FERC Opens Wholesale Electricity Markets to Distributed Energy Resources

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 17 approved a long-awaited rule, directing regional grid operators to open their markets to distributed energy resource aggregations. The order removes barriers preventing these resources from competing on a level playing field in the wholesale capacity, energy, and ancillary services markets. The rule requires regional grid operators to...

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Utilities Continue Plans to Accelerate Phase-Out of Coal-Fired Generation

Proposals to accelerate the phase-out of coal-fired generation appear more prominently in long-term resource plans of U.S. electric utilities, reflecting the growing shift to renewable energy. The transition from coal continues to be driven by state clean energy mandates, emissions reduction goals, low natural gas prices, and increased availability of low-cost renewables and storage resources.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Increased Focus on Clean Energy Prompts Wholesale Power Markets to Weigh Carbon Pricing

There is a growing interest in how carbon pricing can be incorporated into wholesale power markets as more jurisdictions embrace policy goals to transition to a lower-carbon power system. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has scheduled a technical conference to consider state adoption of mechanisms to price carbon emissions in regions with commission-jurisdictional electricity markets.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Distributed Generation Compensation Evolves to Reflect Benefits With Greater Accuracy

Recently, state regulators have stepped up efforts to value distributed energy resources (DERs) more accurately while looking for ways to better reflect the costs they impose on the grid. Among recent actions, New York adopted a mechanism to move the market towards more cost-reflective rates, while California decided to include avoided transmission costs in the valuation, and Connecticut unveiled a study on quantifying the benefits of these resources.

Over 85 Percent of U.S. Power Plants Switched From Coal to Natural Gas Since 2011: EIA

From 2011 to 2019, the U.S. repurposed 121 coal-fired plants to burn other fuels, of which 103 switched to natural gas, according to an Aug. 5 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The agency attributed the trend to stricter emission standards, low gas prices, and more efficient natural gas turbine technology. Of the 316.8-gigawatts…...

Southwest Power Pool to Implement Policy Changes, Enhance Market Development

The Southwest Power Pool Inc., the regional transmission organization for 14 states in the central U.S., on July 29 announced plans to implement policy changes and improve its market development strategies in the second half of 2020. The announcement follows a suite of approvals from the organization’s board and stakeholder committees. The board approved four…...

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Ohio Nuclear Bailout Scandal Stirs Up Questions Over Ratepayer Subsidies for Aging Power Plants

The debate over ratepayer subsidies for struggling nuclear power plants has resurfaced, following a racketeering investigation related to a controversial Ohio law, which created a $1 billion bailout for FirstEnergy Corp. last year. The economic troubles of the embroiled industry come to the fore even as states such as New Jersey and Illinois evaluate plans to opt out of the regional capacity market in response to reforms that expanded the minimum offer price rule to subsidized resources.

Western Power Market Benefits Top $1 Billion

The Western Energy Imbalance market generated about $79 million in savings in the second quarter of this year, with total benefits reaching about $998 million since its launch in 2014, according to a July 29 press release from the California Independent System Operator Corporation. The market constitutes an automated system that secures the lowest-cost energy…

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – FERC’s Updates to Utility Power Procurement Rules Gives States More Say in Rate Setting

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has revised the regulations for implementing a 1978 federal law, which requires electric utilities to purchase power from small power producers. The reforms, intended to reflect changes in the energy markets, mark the first major overhaul to utility power procurement rules under the law, which has spurred the growth of small renewable generators.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Court Cements Energy Storage Access to Wholesale Markets, Expands Opportunities for Growth

In a major victory for the energy storage industry, a federal court affirmed that battery installations connected to the distribution grid must have the opportunity to access wholesale power markets. The move comes as federal regulators are examining the growing interest in hybrid resources, with battery technology seen as an important tool in integrating other resources to the grid. The affirmation bodes well for expanding wholesale market access to distributed energy resources.

Court Upholds FERC Rule to Expand Energy Storage Participation in Wholesale Power Markets

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on July 10 upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s energy storage order, rejecting arguments that the agency exceeded its jurisdiction by barring states from prohibiting behind-the-meter storage participation in wholesale markets. The commission adopted the landmark Order No. 841 in February 2018, directing grid…...

NERC Anticipates Adequate Resources to Meet Summer Electricity Demand Across Most of U.S.

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation anticipates sufficient resources to meet this summer’s projected peak electricity demand in most areas of the U.S. despite the uncertainty caused by efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a July 7 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The corporation, which oversees regional electric…...