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Chatterjee believes the NOPR delay at FERC is “prudent”
Written By: Jen Neville
December 12, 2017
Neil Chatterjee, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) member and former interim FERC chairman, recently vocalized his support of the 30-day extension on the Department of Energy's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (DOE NOPR).
In a meeting at an event hosted by Axios on Dec. 11, Chatterjee said:
[p class="provocative-quote"]I think it’s prudent that my colleagues want a little bit more time to carefully evaluate the docket. And they intend to do that, and I presume that they will thoughtfully and carefully evaluate the fact-based, data-driven process that we have at the commission, and we’ll look to see what potential actions can be taken.[field provocative-quote metabox=news_meta][/p]
As temporary FERC chairman, Chatterjee worked on an interim plan to keep coal and nuclear plants online. He told the press that even though he is supportive of the extension, he still plans to secure his plan.
“I still would like to get consensus on an interim step but it's complicated. I myself have said I don't want to do anything to distort markets, to alter behavior, to unnecessarily cost consumers, so trying to land that is difficult, it's complex,” said Chatterjee.
For the immediate future, he believes his interim plan could be the right move for coal and nuclear. He told reporters that FERC would need to take more time to assess the nation's grid resilience.
“Co-locating solar and storage, that's an exciting possibility to me that could demonstrate resilience,” Chatterjee said. “Certainly I think the characteristics of gas — gas is capable of providing baseload — that may answer the question that there is no problem with resilience, but we just need to do that analysis and that analysis will take time.”
As for FERC in itself, Chatterjee disagrees with the criticism the commission has received for being too "politicized."
“This has not been a political process; this is not a process ceding independence,” Chatterjee stated. “Pressure from DOE, pressure from the administration is not a factor in this. We're going to go about our process and do this in the FERC way."