Today in Cleantech

I wanted to share some exciting rulings from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with you this morning — but instead, I can only bring you one, less-exciting piece of news. For some reason, at its Thursday meeting in Washington, D.C., FERC struck from the agenda any decision on a long-awaited proposal that would give the “negawatts” delivered by demand response the same amount of money as megawatts generated at power plants and fed into the grid. It looks as if that decision will be left for another day, and I’ve reached out to FERC to find out why. The one item FERC did approve on Thursday was on a related issue — a proposed order (PDF) to change the way frequency regulation services are compensated at grid operation entities under federal jurisdiction. Keeping the grid’s frequency at a stable level takes up about 2 percent of the country’s generation capacity today, most of it via gas-fired turbines. New technologies such as flywheels, batteries, real-time demand reduction could do the job even better, said FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, but “the organized markets may not be capturing the value of this faster, more accurate service.” The 60-day comment period on the proposal is now open — check it out, and let me know what you think.