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FERC Proposes to Remove Barriers to Wholesale Market Participation for Electricity Storage and Distributed Energy Resource Aggregators

On November 17, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) that, if adopted, would require organized wholesale electricity markets (RTO/ISO markets) to modify their open access transmission tariffs and market rules to accommodate electric storage resources and allow participation of distributed energy resource aggregators. This NOPR is part of FERC’s ongoing efforts to remove barriers to participation in wholesale electric markets. FERC recognizes that electric storage resources and distributed energy resources are often constrained by antiquated wholesale market rules that were, as FERC puts it, “developed in an era when traditional generation resources were the only resources participating in the organized wholesale electricity markets.” This NOPR will promote far greater market participation by storage resources of all types, including batteries, flywheels, compressed air and pumped hydro, as well as...

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Inter-regional Plans for the Nation’s High-Voltage Transmission Grid Land on FERC’s Doorstep

by Christopher S. Bloom Jurisdictional Public Utility Transmission Providers (TP) filed earlier this week with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) inter-regional plans for the efficient and economical coordination of the construction and financing of high-voltage electricity transmission lines pursuant to FERC Order 1000. The inter-regional plans are to address state and regional needs and policies, such as renewable portfolio standards, and are sure to determine how transmission is financed and how both transmission lines and new electric generation are sited.  Once approved by FERC the plans are to be incorporated in the open-access transmission tariffs (OATT) of the plan’s author —either the public utility or, in regions where they exist, the regional transmission organization or independent system operator.  TPs submitted regional plans to FERC last October.  In the new inter-regional plans, neighboring TPs in...

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