United States Opens Access to Clean Energy

26 Feb 2007 – The United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has adopted a final rule that will facilitate access to clean energy resources.  Increasing numbers of renewable energy electrical generators have led to imbalances on the electrical grid.  In June 2007, a new rule to govern these imbalances will become mandatory and enforceable.

The electrical grid is getting more complex each year.  Differences between the scheduled and actual delivery of energy (generator imbalances) are corrected by transmission providers to keep the system balanced.  Existing policies provide wide discretion in charges and penalties, which many feel are discriminatory and excessive.  This is the reason for the reform.

Wind energy generation and other forms of renewable energy sources, by their intermittant nature, contribute to these generation imbalances.  But for increases in renewable energy source generation to occur, provisions must be made for green energy to have higher priority on the grid – and less penalties.  Some think this should require fossil fuel power-generating facilities, with higher greenhouse emissions, to shoulder more responsibility and cost in balancing the grid.

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation has scheduled several workshops to understand implications of this paradigm shift underway in North America.  The workshops will focus on emerging standards, transitional steps, timelines, penalties, and how these 83 standards will be coordinated.

FERC press release.

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