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.

Electric Transmission 101: How the Grid Works

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 15 Jan 2009 19:00:00 GMT

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Working Group for Investment in Reliable and Economic Electric Systems (WIRES) invite you to the first of two briefings designed to explore key issues associated with the planning, construction, operation, and regulation of the nation’s high voltage interstate electric transmission network. Transmission issues have emerged as a major concern to policymakers and a broad variety of stakeholders over the past few years. As the new Congress and Administration prepare to take action on matters involving clean energy development, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, energy independence, and the reliability and security of electricity supplies, the investment in the “grid” has become an increasingly important matter of national energy policy. The physics and evolution of modern transmission systems are complex. An understanding of grid operations, planning, facilities siting, finance, and regulation nevertheless starts with these basics.

The first session (January 15) will provide a basic explanation of how the high-voltage “grid” actually works, what it accomplishes, and how it is regulated. A panel of experts on electric transmission operations and regulation will address the history and basic components of the grid, how electric power flows are controlled, the basics of grid interconnection and operations, the limitations of the system, and how operators address those limitations. This briefing also will survey the fundamentals of rate regulation and cost allocation, organized (Regional Transmission Organizations, or RTO) and bilateral (non-RTO) markets, regional transmission planning, siting, and reliability concerns. Although this briefing is for the uninitiated, the panel will invite questions at any technical level.

Speakers for this event include:

  • James Hoecker, former Chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and Counsel to WIRES
  • Kevin Kelly, Director, Policy Analysis and Rulemaking, FERC
  • Wayne Galli, PhD, Director, Transmission Development, NextEra Energy Resources (formerly FP&L Energy)
  • Gregory Ioanidis, Vice President, Business Strategy, ITC Holdings

This briefing is free and open to the public. No RSVP required. For more information, contact Laura Parsons at (202) 662-1884 or [email protected].

A second session will follow in February, with details posted at as they become available. This briefing will tackle the major high-visibility policy challenges facing policy makers as they balance the need for investment in transmission with other energy-related objectives.