It’s a rare day in Washington when Republicans and Democrats agree. In a letter from nine former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairs and Commissioners who served under five Presidents from both parties, we now have unequivocal alignment that the expansion of organized regional wholesale power markets will benefit customers and accelerate clean energy deployment.
The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) fully agrees that FERC should “finish the job of setting up organized wholesale power markets and ensure that they flourish in all regions of the country. . . [because they are] compelling platforms for renewable energy development and are achieving considerable consumer benefit.”
Organized markets, known as Independent System Operators (ISOs) and Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), are more essential than ever as our nation moves toward decarbonizing the power sector. These organized markets provide benefits including:
- Rapid decarbonization of the energy grid as evidenced by 80% of renewable generation deployed in organized market regions and emissions falling faster in these areas;
- A least-cost, customer-centric transition to renewable resources and a level playing field for all technologies by providing non-discriminatory grid access; and
- Increased grid resilience through improved grid planning, including transmission, and more inter-connected grids to balance power flows and resources across wider geographic areas.
A study by the REBA Institute and the Brattle group shows that organized wholesale markets reduce costs for customers regardless of whether these policies focus on advancing state clean energy policies, expanding utility programs for commercial and industrial renewable energy access, or introducing supply choice.
Likewise, REBA released a set of customer-centric wholesale market design principles that outline specific design priorities for structuring markets that accelerate renewable energy deployment. It is essential that these principles are considered to ensure markets decarbonize the power sector equitably and least-cost.
The time is now to ensure customers across the country are seeing the grid green. These wholesale electricity market platforms provide the necessary market-based foundation to ensure that energy customers can continue to play a significant role in advancing a carbon-free power sector and all customers benefit from a faster and lower-cost transition to clean energy.