NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: Federal Regulators Move On Distributed Renewables

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    Wednesday, February 10, 2021

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Federal Regulators Move On Distributed Renewables

    FERC Opening Markets to Distributed Resources Not Cause for Celebration in California Yet

    Herman K. Trabish, Sept. 29, 2020 (California Current)

    Editor’s note: Integrating distributed renewables with utility-scale renewables is becoming an increasingly vital tool to balance variability.

    Distributed resources advocates across the country celebrated the 2-1 vote approving Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order 2222 for opening capacity, energy, and ancillary service markets to aggregated distributed energy.

    They applauded FERC’s pomise to “usher in the electric grid of the future and promote competition in electric markets.”

    The celebration may have been premature, especially in California, according to distributed energy resource aggregators and policy experts.

    FERC cannot immediately impose rules that eliminate barriers to distributed energy aggregators participating in the California Independent System Operator and Regional Transmission Organization markets, Sunrun Director for Policy and Storage Market Strategy Chris Rauscher acknowledged. Sunrun, the leading U.S. solar-battery system installer, operates the first DER aggregation serving New England’s system.

    Two important steps are necessary. According to Concentric Energy Advisors Senior Project Manager and former FERC economist Emma Nicholson, the first is meeting legal challenges to FERC’s jurisdictional authority over distribution utilities. That could set precedents for addressing “the ever-evolving and murky line between transmission and distribution,” she said.

    The other step is coordination with distribution utilities and state regulators, delaying implementation “probably 2 years to 4 years away in some markets.”

    Aggregators cheered Order 2222 because it “recognized current market rules have unaddressed, unreasonable barriers to full participation and full compensation of DER aggregations in wholesale markets,” Ted Ko, VP for Policy and Regulatory Affairs for Stem, an energy storage system software provider, said… click here for more

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