FERC Order 845 Opens Door a Little Wider for Energy Storage

on April 25, 2018

Utility-DiveTucked away in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s April 19 revision of its large generator interconnection agreement are easily overlooked provisions that could benefit energy storage providers.

Order 845 revises the commission’s large generator interconnection agreement in several ways. It’s the conclusion of a process that began with a notice of proposed rulemaking in 2016 that was prompted by a complaint filed by the American Wind Energy Association.

For energy storage, the most obvious change in Order 845 is that it revises the definition of generating facility to explicitly include electricity storage. But the scope of 845 is much wider than energy storage. It revises interconnection rules and protocols for any generator larger than 20 MW.

One of the main changes FERC is putting in place with Order 845 is to allow interconnection customers to request a level of interconnection service that is lower than the capacity of their generating facility.

That is an issue that has become increasingly prevalent with the rise of renewable resources such as wind and solar power for which electrical output seldom equals nameplate capacity.

Improving the interconnection process

FERC says that changes such as more closely aligning output and nameplate capacity will help improve the interconnection process. Many interconnection customers experience delays and some interconnection queues have significant backlogs, according to FERC. As a result, there is also a recurring problem of late interconnection request withdrawals that can lead to interconnection restudies that can increase costs and timelines for other participants in the interconnection queue, FERC says.

Among the other changes brought about by Order 845 is that it requires transmission providers to allow for provisional interconnection agreements for limited operation of a generating facility prior to completion of the full interconnection process. The order also requires transmission providers to create a process for interconnection customers to use surplus interconnection service at existing points of interconnection.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsFERC Order 845 Opens Door a Little Wider for Energy Storage