FERC Decision on Energy Storage Rule Hurts Consumers

ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association today expressed deep disappointment after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission refused to reconsider a critical aspect of a rule governing energy storage resources in wholesale electricity markets.

“FERC has side-stepped the Federal Power Act, which preserves state and local regulatory authority over retail electric distribution service,” said NRECA Chief Executive Officer Jim Matheson. “The commission has dealt a blow to consumers and dramatically expanded its authority by giving itself the discretion to decide which distributed and behind-the-meter energy storage resources can participate in wholesale electricity markets. In doing so, FERC has undermined the ability of local utilities and regulatory authorities to manage these resources for the benefit of consumers.”

Order 841 stands in sharp contrast to FERC’s rules on demand response aggregation, which appropriately allow relevant state and local regulators to decide which aggregators may participate in wholesale markets. NRECA urged FERC to incorporate similar language into Order 841.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape. As local businesses built by the consumers they serve, electric cooperatives have meaningful ties to rural America and invest $12 billion annually in their communities.