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FERC seeks renewable energy transmission advice

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeks comments whether rules, regulations, tariffs and industry practices act as barriers to variable and renewable energy.

In a Notice of Inquiry on 21 January, 2010, FERC asks a series of questions about potential barriers to integrating more variable and renewable energy into the transmission system.

The deadline for leaving comments with FERC is 60 days after the Notice was published, which according to Renewable Energy Focus’ calculations equate to around the 22 March.

The questions posed by FERC include:

  • Can enhanced forecasting tools and procedures can assist with predicting the output from variable and renewable energy sources with greater accuracy?
  • Would greater forecasting abilities, data sharing and metering tools allow transmission system operators to anticipate ramping events and use reserve services more efficiently in response?
  • Would greater scheduling flexibility help reduce generation imbalances and anticipate variability?
  • Are the day-ahead market structures discriminating against variable and renewable energy providers who often prefer to sell into real-time markets?
  • Would increased coordination between balancing authorities help smaller authority areas to integrate more variable and renewable energy?
  • And should FERC encourage consolidation of balancing authorities?
  • Would a variable and renewable-only virtual balancing authority reduce integration costs?
  • Are curtailment and re-dispatch practices and protocols transparent and efficient? Do they result in unnecessary costs or rates?

The information was provided by US law firm Stoel Rivers LLP.

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