Murkowski Calls for Immediate Release of FERC Study on Renewable Reliability

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today sent a letter to the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee asking for the immediate release of the results of a long-awaited study of how much intermittent renewable energy can be reliably used without disrupting the nation’s power grid.

“This study, which the commission said would be released more than a year ago, is information we will need to determine how much renewable energy can safely be added to the existing grid without compromising its integrity,” Murkowski said. “As policymakers, we need that type of information sooner rather than later.”

In May 2009, FERC announced a six-month study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on the potential use of a frequency response metric to determine the amount of renewable energy that could be reliably integrated into the nation’s power system. Nineteen months later the report has yet to be finalized or made public.

Some renewable energy resources, such as wind generation, can disrupt the continuity of the power grid due to its variable nature.

Despite the fact that the study has not been publicly released, FERC has advanced rulemaking affecting the planning and cost allocation of building transmission lines for renewable energy.

Murkowski’s letter requests the study be released prior to the start of the 112th Congress in January.

“The study will be an invaluable resource for federal and state officials tasked with formulating energy policy,” Murkowski said. “As the incoming 112th Congress turns to clean energy and transmission-related issues, policymakers must be aware of the potential consequences for the reliability of the grid and any associated costs.”

The full text of the letter is attached.