September 17, 2020

Whitehouse, Markey, Heinrich Applaud FERC Completion of Key Renewable Energy Rule

At senators’ urging, Commission delivers on commitments to help bring additional renewable energy onto the grid

Washington, D.C. – Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) released the following statement today on the decision of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to finalize a key rule that will help pave the way for Americans to connect their rooftop solar, wind, and energy storage devices to the electrical grid.

“We’re glad the Commission, under Chairman Chatterjee’s leadership, delivered on its commitment to complete this important proposal. States like ours are making big strides in helping distributed generation grow and benefit consumers. This new rule will bring more renewable energy onto the grid, reducing carbon pollution and saving Americans on energy costs. Now, it’s time to build on this progress. The more FERC can do to level the playing field for renewables, the faster we can help consumers and address the climate crisis.”

The new FERC rule helps renewable energy aggregators—like utilities and energy cooperatives—to integrate distributed energy resources (DER) into capacity and energy markets. That change will help to grow a more flexible and resilient grid while delivering lower energy prices for consumers, and may also spur swifter adoption of electric vehicles.

Whitehouse and Markey have on multiple occasions led colleagues in pressing FERC to finalize both the DER and energy storage rules (see the senators’ calls from 2017, 2018, and 2019). They have repeatedly pointed out that the proposals would aid grid operators in bringing renewables online to compete with fossil fuels while improving reliability and reducing costs for customers. As part of this effort, the senators met with FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee before his confirmation in 2017 to discuss the important role FERC plays in growing the renewable energy industry.

During his service on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Heinrich has repeatedly pressed FERC nominees and other Trump officials on the need for the new rule.

Renewable energy is an increasingly important part of America’s energy mix and a key employer. The renewable energy industry currently employs over 800,000 Americans and provides over 15 percent of our energy supply.

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921