American Wind Energy Association CEO testifies before Congress on wind’s reliability, resilience

Published on October 05, 2017 by Kevin Randolph

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Wind energy can provide essential electric reliability services thanks to technological improvements, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) CEO Tom Kiernan said in testimony Tuesday at a hearing on grid reliability before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Kiernan offered several policy recommendations in his testimony including relying on competitive markets to ensure affordable and reliable electricity, focusing on reliability needs as opposed to generation sources and promoting transmission infrastructure investment to improve resilience and increase access to all low-cost forms of energy.

“We support the objective of maintaining a reliable and resilient grid, which is best achieved through free and open markets, with a focus on needed reliability services – not sources – and a program to promote transmission infrastructure,” Kiernan said.

Kiernan expressed concern about the effect on competition of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recent proposal to provide payments to resources with certain reliability attributes, which are possessed primarily by nuclear, coal and hydroelectric plants.

The American Petroleum Institute, Solar Energy Industries Association, Energy Storage Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Hydropower Association and others entities also testified at the hearing and expressed support for market-based solutions.