? More Energy Efficiency on the Radar

October 15, 2015 by Jennifer Chen, Attorney, The Sustainable FERC Project Accurately forecasting electricity demand is critical to ensuring that grid operators plan for adequate generation and transmission but do not over-procure or over-build, which can lead to overcharging electricity customers. PJM, the grid operator serving 61 million electricity customers in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, is improving its methodology for…

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10 Ways the Clean Power Plan Protects Electric Grid Reliability

Aug. 5, 2015 by John Moore EPA's just-released Clean Power Plan final standards will cut carbon pollution from our nation's power plants while protecting grid reliability. EPA's standards give states the time and the flexibility to design customized plans for emissions reduction, such as increasing the use of wind, solar, and energy efficiency; making changes at existing power plants; and…

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