Powerful Insights from GAO Covered by Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Powerful Insights from GAO Covered by Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held its December 2018 Open Meeting

On December 20, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) held its December 2018 open meeting. This meeting was particularly significant as it marked the first meeting for Commissioner Bernard McNamee after he was confirmed by the Senate on December 6, 2018. Commissioner McNamee, who had been nominated by President Trump, was warmly welcomed by the Commission. In this editorial, we will discuss the main highlights of this open meeting and explore their potential implications for the energy sector.

Commissioner McNamee’s Appointment and His Presence in the Meeting

Commissioner McNamee’s appointment to FERC generated much debate and controversy. As the former head of the Department of Energy’s Office of Policy, McNamee is seen as a champion of fossil fuels and an opponent of renewable energy. His confirmation by the Senate was seen as a victory for the Trump administration’s energy policy, which seeks to promote the use of coal and other traditional sources of energy.

At the open meeting, Commissioner McNamee voted present on the consent agenda since he was still new to the Commission. The consent agenda contained several routine items, such as tariffs, which were approved by the other commissioners. Commissioner Kevin McIntyre, who had been the Chairman of FERC, was absent due to continuing health issues and did not vote on the consent agenda. The absence of Commissioner McIntyre, who was battling a brain tumor, was keenly felt by the Commission.

FERC’s Approval of Energy Storage Integration

One of the key decisions made at the open meeting was the approval of a new rule that would make it easier for energy storage systems to integrate into the grid. This new rule would require regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) to establish rules that facilitate the participation of energy storage systems in wholesale electricity markets. This decision was widely applauded by the renewable energy industry and is expected to accelerate the growth of battery storage systems.

The Implication of FERC’s Energy Storage Integration Rule

FERC’s energy storage integration rule is a significant development for the renewable energy sector. By removing existing barriers to the integration of battery storage systems into the grid, this new rule would make it easier for utility-scale renewable energy projects to store energy and dispatch it as needed. This, in turn, could make renewable energy more competitive with traditional fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Additionally, this rule is expected to encourage the development of new technologies and business models that would facilitate the deployment of battery storage systems.

FERC’s Approval of Natural Gas Pipeline Rates

Another key decision made at the open meeting was the approval of natural gas pipeline rates. The Commission approved several requests from pipeline companies to increase their rates. These requests had been opposed by some environmental groups, who argued that granting them would encourage the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure and further exacerbate climate change.

Environmental Groups’ Opposition and their Implications

The Commission’s decision to approve natural gas pipeline rates was not without controversy. Environmental groups expressed concern that this decision would encourage the construction of new pipelines, which would increase carbon emissions and exacerbate climate change. They argued that FERC should do more to promote renewable energy and phase out fossil fuels. Some renewable energy advocates called on FERC to establish new rules that would encourage the development of renewable energy projects and promote energy efficiency.

Conclusion

The December 2018 open meeting of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was a significant event for the energy sector. Commissioner Bernard McNamee’s presence at the meeting marked a new era for the Commission, which has been a key player in shaping energy policy in the U.S for over 40 years. FERC’s decision to approve the energy storage integration rule was widely applauded by the renewable energy industry and is expected to accelerate the growth of battery storage systems. However, the Commission’s approval of natural gas pipeline rates was not without controversy, and some environmental groups expressed concern that this decision would further exacerbate climate change.

Originally Post From https://www.huntonak.com/the-nickel-report/tag/gao

Read more about this topic at
Upcoming Meetings – California POST
Planning Commission | Fontana, CA – Official Website

Goldman Secures $3.6B for Fresh Real Estate Credit Fund Boost – Bloomberg Law News

Montana Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Permit for Laurel Power Plant – KPAX