By a notice issued yesterday, September 28, Rick Perry, the Secretary of Energy, utilized section 403 of the DOE Act to require FERC to cause organized energy market operators (ISOs/RTOs) to compensate “fuel secure generation”, i.e., coal power, for grid “resiliency”–something that apparently puts Americans at risk despite statements by NERC to the contrary or the existence of RMR resources. (The term “fuel secure generation” could also include nuclear power, but who are they kidding? It’s crafted for coal.) The notice surgically carves natural gas generators out of the money by referring to the natural gas shortages that affected power generation during the Polar Vortex. This rare action by DOE gives FERC only 60 days to take final action or to issue the proposed rule as an interim final rule. This of course means the timeline for FERC to solicit feedback is quite short–perhaps intended to allow Interim Chairman Chatterjee and Commissioner Powelson to take action on this notice alone before FERC has a full set of commissioners. This morning, former NARUC President Travis Kavulla called the notice, if adopted, “the largest change to electricity regulation in decades.”
This is a big deal. For those interested, the notice is found here: DOE Grid Resiliency Notice.