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FERC Lowers Barriers on DERS, Paving the Way for Microgrids

By Microgrid Resources Coalition posted 29 days ago

  

On Sept 17, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Order 2222, a landmark rule that levels the playing field for participation of microgrids and aggregated distributed energy resources (DER’s) in all regional organized wholesale electricity markets, including Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO’s) and Independent System Operators (ISO’s).  This final rule, subject to a 90-day comment period once posted in the Federal Register, is an important step forward for microgrids in the evolving electricity marketplace.  https://www.ferc.gov/news-events/news/ferc-opens-wholesale-markets-distributed-resources-landmark-action-breaks-down

Rule 2222 recognizes the holistic value of aggregating multiple technologies including generation, storage and demand response to enable broader market participation of DER’s.  The order essentially asserts that aggregation and integration of these complementary technologies should be supported by rulemaking, not discouraged.  Further, FERC 2222 clears a path for a standard market participation agreement and more consistent interconnection policies.  In sum, this order should accelerate the modernization and resilience of our nation’s electricity grid, enabling deployment of more distributed energy resources under a more transparent and rational structure. 

Much of this landmark rule is reflected in the comments submitted by the Microgrid Resources Coalition (MRC) to FERC on Docket No RM18-9-000 in June, 2018 referencing the Participation of Distributed Energy Aggregations in Markets Operated by RTO’s and ISO’s.  I urge you to read the MRC comments and judge for yourself. 

MRC members collectively invested in this advocacy at FERC over two years ago.  It is now bearing fruit.  We are pleased to invite other industry participants to now join the MRC to continue the effort, support the cause, and help drive needed change.  It is no longer sufficient to merely “talk about” microgrids and the value of aggregating multiple technologies.  As an industry, we need to aggregate and organize the requisite financial resources through a non-profit coalition like MRC to actively invest in advocacy and education, including testimony in states to enlighten regulators and policy makers, as MRC has underway in California. 

This ruling by FERC will be an important plank in our platform, enhancing the awareness and credibility of microgrids and aggregated DER’s to accelerate the modernization of our nation’s electricity grid. 


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