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RTO Insider: FERC Sends DER Data Request to RTOs

Posted by Amanda Durish Cook on Sep 13, 2019

RTO Insider covered AEE's new DER report and quoted AEE's General Counsel Jeff Dennis and Director Caitlin Marquis on FERCs recent DER data request from RTOs. Read excerpts below and the entire RTO Insider story here (sub. req.).  

FERC is asking RTOs for information on aggregated distributed energy resource portfolios in their wholesale markets — the first significant movement in a possible rulemaking on DER in more than a year. On Sept. 5, FERC’s Office of Energy Policy and Innovation sent identical letters to all the RTOs and ISOs seeking data on their existing aggregated DER interconnections (RM18-9)...

The commission asked for responses by Oct. 7, which will be followed by a 30-day comment period. The 11-question list asks RTOs to provide data or estimates on the number of DERs in each footprint that directly participate in wholesale markets versus the DERs that don’t participate. FERC also inquired about RTOs’ coordination with state and local leadership about DER interconnection processes...

Leadership at Advanced Energy Economy, a D.C.-based trade association with members who develop and use DERs, took the data requests as a good omen. “We think it’s a good sign that the commission continues to dig into the issue and put some focus on it,” said AEE Managing Director and General Counsel Jeff Dennis, who leads the group’s wholesale markets advocacy.

But Dennis warned that the newest action in the DER docket now leaves any new rule waiting at least until November, and probably longer. With a draft DER rule still in a holding pattern, AEE released a white paper Sept. 5 outlining five case studies where DERs can be beneficial in wholesale markets. Dennis said the paper illustrates how DERs can provide service in wholesale markets to the benefit of consumers and the grid.

“As we await a final rule from FERC, there is a lot of discussion of the challenges to [DER participation] in wholesale markets. We wanted to focus on the benefits and the fact that this is already happening,” AEE Director Caitlin Marquis said of the five scenarios, which include managing demand or load with solar generation, battery storage, electric vehicle fleets and microgrids.

The case studies include a microgrid that can participate in wholesale energy and demand response markets to bolster vulnerable points on the grid or help during extreme weather; aggregated battery storage installations used for demand charge management; and electric vehicle fleets that are responsive to demand. The paper also highlights commercial solar generation and storage installations used to meet corporate sustainability goals and reduce wholesale market load and aggregated residential solar/storage facilities that have cleared ISO-NE’s forward capacity auction.

“This is what we could have more of if there were rules in place,” Marquis said, noting that some of the case studies are based on actual DER setups from AEE’s member companies...

Read the entire RTO Insider story here (sub. req.).

Topics: AEE In The News