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Microgrids Seek Path out of Regulatory Limbo

By District Energy posted 11-06-2018 10:43


Michael Brooks, RTO Insider

microgrid-conference-2018-10-30-international-district-energy-association-alt-fi.jpgFERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur addresses the Microgrid 2.0 conference in Baltimore. (Photo: International District Energy Association) 


“The phenomenon that I think FERC confronts and other agencies in Washington confront is that there’s been a lot more technological change than there’s been legislative change for a whole bunch of reasons that are above my pay grade to diagnose,” Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur told attendees of Microgrid 2.0 at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor last week.

“We’re trying to solve 21st century problems using … a 1930s law.”

How microgrids should be regulated was a central topic at the third annual conference held by the International District Energy Association (IDEA), which advocates for distributed generation, district heating and cooling, and combined heat and power.

“The reason we’re here talking about this today, probably more than anything else, is that consumer demand is driving us, and that we’re seeing more and more people say, ‘We want to see mixed-use, multi-customer microgrids because we want the variety of benefits that can come out of them,’” Christopher Berendt, counsel to IDEA’s Microgrid Resources Coalition, said during a panel on market design and policies."

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