Coalescence at FERC?

Commission’s new chair endorses compensation for coal plants

The recently appointed chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission made an immediate push for coal plants to be compensated upon shutdown Tuesday, citing their history of contributions to the electric grid.

Neil Chatterjee.—FERC.gov photo

Neil Chatterjee (right), who was appointed to be the federal agency’s chairman August 10 after being confirmed by the Senate a week prior, said on the agency’s newly unveiled podcast that he wants coal plants slated to go offline to be “properly compensated to recognize the value they provide to the system.”

The appointments of Chatterjee and Robert Powelson, another commissioner, restored the quorum that the agency had lacked to be able to function for the last six months. He said the backlog of work at the commission has created a lot of “consternation” among lawmakers and others, and he means to tackle that as his first priority.

Chatterjee also voiced high demand by coal plant operators for a separation between unsubsidized coal plants and subsidized renewable/natural gas plants in the same area. He cited Kentucky—his home state where he worked as an aide for current Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell for years—which generated 80% of its electricity from coal-powered plants in 2016, as a template for why this is necessary. Chatterjee also worked as a lobbyist for NRECA (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association) in the past.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Survey Says… | Electrical Apparatus Magazine - August 24, 2017

    […] it calls for FERC to compensate grid participants that “help keep power reliable”, echoing sentiments made by new FERC chair Neil Chatterjee last […]

  2. Coal Compensation | Electrical Apparatus Magazine - October 5, 2017

    […] an update to a recent Direct & Current item, the Department of Energy pushed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission September 29 to increase […]

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