Massachusetts and California want energy storage resources to compete in the wholesale energy market

Attorney Generals in both states co-led a coalition in filing an amicus brief.


KEY POINTS
  • Attorney Generals in both states co-led a coalition in filing an amicus brief.
  • The brief urges a federal appeals court to uphold orders by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
  • The orders allow energy storage resources to fully participate and compete in the wholesale energy market.

Massachusetts — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra co-led a coalition of five attorneys general and the California Air Resources Board in filing an amicus brief urging a federal appeals court to uphold orders by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that will allow energy storage resources to fully participate and compete in the wholesale energy market, aiding states in their transitions to cleaner, more reliable, and more resilient power systems.

“Increasing the role that energy storage resources play in our markets will help lower electricity bills, reduce pollution, and support our thriving $14 billion clean energy economy in Massachusetts,” AG Healey said. “We urge the court to uphold FERC’s orders so states can build on these investments and accelerate the essential transition to an energy system without dangerous greenhouse gas emissions.”



“Here in California, we believe in tearing down barriers – not building new ones,” said AG Becerra. “Removing unnecessary barriers to entry into the wholesale electric market will increase competition, lower prices, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game, and FERC’s orders will provide much-needed benefits to both consumers and the environment.”

The brief, filed on Friday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, et al. v FERC, urges the court to uphold FERC’s orders, which require administrators of regional, wholesale electricity markets, including ISO-New England, to adopt rules that allow storage resources to fully participate in the competitive electricity market. The brief argues that the orders will enhance the substantial environmental, economic, and health-related benefits that energy storage technology, including battery storage, provides to Massachusetts and other states.

According to the brief, energy storage resources provide important benefits to states and their consumers by storing excess generated electricity for later use and injecting power back onto the system when needed, including when customer demand and electricity prices are high. This capability allows storage resources to help states lower electricity bills, create cleaner, more flexible and reliable power systems, and reduce the need for expensive and highly polluting energy generators that run on dirty fuels such as oil, diesel, and coal. In Massachusetts alone, energy storage could provide up to $3.4 billion in savings and revenues over the next ten years. By facilitating the transition to cleaner energy, storage resources help states address the climate crisis and improve air quality.

The brief also urges the court to uphold the orders based on an appropriate and well-established understanding of FERC’s limited statutory authority under the Federal Power Act.

The brief demonstrates AG Healey’s continued commitment to ensuring access to clean electricity at reasonable prices for all Massachusetts consumers and to working with other state attorneys general to advocate for renewable energy and fight dangerous climate change.

AG Healey and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra co-led the brief and it was joined by the attorneys general of the District of Columbia, Michigan, and Rhode Island, as well as the California Air Resources Board.

This matter is being handled in Massachusetts by Special Assistant Attorney General Liam J. Paskvan, of AG Healey’s Energy and Telecommunications Division, and Special Assistant Attorney General Megan M. Herzog, of AG Healey’s Environmental Protection Division.

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