Gavin Bade, UtilityDive
On the first day of FERC's DER technical conference, states in the Midcontinent ISO electricity market argued FERC should allow them to choose whether to let aggregated DERs participate in both retail and wholesale markets.
"Draw a line" between the markets and "let states decide," Arkansas PSC Chairman Ted Thomas, also president of the Organization of MISO States (OMS), told regulators.
The vice president of OMS picked up that line on Wednesday, arguing state regulators and the distribution utilities they regulate should have the authority to prevent a DER or resource aggregation from participating in electricity markets if they believe reliability will be threatened.
"What I do care about is before there is DER offered into the market that the utility does sign off," said Missouri Public Service Commission Chairman David Hall, also OMS vice president. "I would take it farther and say the state regulatory authority should as well, and assure that new product is not going to cause any harm to reliability and safety of the system."
DER providers agreed that utilities should be able to safeguard their systems, but stressed that the criteria for intervening in DER market participation should be clear and public, so utilities do not use the authority to stifle competition from new resources.