FERC says 'no' to looking at how coal-fired power is treated on the grid

Jan 10, 2018

The head of the Lignite Energy Council said while he’s disappointed in a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruling concerning coal-fired power, the door is not yet closed.

The federal Department of Energy asked FERC to look at how baseload power plants are compensated as a part of the power grid for providing that power. But FERC said it didn’t want to make a change.

"It means more of the same," said Lignite Energy Council executive director Jason Bohrer.

Bohrer said it means North Dakota’s lignite plants will continue to produce electricity at somewhat of a disadvantage, in that power grid operators don’t compensate for everything the plants bring to the table.

"It would be equivalent to -- if Apple and Samsung were each selling phones, and one of them had a 10 hour battery life and the other had a 20 hour battery life, but you weren't able to charge more for the 20 hour battery life," Bohrer said. "That's the situation we have with power."

But Bohrer said FERC has left the door open for DOE and Congress to get involved.