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United States

United States

Ferc proposes revamp of grid rules to boost renewables

UNITED STATES: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc) is proposing a series of changes to US transmission rules to boost the use of renewable energy.

The rule changes would enable transmission providers to plan around the variable nature of renewables
The rule changes would enable transmission providers to plan around the variable nature of renewables

Ferc has outlined changes to the rules requiring transmission providers to offer services that allow for the efficient integration of renewable energy.

The fact renewable energy is often at the whim of the fluctuations in the weather can put it at a disadvantage with transmission providers. The new changes aim to provide transmission providers with a greater degree of accuracy in terms of planning the integration of renewables into the grid.

The ‘Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR)’ would allow transmission providers the option of scheduling transmission service at 15-minute intervals instead of the hourly service.

Another element of the NOPR include a requirement that renewables generators provide data to enable transmission providers to improve power production forecasting.

A third rule change would allow transmission providers to recoup the added cost involved with integrating wind energy and other renewables.

Speaking about the move, Ferc chairman Jon Wellinghoff said: "Most of the new power plants for which developers are seeking access to the grid are variable resources such as wind and solar generators.

"This proposal will help the commission to cost-effectively integrate these and other variable generators into the grid in a way that helps maintain reliability and operational stability."

In January, Ferc announced it was reviewing its regulatory policy to judge whether it catered to renewable energy.

The NOPR follows an announcement by UK regulatory body Ofgem of plans to raise £32 billion to fund a revamp of the country's energy network.

Ofgem says the UK grid needs to be revamped in order to accommodate the growth in the renewable energy sources, including wind, and the decline in Britain's existing power stations.

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