Sen. Whitehouse & Rep. Quigley Introduce Grid Services and Efficiency Act

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 29 Sep 2020 20:02:00 GMT

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Congressman Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) have introduced legislation to prepare the nation’s power grids to affordably and reliably deliver clean energy. Many of the provisions of the Grid Services and Efficiency Act were included in Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, which the House of Representatives passed last week.

“The Grid Services and Efficiency Act instructs a cross-section of federal and regional agencies to work together to pinpoint gaps in grid services and operator platforms that may hamper the introduction of clean energy sources to the power grid. The legislation authorizes funding to upgrade electricity delivery infrastructure to better accommodate clean energy sources. The bill would also help determine whether federal regulators have the proper authorities to oversee the siting of interregional transmission lines necessary for expanding clean energy.”

The Grid Services and Efficiency Act takes steps to accelerate the transition by improving power system modeling and grid operator planning, commissioning studies of grid efficiency, and improving the connectivity of the electricity transmission system.

This legislation is supported by Advanced Energy Economy, Sunrun, National Grid, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Exelon, and the WATT Coalition.

Further summary:

The Grid Services and Efficiency Act aims to foster cross-agency collaboration to identify gaps in grid services and operator platforms, and to provide funding opportunities for entities to upgrade their energy infrastructure to ensure that our clean energy transition is done in a cost-effective manner that ensures reliability and reasonable rates for consumers.

This Act would:

Improve Power System Modeling and Grid Operator Planning:
  • FERC, in coordination with DOE, would provide recommendations on how to improve existing modeling, operational, and long-term planning practices used by grid operators across the energy system and the power market.
  • DOE, in coordination with FERC, would develop an Advanced Technology and Grid Services financial assistance program to provide funding to grid operators, utilities, and state energy offices to update energy planning documents and operational energy market platforms.
Study Grid Efficiency:
  • DOE, in coordination with FERC, would study the barriers and opportunities for advanced energy technologies that could make the transmission network more efficient at effectively delivering electricity.
Improve Transmission System Interconnection:
  • FERC would commission an outside report on whether regulators have the authority and tools to regulate the planning and siting of interregional transmission lines. The study would also report on potential deficiencies in interregional and regional transmission planning, and which transmission upgrades are needed between grid operator regions.
  • DOE would prioritize grant funding through the Office of Electricity and establish additional funding opportunities to help integrate new energy technologies in the bulk electric system.