The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will hold a series of technical conferences to discuss implications of compliance approaches to the U.S. EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan.
In particular, said a Dec. 9 FERC notice, the technical conferences will focus on issues related to electric reliability, wholesale electric markets and operations, and energy infrastructure. The vommission will hold a National Overview technical conference on Feb. 19, 2015, at FERC headquarters in Washington, DC. Following the National Overview technical conference, it will hold three regional technical conferences, on dates to be announced, in the following cities: Eastern Region, Washington, DC; Central Region, St. Louis, Missouri; and Western Region, Denver, Colo.
The National Overview technical conference will be commission-led. The regional technical conferences will be staff-led. Commission members may participate in the regional technical conferences.
“State, regional and/or federal plans for compliance with the proposed Clean Power Plan may impact FERC-jurisdictional markets, grid operations, and infrastructure,” the notice said. “The technical conferences will provide a forum for interested persons to discuss how to address any issues concerning the reliability of the power grid and the efficient operation of wholesale electric markets that may arise in the context of potential state and regional compliance approaches to EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Additionally, the technical conferences will provide an opportunity to discuss how compliance scenarios may impact existing infrastructure and drive the need for additional infrastructure, especially new electric transmission and natural gas pipeline facilities, and whether there are regulatory barriers that need to be addressed, and by whom, to ensure the timely development of those facilities.”
Subsequent notices will be issued detailing the specific agenda and topics for discussion at the National Overview technical conference, and the date, time, venue and specific agenda and topics for discussion at each regional technical conference.
Commissioner Tony Clark said in a Dec. 9 statement: “I am pleased by today’s announcement that FERC will be holding a series of technical conferences to explore the impact of the EPA’s proposed ‘Clean Power Plan’ (CPP) on electric grid operations and reliability. FERC has an important responsibility to ensure reliable electricity through just and reasonable rates. A key part of this work is to fully understand how changes in the marketplace, technology, and other agencies’ regulations will affect the duties with which FERC has been entrusted by Congress. Should the CPP survive legal challenge, states, regions, and the EPA itself will begin the complex task of creating federally enforceable implementation plans. It is not difficult to envision scenarios in which a patchwork-quilt of implementation plans, if improperly crafted, either conflict with one another or with the Federal Power Act itself in ways that harm electric reliability and distort prices.”