Offshore wind project
hits rough water in
America’s first major offshore wind project is caught in a crosswind.
The Federal Regulatory Energy Commission declined this week to rule on a waiver that would have eased the wind developer’s entry into New England’s electricity market.
The decision, or lack thereof, prompted an unusual round of public sniping among FERC commissioners on Twitter and highlights the simmering tensions in New England, where state climate ambitions are straining against the structure of the region’s wholesale electricity markets.
Some environmentalists and regulators said the incident illustrates the entrenched opposition to renewables from the regional grid operator, ISO New England, and federal regulators.
“Whether it’s intentional or not, ISO New England is running a system and maintaining a system that is designed for fossil fuel generators,” said David Ismay, an attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation. “To date, it has acted as if it sees renewables and other clean technologies as a threat to that system.”
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