Distributed Generation

On February 11, 2019, a group of seventeen Democrat United States Senators and Senator Bernie Sanders wrote a letter (the “2019 Letter”) to FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee urging FERC to adopt a rule requiring Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTOs”) and Independent System Operators (“ISOs”) to open their markets to participation of aggregated distributed energy resources (“DERs”).

This 2019 Letter follows a previous, similar letter sent to then-Chairman Kevin McIntyre on May 23, 2018 by a group of most of the same Senators (the “2018 Letter”).  In April 2018, FERC held a technical conference to discuss the participation of DERs in markets operated by RTOs and ISOs, but as of this writing, has not taken any other action on the matter.

Both the 2018 Letter and the 2019 Letter referenced Order No. 841 from February 15, 2018, in which FERC required that RTOs and ISOs open their markets to participation by energy storage resources (see February 20, 2018 edition of the WER).  The Senators urged Chairman Chatterjee to adopt a similar rulemaking with regard to DERs, stating that such rulemaking would both improve the reliability and resilience of the bulk power systems and could also lower the costs for consumers.

The 2019 Letter can be found by following this link, and the 2018 Letter can be found here.

By Brian Harms and Emily Prince

On April 6, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously approved an order doubling the budget of California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). The order directs California’s three investor owned utilities to double their collection of SGIP fees from ratepayers. Together the utilities will collect $166 million dollars annually through 2019 to fund the SGIP, resulting in an addition $249 million for project funding.

The Order implements California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act (AB 1637), which Governor Brown signed into law in September, 2016. The Act directs the PUC to increase the maximum collection for SGIP and extends the net energy metering program for fuel cells that commence commercial operation on or before December 31, 2021. The law updated the qualifications for the battery storage program by increasing the individual project cap to 5 MW and increasing the statewide cap by approximately 76 MW. Continue Reading California Seeks to Transform the Market: Doubles Funding for Distributed Generation with a Vision for Massive Battery Storage Growth