Advanced Energy Perspectives

A Victory for Competitive Markets – and Advanced Energy – as FERC Rejects DOE Coal, Nuke Bailout and Begins a Serious Look at Grid Resilience

Posted by Maria Robinson

Jan 10, 2018 3:00:00 PM

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On Monday, FERC issued its long-awaited final order on the grid resilience docket. In a clear repudiation of Secretary Perry, who issued the original Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FERC closed the docket on the DOE NOPR, opting to not take any action. The Secretary, along with major coal companies, stated the belief that there was an urgent need to take out-of-market action in order to preserve baseload generation resources such as coal and nuclear plants capable of maintaining 90 days of fuel onsite. However, FERC determined there was no emergency, and terminated consideration of the cost-of-service proposal in a unanimous vote. Three of the five commissioners (LaFleur, Glick, and Chatterjee) wrote individual but concurring opinions supporting this action, although Commissioner Chatterjee continued to express “concerns regarding bulk power system resilience in the interim period.” FERC also initiated a new proceeding to examine (and indeed, for the first time, define) resilience from the ground up, calling for information from the regional grid operators. But even in launching that examination, FERC commissioners made no promises about taking action to change market operations, pledging only to “evaluate whether additional Commission action regarding resilience is appropriate at this time.”

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Topics: Federal Policy Update, Wholesale Markets

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