Court upholds regulation boosting electric grid storage

Court upholds regulation boosting electric grid storage
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A federal court on Friday upheld a regulation that removes barriers to electric grid-level batteries that store electricity.

The regulation in question requires that grid operators treat storage similar to the way power plants are treated. It was promulgated in 2018 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 

FERC Chairman Neil ChatterjeeIndranil (Neil) ChatterjeeWatchdog finds agencies using outdated standards for gas export facilities Overnight Energy: 350 facilities skip reporting water pollution | Panel votes to block Trump's 'secret science' rule | Court upholds regulation boosting electric grid storage Court upholds regulation boosting electric grid storage MORE on Friday said on Twitter that the rule will “be seen as the most important act we could take to ensure a smooth transition to a new #cleanenergy future.”

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The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners challenged the rule in court and has argued that the decision goes beyond the scope of FERC’s authority and violates states rights. But the court did not agree, saying in its decision that “we find no foul here.” The judges did note, however, that illegal applications of the rule can be challenged. 

The original rule was passed unanimously by the three Republicans and two Democrats serving on the commission at the time. 

Environmentalists and renewables producers hailed the Friday decision as a win for clean energy jobs. 

“Today’s decision is a big step towards realizing cleaner, healthier air for all Americans and creating opportunities for more clean energy jobs,” Michael Panfil, an attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund, said in a statement. 

“FERC’s order ... creates an even playing field for energy storage to compete with traditional fossil fuel generators," he added. "It removes market barriers for energy storage and unlocks its enormous public health, environmental and cost-saving potential."