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FERC Extends Comment Period for Grid Resiliency to May 9

FERC has extended by 30 days the comment period for its examination of the resilience of the nation's power grid.

In an order issued Tuesday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said it had extended the time for comments to be filed until May 9 [AD18-7]. Filings will not be restricted to "reply" comments, but may come from all interested entities, according to the order.

"It is imperative that we base our next steps on the best available information, and we encourage input from stakeholders across the energy spectrum," FERC said.

In January, concurrent with its unanimous rejection of a controversial notice of proposed rulemaking by Energy Secretary Rick Perry to change the nation's grid reliability and resilience policies, the Commission issued an order "to holistically examine the resilience of the bulk power system."

FERC directed regional market operators to submit their information within 60 days and pledged to review any information provided "promptly." The deadline for regional transmission organizations (RTO) and independent system operators (ISO) to make their submissions was March 9, with reply comments to follow.

A 30-day extension to comment in response to the RTO/ISO filings had been requested by 11 energy associations, including the American Petroleum Institute, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, Independent Petroleum Association of America and Natural Gas Supply Association.

The associations argued for more time because the RTO/ISO filings have been "significant, and will require substantial time and effort...to digest and analyze."

The resiliency proceeding "could be one of the most important issues by the Commission in a generation," Commissioner Neil Chatterjee said at FERC's monthly meeting last week.

"Since our order in January, we've experienced a number of events that have underscored the timeliness of the Commission's resilience inquiry, including more announced or threatened closures of existing generation assets, a bomb cyclone that stressed large parts of the U.S. grid, and a series of Nor'Easters.

“Those events, in my mind, also underscore the need for a diligent, expeditious review of the record that has developed in that proceeding," Chatterjee said.

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