February 15, 2018

Whitehouse, Markey Welcome FERC Energy Storage Rule

Senators call for next step to help incorporate small renewable energy installations into the grid

Washington, DC – Senate Environment and Public Works Committee members Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) cheered completion by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of a rule to help incorporate cutting-edge energy storage technology into America’s electric grids.  The rule, which Whitehouse and Markey have urged FERC to finalize, will require regional grid operators to update rules for battery systems to allow renewable energy like wind and solar to better meet consumer demand.  Pairing carbon-free solar energy with batteries is already helping renewable energy companies win competitive bids over fossil fuel projects – even against relatively cheap natural gas

“We’re already seeing powerful new batteries help renewable energy beat out fossil fuels.  This rule will help continue that success, reducing carbon pollution and providing Americans with dependable, low-cost energy.  I’m grateful to Chairman McIntyre and his colleagues for making good on their commitments to treat renewable energy fairly and finalize this rule swiftly,” said Whitehouse.  “With this rule on the books, I encourage the commissioners to turn to the second part of the proposal—to help mix power from small renewable energy systems, like rooftop solar, into our grid.”

“By advancing energy storage technology, we can get next-generation results from today’s renewable energy generation, continue our success in cutting global warming pollution, and create blue-collar jobs,” said Markey.  “I commend the FERC commissioners for upholding their commitments to complete this important rule, allowing us to keep building on our clean energy success and looking to the grid of the future.”

As our nation’s energy market regulator, FERC can set rules to guide regional grid operators in accommodating emerging technologies.  The energy storage proposal finalized today is part of a two-part rule FERC has been considering; the other part would help regional energy operators bring small renewable energy projects, like rooftop solar installations, onto the grid. 

Whitehouse and Markey have been pushing FERC to finalize rules to help renewable energy installations contribute carbon-free energy to the grid.  The senators met with FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee before his confirmation last year to discuss the important role FERC plays in growing the renewable energy industry, and the energy storage and renewable energy aggregator proposal specifically.  They also led a group of six senators in calling on FERC to move promptly to finalize the two-part rule.

The renewable energy industry currently employs over 677,000 Americans and provides 15 percent of our energy supply—a percentage predicted to rise significantly in coming years.


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