The FERC terminated the Grid Reliability and Resilience Pricing proceeding initiated in September 2017 by the Department of Energy (DOE). It has now announced the opening of a new proceeding evaluating the resilience of the bulk power system in regions operated by regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent service operators (ISOs). In the new proceeding, FERC directs RTOs/ISOs to submit information to the Commission within 60 days followed by 30 days for public reply comments.
Specifically, FERC requests that each RTO/ISO provide: (1) comment on FERC’s proposed definition of “resilience;” (2) an explanation of how they assess threats to resilience, including physical and cyber attacks, accidents, extended fuel supply disruptions, and extreme weather events; and (3) an explanation of existing or additional market based approaches RTOs/ISOs rely on to mitigate risks to resilience.
“We are very encouraged by the action taken by FERC today” says the statement released by AWEA and other American energy associations. “We look forward to engaging with FERC, DOE, and grid operators in an examination of what resilience of the electric power system means and requires, and to demonstrating the contribution of our industries to ensuring reliable power for all.”
Other groups joining AWEA in the statement include Advanced Energy Economy, American Council on Renewable Energy, American Petroleum Institute, Electric Power Supply Association, Energy Storage Association, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, Natural Gas Supply Association, and Solar Energy Industries Association.
“Every American shares an interest in preserving and strengthening the US power grid that keeps our lights on and powers our economy” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “We’re encouraged by FERC’s action because it recognizes that no past or planned power plant retirements threaten grid resilience. This action starts a thorough look at how to assess the grid’s resilience, and how FERC and the RTOs might apply further market-based approaches to protect it. In particular, we’re glad to see FERC’s focus on wholesale electric market rules, transmission planning, and standards set by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. Those are all key to ensuring long-term grid resiliency. Wind power plays an important and growing role in diversifying the grid’s sources of energy. Wind turbines can provide important grid services that make our electricity supply more reliable and resilient against extreme events. We look forward to continuing to work with FERC, NERC, grid operators, and the Department of Energy to find the best path to the grid of the future.”