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Susan Fleetwood Comments on FERC Grid Reliability and Resiliency Pricing

December 20, 2017
By Susan Fleetwood

FERC is right to account for the high hidden costs of federal and state support for renewable energy in its new reliability rules. Reliable coal and nuclear power facilities are being discriminated against.

"[R]enewable resources routinely offer power to the markets at negative prices because they are paid multiples of the compensation received by traditional coal and nuclear resources.  The failure of wholesale power markets to recognize the impact of “extra-market” compensation to renewable energy is undeniably unjust and unfair to the traditional market participants that must rely on market prices for their lifeblood.   
Moreover, compared to traditional sources, renewable energy is an inferior product.  It provides little or none of the essential reliability services like load following, spinning reserves, and voltage and frequency support.  The nation’s bulk power system relies heavily on traditional resources for these services, but wholesale market operators do little to ensure that these generators remain viable.  FERC’s effort to right these wrongs is long overdue and essential to ensure the reliability of the bulk power system in the U.S."