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GTM Squared: Grid Edge Mega-Trends: Bridging the Distributed Energy-Wholesale Market Divide

Posted by Jeff St. John on Jul 10, 2020

GTM2 covered the challenges of incorporating DERs into the grid in the context of FERC Order 841 under consideration by U.S. Appeals Court, quoting AEE's Jeff Dennis. Read excerpts below and the entire GTM2 piece here (sub. req.). 

Back in 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued Order 841, a groundbreaking effort to open interstate transmission grid markets to energy storage systems. Part of FERC’s mandate to the country’s regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) included finding ways to allow aggregated, distribution-grid-connected storage — and eventually, a whole panoply of DERs — to be included in their new market structures...

To date, the biggest challenge to Order 841 has come not from generators, however, but from groups representing utilities and state regulators. Last year, these groups raised a court challenge to FERC’s decision to deny their request for rehearing the order on the grounds that it improperly extends federal authority over state energy policy. 

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral arguments on the case in May, and a decision is expected in the coming months. So far, energy storage and DER advocates are hopeful the court will uphold Order 841, given previous decisions such as the Supreme Court’s ruling on demand response. 

“FERC has jurisdiction to regulate the participation of distributed energy resources in the wholesale market,” Jeff Dennis, AEE’s managing director and general counsel, said in an interview. At the same time, Order 841 makes it clear that “states retain their full authority through interconnection agreements and other means to retain the reliability of the distribution system.” 

AEE is eagerly awaiting FERC action on the broader DER integration issues in RM18-9, Dennis said. “DERs are uniquely valuable in that they can provide services across both retail and wholesale markets. Making sure they can provide both, and not be forced to pick one or the other, is an important issue...” 

Read the entire Greentech Media2 piece here (sub. req.). 

Topics: AEE In The News