Advanced Energy Perspectives

$34 Billion – or More – is Too High a Price to Pay for Power Plants that are Not Needed

Posted by Dylan Reed and Maria Robinson

July 2018

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What is the price of political cronyism? High, when it comes to paying power plants that are not needed to keep the lights on, just to exist. But that is what the Trump Administration is apparently getting ready to do. Or at least trying to do – an earlier attempt to do so was rejected by regulators, most of them appointees of President Trump. Not taking no for an answer, the Administration has decided to go bigger, with a bigger price tag. How much bigger? That’s what we wanted to find out.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update, Wholesale Markets

Latest Trump Administration Plan to Prop Up Failing Power Plants Leaves Many Questions Unanswered but Bottom Line is the Same: High Cost for No Benefit

Posted by Dylan Reed and Maria Robinson

June 2018

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In what feels like a never-ending showing of the movie Groundhog Day, the Trump Administration is yet again trying to bail out uneconomic power plants that are slated for retirement. This time, it looks like the Administration is using a national security approach to justify its attempt to help major campaign donor Bob Murray’s failing coal business. But once again, within the broader energy industry, the reaction against this latest scheme has been strong, with AEE fully engaged. 

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Topics: Federal Policy Update, Wholesale Markets

FERC Orders Grid Operators to Develop Market Rules for Energy Storage, Launches Process to Open Markets for DER

Posted by Maria Robinson

February 2018

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Last Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released a long-awaited final order on its storage and distributed energy resource (DER) docket. This is a big step toward opening up the wholesale electricity markets under FERC jurisdiction to advanced energy technologies that have not been allowed to compete. Energy storage gets an immediate boost, as regional grid operators will now have to implement market rules to let energy storage participate. Aggregated DERs, which FERC considered in this proceeding at the urging of AEE, will be on a slower path, starting with a technical conference, but are also headed toward market participation. AEE and our member companies will stay engaged until these markets are truly open to all advanced energy technologies.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update, regulation, Wholesale Markets

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

January 2018

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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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Advanced Energy Perspectives is AEE's blog presenting news, analysis, and commentary on creating an advanced energy economy. Join the conversation!

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