Americans For a Clean Energy Grid Files Comments with FERC on Grid Resilience

Source: By Americans for a Clean Energy Grid • Posted: Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Americans for a Clean Energy Grid (“ACEG”), a diverse coalition focused on improving the high-voltage transmission grid, today submitted its comments in response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proceeding on Grid Resilience. The comments assert that the smart, cost-effective expansion of high-voltage transmission networks, especially on an interregional basis, is a largely untapped means of enhancing the reliability and the resilience of the nation’s electric grid.

ACEG recommends that the Commission can and should enhance reliability by promoting better planning and interconnection between the regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) by:

  • Strengthening Order 1000 through mandatory interregional planning and project evaluation;
  • Including analysis of all the benefits of interregional resource access; and
  • Appraising those benefits and their contribution to cost-effective reliability and resilience when allocating costs for those projects.

ACEG’s recommendations align with comments already filed by RTOs and ISOs, which highlight the important role the transmission system plays in providing grid resilience and reliability.

The comments are further supported by ACEG’s Board of Directors who collectively represent a diverse coalition of utilities, environmental advocates, transmission owners and developers, renewable energy companies, technology manufacturers, labor unions, and public-interest groups who all agree and realize that a modernized, integrated, and expanded high-voltage grid is critical for resilience.

James J. Hoecker, ACEG board member, Counsel to the WIRES group and former Chairman of FERC, notes that, “I expect many parties will opine about what the Commission might do to improve resilience through fuel supply and generation resources. But let’s not lose focus on what is clearly at the heart of FERC’s jurisdiction—transmission planning and rate regulation. There is huge potential to achieve improved resilience and reliability through cost-effective regional and interregional transmission projects. The Commission has spent two decades strengthening and modernizing the transmission grid and it should now recognize that that work is also about enhancing system resilience.”

Dr. Jennifer Chen, an attorney for the Sustainable FERC Project housed within the Natural Resources Defense Council and ACEG board member, added, “improved transmission could have saved customers from high fuel prices during extreme winter storms by bringing more wind energy into grid, which is a strong performer under such conditions.”

“When a coalition this broad is unified on an important issue, stakeholders should pay attention,” said ACEG Executive Director John Jimison. “By filing in advance, we hope to encourage all to do so.”