Modernizing Electricity Market Design
- The expected changes to the resource mix and load profiles make it imperative that the Commission proactively examine and identify necessary reforms to existing markets to ensure that operators of organized wholesale electricity markets can procure new grid services, operate more flexibly, and send appropriate price signals to reflect the needs of the modern electric grid.
- FERC intends to conduct an examination of the existing organized wholesale electric markets to identify reforms that ensure markets provide appropriate incentives to resources for the operational capabilities needed by market operators. It will also identify potential reforms to existing market rules that facilitate the integration of new and emerging technologies.
Improving the Siting and Review Process for Interstate Gas Pipelines, LNG Facilities, and Hydroelectric Projects
- The Commission is working to finalize a revised analytical framework that will ensure its gas infrastructure proceedings are supported by sufficiently robust records on all factors, including issues of need for a proposed project; potential environmental impacts, including climate change; and impacts on landowners and communities, including environmental justice communities. The Commission issued two draft policy statements for further comment on these matters. This effort will provide for efficient, timely and well-supported determinations by the Commission.
- About 340 hydroelectric relicense applications are expected to be filed between FY 2021 and FY 2031, about one-third of all active FERC-issued licenses. The Commission is committed to timely review of license applications and ensuring transparency regarding the potential environmental impacts and required mitigation measures.
Safeguarding Electric Infrastructure from Emerging Threats to Reliability and Security
- Extreme weather events and climate change pose a serious threat to the electric grid. Consumers that are already vulnerable, such as low-income communities, communities of color and Native communities, often suffer some of the worst effects. Cyberattacks have the potential to cause widespread disruption of electric service, threatening national security and similarly endangering the health, safety and economic well-being of millions of people.
- The Commission expects to evaluate and undertake measures to address threats to grid reliability from extreme weather and climate change as well as cyberattacks. Actions to mitigate or avoid the adverse effects of widespread and extended power outages will help to better protect all communities, including the most vulnerable communities.
Facilitating the Development of the Electricity Infrastructure Needed for the Changing Resource Mix
- Our nation’s electricity resource mix increasingly includes resources with characteristics that differ from those that have traditionally provided supply, including resources like wind and solar that are located distant from population centers. Accommodating this rapid transformation will require a large amount of additional electric transmission infrastructure to cost-effectively deliver generation from these new resources to where electricity is needed, while maintaining reliability.
- A more efficient, cost-effective and reliable electric grid benefits everyone, including underserved communities that currently shoulder disparate energy burdens.
- The Commission expects to implement needed reforms through its ongoing proceeding initiated by last year’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Building for the Future Through Electric Regional Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation and Generator Interconnection.
Improving Accessibility and Participation in Proceedings
- Removing barriers to meaningful participation by members of the public, including landowners and those who are underserved, such as environmental justice communities, supports well-informed Commission decision-making and durable decisions, and is consistent with Commission statutory obligations.
- The Commission has taken important steps to increase engagement with these communities, including the important step of creating FERC’s Office of Public Participation. As a result of this new office’s work, more members of the public who may be affected by the Commission’s actions may intervene or comment in proceedings, or initiate proceedings themselves.
- The Commission is engaging in an agency-wide effort to assess, identify and implement improvements to the Commission’s government-to-government Tribal consultation and engagement practices. These efforts focus on ensuring that Tribal Nations are meaningfully consulted on and educated about the full range of Commission actions that may impact their treaty rights, resources, and people.
Promoting a Strong and Robust Enforcement Program
- A strong and robust enforcement program increases the transparency of market information and enhances market confidence. It ensures that the electric grid is reliable and secure, and that infrastructure is developed in accordance with Commission regulations, rules and orders.
- The Commission’s existing authorities, along with its surveillance, information gathering and analytic capabilities, enable it to exercise vigilance, detect emerging compliance issues, and ensure that Commission policies, procedures and guidance are sufficient to inform industry action.
Documents & Docket Numbers