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FERC Order Promises to Be a Boon for Energy Storage

15 Feb

Federal energy regulators Feb. 15 adopted an order to expand participation of energy storage providers in wholesale power markets and another to enhance the frequency response capabilities of new generation facilities. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s order on storage, said Kevin McIntyre, commission chair, requires independent system operators and regional transmission organizations to remove “unnecessary […]

House Bill Eases PURPA’s Must-Buy Requirement

22 Jan

State energy regulators would gain more authority to waive the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act’s must-buy requirement for utilities under legislation debated Jan. 19 in the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy. The measure, H.R. 4476, would allow state utility commissions to relieve utilities of the duty to purchase power from facilities with capacities […]

OPINIONATED: The Sorry State Of Demand Response, Smart Meters/Dumb Tariffs

22 Jan

 By Fereidoon Sioshansi The Energy Policy Act of 2005 requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to conduct an annual survey of demand response and advanced metering in the U.S. The 12th edition of the report was released in Dec. 2017 and anyone looking for major revelations is likely to be disappointed. Not much happens from […]

The Buzz

18 Jan

The California grid operator plans to move into the western reliability coordination market. And, it plans to do so at a steep discount. An independent group of scientists finds that gas storage fields are needed now, but might later be converted to store clean fuels or captured carbon dioxide. Forthcoming federal standards aim to improve […]

ISO Plans Discounted Western Reliability Services

18 Jan

The California grid operator is working to expand its services to include reliability coordination and expects it to cost potentially less than half of what’s charged by Peak Reliability, the current reliability coordinator in the West. “We have a fairly high confidence that the cost will be at least a 50 percent discount to Peak […]

FERC Rules Aim to Enhance Grid Cybersecurity

18 Jan

Federal regulators Jan. 18 approved new rules to strengthen cybersecurity for software, industrial control hardware, and computing and networking systems used to operate the nation’s bulk power system. The so-called “supply chain risk management protections” are supposed to guard against adversaries who would disrupt the grid by supplying counterfeit equipment and by tampering with the […]

FERC Rejects Coal & Nuclear Subsidies

8 Jan

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Jan. 8 turned down Secretary of Energy Rick Perry’s proposal to provide price supports to coal and nuclear power plants in wholesale electricity markets. Perry had proposed “resilience” payments to the plants as long as they keep 60-day supplies of fuel on hand. His proposal faced significant opposition from the […]

No Holiday Rest for Energy Policy Actions

2 Jan

Key energy policy developments continued to unfold over the holiday period in California and the nation, with state utility regulators proposing a gas hookup moratorium in Los Angeles County for new homes and buildings and Marin County local government agencies going 100 percent renewable. In addition, Pacific Gas & Electric announced it was not paying […]

Shorts

11 Dec

Updated Dec. 14. Southern California Edison said Dec. 12 that fire investigators in Southern California are eyeing its facilities as a possible cause of the wildfires in the area. The utility said it will continue to cooperate with investigators. Meanwhile, it said that at least 500 of its power poles have burned and that spot […]

Financial Firms Pocket Congestion Revenue Rights Rent

29 Nov

Californians are losing money to the financial industry in the state’s wholesale electricity market through a practice known as financial trading, which some say allows financial companies to collect rents by participating in wholesale power markets without adding value. The loss amounts to $75 million a year, a California Independent System Operator official told a […]

Chatterjee Cites FERC Independence on Perry’s Proposal

16 Nov

Neil Chatterjee chaired his last meeting at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Nov. 16 after saying in a recent series of interviews that FERC is required by law to act on Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to prop up coal and nuclear power plants with additional payments in wholesale electricity markets. Chatterjee, who will continue […]

Shorts

7 Nov

Coal power production is expected to increase next year largely at the expense of natural gas-fired generation, according to the Energy Information Agency’s short-term energy outlook for the nation released Nov. 7. Gas power production will be about even with coal power next year, with each representing about 31 percent of total power production, EIA […]

Generator Earnings Generally Lower

6 Nov

Independent generator earnings were generally down in the third quarter of 2017, except for bright spots at NextEra and Calpine, with the latter changing hands after ongoing losses. AES, which like most of its generating brethren, is moving to modernize a handful of once-through cooled plants along the Southern California coast, reported a fall in […]

CA Coalition Protests Proposed Coal & Nuke Subsidies

25 Oct

Usually non-aligned California private and public utility, wind energy and merchant generator representatives are aligned in their opposition to Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposed rule to subsidize coal and nuclear power. The group of California power industry stakeholders urge federal regulators to reject Perry’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on grounds that it’s a proposed solution […]

Winter Power Supply Looks Good, FERC Says

23 Oct

California will have an adequate supply of natural gas and electricity this winter, with gas prices down slightly from last year, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s 2017-18 winter energy assessment. “Fuel and electricity demand likely will be moderate this winter,” Alan Haymes, FERC economist, said Oct. 19. Moderate demand is expected, he said, […]

Shorts

18 Oct

The grid operator’s Energy Imbalance Market produced benefits of $40.55 million for its five participating members during the third quarter this year. Benefits since the western imbalance market began in 2014 now total $254.98 million, according to the California Independent System Operator on Oct. 18. The grid operator also said that carbon emissions from the […]

Undercurrents

16 Oct

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry expanded upon his call for new payments to coal and nuclear power plant operators for their fuel secure characteristic during a House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy hearing on Oct. 12. “Thousands of megawatts of fuel-secure generation capacity, including environmentally compliant coal and emission-free nuclear resources, have been prematurely […]

Undercurrents: Dividing VW Penalty Pie

9 Oct

Another big crowd filled a California Air Resources Board meeting Oct. 9 to develop a plan for how to spend $423 million in penalty money Volkswagen is paying for its major Smog Check cheating scandal. Under a straw man proposal developed by the Air Board, most of the focus is on reducing emissions from trucks, […]

Shorts

25 Sep

A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposal to facilitate aggregated energy storage and distributed energy resources to participate in wholesale power markets has drawn wide support in comments filed on the federal agency’s proposal, according to an analysis released Sept. 27 by the Solar Electric Power Alliance and the Edison Electric Institute. However, the two organizations’ […]

Climate Roundup: CA Spending Plan for Carbon Auction Money is Law

19 Sep

Gov. Jerry Brown quickly signed into law two bills, AB 109 and AB 134, which appropriate $1.6 billion in state carbon cap-and-trade auction revenue this fiscal year. The money will go largely to projects aimed at advancing conversion of the transportation sector to electric technology. The spending package also will help sequester carbon in vegetation […]