Consumer Liaison Group discussed energy storage and hosted FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee at December 2017 meeting

On December 7, the Consumer Liaison Group (CLG) held its last quarterly meeting of the year in Boston, Mass. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Neil Chatterjee gave the keynote address. A panel discussed The Future of Energy Storage in New England: What it Means for Customers. Panelists included: Christopher Parent, Director, Market Development, ISO New England; Judith Judson, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources; Lewis Milford, President, Clean Energy Group; and Ted Ko, Director of Policy, Stem, Inc.

Commissioner Chatterjee with ISO-NE VP of External Affairs, Anne George; and Rebecca Tepper, Chair, CLG Coordinating Committee and Chief, Energy & Telecommunications Division Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.Keynote Address

Commissioner Neil Chatterjee discussed the matters that FERC has been addressing since he joined the Commission in August. Much of Chatterjee’s work has focused on reducing what he called a significant backlog of pending matters that had accrued in the months FERC lacked a quorum. Chatterjee, who served an advisor to US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell before joining the Commission, said he hopes that FERC provides stability during uncertain times.

Chatterjee said that FERC is currently examining the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR), which calls for compensation for the “resiliency attributes” of certain power plants. Chatterjee told the audience that the questions posed in the DOE NOPR are serious and worth examining and that he and his colleagues at FERC are taking the matter seriously, but that the challenges that DOE highlighted cannot be solved overnight. Chatterjee said FERC will likely propose an interim solution and set up a structure for a longer-term examination of the issues. Chatterjee also shared some of his priorities for the next several years, including removing barriers for new technologies, such as energy storage and distributed energy resources. 

Panel Discussion

Robert Espindola, Energy Systems Program Manager at Acushnet Company, moderated the panel (pictured above and listed below). All presentations can be found on the CLG webpage.

  • Christopher Parent, Director, Market Development, ISO New England, explained that battery storage can participate in the markets today and that the ISO has recently made rule changes to better integrate storage and other technologies into the markets. 
  • Judith Judson, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, reviewed Massachusetts’ Energy Storage Initiative, discussed the unique challenges energy storage poses from a supply-chain point of view, and shared news about a recent announcement regarding $20 million in grants awarded to 26 projects across the Commonwealth.
  • Lewis Milford, President, Clean Energy Group, offered observations on energy storage in Massachusetts, saying that more than 50,000 customers could save up to $720 million annually through investments in battery storage. 
  • Ted Ko, Director of Policy, Stem, Inc., said the that his customers are able to adopt new storage systems with ease and explained how utilities and grid operators can use storage devices to help maintain reliable operations.

ISO New England Update

Anne George, Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Communications for ISO New England, provided information on the 2017/2018 winter season, Forward Capacity Auction #12 (FCA #12), the ISO’s Operational Fuel-Security Analysis, projected wholesale market costs for the year 2017, and the CASPR proposal.

  • Winter reliability —The ISO expects sufficient electricity supplies to meet consumer demand during the 2017/2018 winter season, barring any unexpected resource outages or fuel delivery constraints.
  • FCA #12 — This annual auction will take place in February 2018 to procure the capacity resources needed to meet the installed capacity target for the June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022 capacity commitment period.
  • Wholesale costs —The ISO projects that the total value of energy, capacity, and ancillary services markets in 2017 was $6.3 billion.[1]
  • Fuel Security — The ISO’s operational fuel security analysis will be released after the conclusion of the USDOE NOPR process. The analysis examines more than 20 cases of generating resource and fuel-mix combinations during the 2024-2025 and will quantify each case’s fuel security risk, i.e., the number and duration of energy shortfalls that could occur and that would require implementation of emergency procedures to maintain reliability. 
  • CASPR —The ISO plans to file with FERC a proposal regarding the Competitive Auctions and Sponsored Policy Resources (CASPR) in time for FCA #13, which will be run in February 2019. The proposal arose from the Integrating Markets and Public Policy (IMAPP) initiative, a stakeholder process that NEPOOL launched in 2016 to discuss market rule changes to harmonize wholesale electricity markets with the public policy goals of the New England states. 

2018 CLG Meeting Dates

The CLG’s four quarterly meetings have been scheduled for 2018: March 1, June 14, September 20, and December 6. Updated information will be available on the CLG webpage.

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