Grid Geeks Podcast S5E4

FERC, NERC and the Frontlines of the Federal Fuel Wars

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The debates on bulk-power system reliability, resiliency, and the “federal fuel wars” continue at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (or FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (or NERC). While the Trump Administration’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule proposal is getting the headlines, the more behind-the-scenes efforts underway at FERC and NERC continue to shape federal energy policy, energy markets and grid planning.  In this episode of Grid Geeks I talk with Ric O’Connell, the Executive Director of Grid Lab, and Mark Ahlstrom, President of the Energy Systems Integration Group, to get the latest updates from the frontlines clean energy policy, including expanding the role of energy storage on the grid, integrating “resilience” into energy markets, and updating NERC reliability standards. Show links and bios are available at:

Call for ideas! Grid Geeks listeners, please send me a tweet @SaraBaldwinAuck with #gridgeeks and send me your ideas on what topics this podcast should cover. I look forward to hearing from you!   

From this Episode: 

Guest Bios:

Ric O’Connell, Executive Director, Grid Lab. Ric is responsible for GridLab's operations and execution. A recognized leader in renewable energy technology and policy, Ric has provided engineering support for more than 8 GW of utility scale solar projects worldwide, including several of the largest projects in the world. Prior to GridLab, Ric was at Black & Veatch for 12 years where he was instrumental in building the global renewable energy consulting practice. While at Black & Veatch, Ric provided expertise to the Energy Foundation China program and had leadership roles on a number of high-profile policy studies including 20 percent Wind Energy by 2030, and the California Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative. Ric has a BSEE from Duke University and a Master's in Renewable Energy Policy from CU Boulder.

Mark Ahlstrom, President, Energy Systems Integration Group. Mark is President of the board of the Energy Systems Integration Group, the non-profit educational association that provides resources and education to the engineers, researchers, technologists and policymakers for our evolving electricity and integrated energy systems. ESIG was formerly known as the Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG). Mark is also Vice President of Renewable Energy Policy for NextEra Energy Resources and WindLogics, NextEra’s subsidiary known for meteorology, energy analytics and renewable energy integration. Mark is actively involved in many activities across North America to support the economic and reliable use of higher levels of clean energy.