What’s in a Name?
Michael Keegan is an attorney (Of Counsel) at Wilkinson Barker Knauer. His practice focuses on electric and natural gas matters at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Prior to joining WBK, Keegan worked in the energy practice group of an international law firm and as a solo practitioner.
Shakespeare's Juliet famously pondered that question from her balcony. Although far less vexing than the predicament of star-crossed lovers, the naming of a rule related to resiliency pricing or resilience pricing and the need to define the key term, has caused a great deal of consternation in the energy industry.
On September 29, 2017, the Department of Energy proposed a rule for final action by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The DOE's proposed rule is entitled "Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule."
When FERC docketed the proceeding, it did so under the caption Grid Reliability and Resilience Pricing. But there isn't a consensus as to what these names mean.
The proposed rule seeks to provide cost-based recovery for compensable "reliability and resiliency costs." However, the proposed rule does not provide a definition of resiliency or resilience. And the term is not defined in FERC's regulations.
FERC Staff implicitly acknowledged that there is no pre-existing regulatory definition and that the proposed rule did not offer one. The Staff's Request for Information on the proposed rule asked parties, "What is resilience, how is it measured, and how is it different from reliability?"