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E&E News: D.C. Circuit Ruling Reignites FERC Storage Battle

Posted by Arianna Skibell on Jul 14, 2020

E&E News covered FERC's Order 841 upheld by a federal appeals court and its impact on energy storage and wholesale markets, quoting AEE's Jeff Dennis. Read excerpts below and the entire E&E News piece here (sub. req.). 

Renewable and storage advocates are cheering a federal court decision last week upholding a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order aiming to knock down barriers for electric grid-level energy storage. But how much will the order really boost technologies like batteries..?

In its ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the commission had acted squarely within its power in drafting Order No. 841 to reduce barriers for energy storage resources, or ESRs, to access the federal wholesale electricity markets (Energywire, July 13). FERC has jurisdiction over wholesale markets, where electricity is first produced and sold before it is distributed to consumers on the retail level. States have jurisdiction over retail sales... FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee praised the court's decision, calling the order the "single most important act" the commission could take to "ensure a smooth transition to a clean energy future..."

Jeff Dennis, managing director and general counsel for Advanced Energy Economy, said FERC's "careful approach" ensures that its order does not unlawfully encroach on states' regulatory authority.

"Preserving the authority of the states to design these comprehensive programs, while opening wholesale markets to participation by innovative distributed energy technologies, provides a strong foundation for maximizing their utilization for the benefits of all customers and the reliability and resilience of the grid," he said.

When the commission issued Order No. 841 in 2018, the Brattle Group estimated that if costs continued to decrease over the next decade, the storage market had the potential to grow to 50,000 MW...

Read the entire E&E News piece here (sub. req.). 

Topics: AEE In The News