FERC today directed new reliability standards to protect the grid as the nation makes the transition to expanded use of clean energy technologies.
Today’s rule will help ensure reliability of the grid by accommodating the rapid integration of new power generation technologies, known as inverter-based resources (IBRs), that include solar photovoltaic, wind, fuel cell and battery storage resources and comprise a significant portion of new generating capacity projected to come online over the next decade.
“These standards will help us solve one the biggest problems we’re facing, as we make the transition to clean energy resources,” FERC Chairman Willie Phillips said. “We need to make sure that these promising new technologies can enhance, not weaken, reliability of the grid. We mean it when we say that at FERC, reliability is, and remains, Job No. 1.”
Today’s final rule directs the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to develop a suite of new or modified reliability standards that comprehensively address IBR data sharing, model validation, planning and operational studies, and performance requirements. NERC must file the new or revised standards in tranches, with each tranche due no later than November 4 of each of the next three years. NERC also has 90 days to submit to the Commission an informational filing that includes a detailed, comprehensive standards development and implementation plan.
These IBRs use power electronic devices to change the direct current power produced by generators into alternating current power that is then transmitted on the bulk electric system. In certain cases, these resources respond to grid disturbances differently from traditional generation resources such as hydropower, nuclear, coal or natural gas plants. Most mandatory reliability standards were developed for traditional generation resources, so today’s final rule is important to ensure IBRs support reliability in the same manner as traditional generation resources.
In a related reliability matter, the Commission today accepted NERC’s 2024 budget, saying it is reasonable and that the associated costs of NERC’s jurisdictional functions are allocated equitably among end users in the United States. (Item E-10 | Docket No. RR23-3)