FERC schedules technical conference on reactive power

WASHINGTON 2//27/12 (PennWell) -- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has scheduled a technical conference on the need for generators to provide reactive power capability to the electricity transmission grid.

Those interested in speaking at the April 17 conference at FERC headquarters in Washington must notify the commission by March 9.

A recent FERC order on interconnection requirements for the California Independent System Operator Corp. (No. 661-A) said CAISO's filing in the docket highlighted potential issues regarding the need for reactive power capability among newly interconnecting asynchronous generators and raised questions about the need for continuing the process established for wind resources.

FERC ordered its staff to convene the conference to examine whether the commission should reconsider or modify the reactive power provisions of the order. It directed the staff to examine what evidence could be developed to support a request to apply reactive power requirements more broadly than to individual wind generators during the interconnection study process.

FERC said the conference will discuss:
o technical and economic characteristics of different types of reactive power resources, including synchronous and asynchronous generation resources, transmission resources, and energy storage resources;
o design options for and cost of installing reactive power equipment at the time of interconnection as well as retrofitting a resource with reactive power equipment;
o other means by which reactive power is currently secured such as through self-supply; and
o how a technology that is capable of providing reactive power but may not be subject to the generation interconnection process would be analyzed.

Advance registration for the conference is not required, but is encouraged. Those interested in speaking should notify the commission by close of business March 9. Forms for registering and for notifying FERC of an interest in speaking are available on FERC's Internet site under http://www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventDetails.aspx?ID=6215&CalType=%20&CalendarID=116&Date=04/17/2012&View=Listview.

For information, contact Mary Cain, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St., N.E., Washington, DC 20426; (1) 202-502-6337; E-mail: mary.cain@ferc.gov.

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