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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

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Statement: January 21, 2010 Print this page
Docket No.: RM10-11-000

Statement of Commissioner Marc Spitzer on efficient integration of renewables into the grid

"Renewable energy is a critical component of the nation's energy portfolio and this Commission and the industry should do all that we can to assure that these resources are brought to market in an efficient and reliable manner. Today's Notice of Inquiry (NOI) is an important step in the Commission's efforts to ensure that the nation's consumers benefit from increased development of these important renewable resources.

We must clear about what the NOI does. The NOI seeks input from all segments of the industry and markets and gives them an opportunity to educate the Commission on what needs to be done to remove barriers to the efficient and reliable integration of renewable resources on the nation's grid. As technology continues to evolve, it is incumbent upon regulators to keep pace and ensure that consumers are able to reap the benefits of those developments.

We also must be clear what it does not do. The NOI does not seek to change rules for certain types of resources to incent certain types of energy resources or create preferences as between types of resources. Indeed, the ultimate goal of the NOI is the Commission's standard obligation: to ensure that rates are just and reasonable and to deter undue discrimination. Therefore, the NOI asks whether any of the rule or practice changes that may facilitate the integration of renewables should also apply to conventional resources to ensure that rates are just and reasonable and that we deter undue discrimination.

In addition, the NOI makes clear that any changes to rules or practices to accommodate the growing development of renewable resources are consistent with reliability standards.

I encourage all members of the industry and consumers with an interest in the development of renewable resources to share their views in this proceeding. I thank the team for their hard work on this document and thank them in advance for their continued hard work once we receive comments and proceed to the next step in this proceeding.

Finally, I'd like to thank the Chairman for his leadership on making the first step in this important journey an NOI rather than starting with a specific proposal. The NOI raises important issues for consumers and we need to make sure that we take the time to hear from all segments of the industry and gain the benefit of some of the deep thinking that has occurred in the industry and elsewhere on this topic. I see the NOI as an opportunity to listen, and starting the process by listening will only enhance the ultimate product."

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