Increasing Engagement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance continues to leverage the voice of large energy buyers to guide federal policy discussions.

As an independent agency that oversees components of natural gas, oil, hydropower, and the electricity industry sector, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) decisions influence how fast the U.S. power sector can adopt zero-carbon energy sources. Therefore, it is critical that the needs and priorities of large energy buyers are considered during FERC’s regulatory review process to ensure that resulting policies green the grid for all energy customers while addressing reliability, equity, and cost allocation concerns. 

One of REBA’s key priorities is to support ambitious decarbonization goals of large energy buyers by increasing access to clean energy through well-designed organized wholesale markets operated by Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), which also requires development of transmission infrastructure. FERC’s jurisdiction over the electric industry – including regulation of interstate transmission and oversight of wholesale power markets – reinforces the importance of raising awareness of energy consumer needs through available platforms.

FERC provides the ability to provide feedback on proposals being considered by the agency through a comment filing period, which serves as means to engage and gather views of stakeholders. REBA submitted a filing in response to the Commission’s June 23-24 Technical Conference on Resource Adequacy in the Western Interconnection (Docket AD21-14) to increase awareness of energy buyer priorities in the West, support state-led efforts to coordinate on electricity markets, and highlight the benefits of RTOs in resource adequacy planning. These comments closely followed REBA’s first-ever standalone filing at FERC highlighting the value of organized wholesale markets, which was submitted on June 25 as part of the Commission’s review of the financial incentives utilities receive for joining an RTO (Docket RM20-10). 

In addition, REBA has elevated to FERC the need for a more competitive wholesale market structure and advocated for a technical conference on the benefits that can be unlocked in the Southeast. REBA and its Clean Energy Coalition partners—the Advanced Energy Economy, the Advanced Energy Buyers Group, and the Solar Energy Industries Association— submitted comments on March 15 and April 14 urging FERC to thoroughly assess the Southeast Energy Exchange Market proposal (Docket ER21-1111), which would enhance existing bilateral energy trading among utilities, to ensure it is just and reasonable for all ratepayers in the Southeast.

This series of filings in 2021 marks a monumental step forward for REBA in its engagement with FERC. With recent announcements from FERC to address important topics including transmission planning, cost allocation, and generator interconnection, REBA looks forward to additional engagement while representing large energy buyers in federal policy discussions. 
To learn more about REBA’s ongoing involvement at FERC and get involved, contact the REBA’s Policy Innovations team at innovation@rebuyers.org.