Existing SEEM proposal insufficient for Southeast US region, say ACORE and SEIA chiefs

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
The Southeast is one of the remaining areas in the US not served by a real-time, wholesale energy market. Image: Heidi Sadecky

Current proposals for the Southeast Energy Exchange Market (SEEM) are not up to scratch and fall short of what is needed if the region is to meet its clean energy goals.

This was the verdict from the heads of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) after a recent report on the issue.

Real-time, wholesale energy markets, particularly when linked with regionally planned transmission systems, are vital to accelerating the growth of renewable energy in Southeast US, according to a new ACORE report.

But, current proposals for the Southeast region are inadequate, according to ACORE president Gregory Wetstone and SEIA president Abigail Ross Hopper.

“As it stands, the Southeast Energy Exchange Market (SEEM) fails to create an open and competitive wholesale energy market at the expense of ratepayers and the environment,” said Hopper.

The Report

ACORE’s Energy, Market Design and the Southeast United States report examined and contextualised the argument for the proposed SEEM, which would create a bilateral contract framework spanning 12 US states, 17 power providers and more than 50 million people in the area.

The report finds that the Southeast would in fact benefit from a real-time energy market based on competitive bidding by driving costs down for consumers, more effective integration of renewable energy systems, and the environmental benefits associated with renewable power.

However, it stated that, as it stands, “SEEM does not propose to establish a real-time wholesale energy market in the Southeast, as exists in other parts of the country”.

Almost 70% of the US is served by real-time, wholesale markets, where energy is traded between entities before reaching customers, such as Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs).

But the Southeast is one of the last remaining regions where individual entities generate and distribute electricity free of a centralised wholesale market.

“A real-time energy market and an independent entity planning future transmission lines would help the region reach clean energy goals, reduce costs for consumers, and deliver significantly greater environmental benefits,” said Wetstone.

Current SEEM proposals

SEEM, as it is currently presented, does not propose to establish a real-time wholesale market. Instead, it intends to formalise the existing vertically integrated utilities in the Southeast through a supply and demand matchmaking system that will trade excess power over underutilised transmission capacity.

Meanwhile, the requirement to balance generation and load will remain within utilities, and access to the SEEM platform by IPPs seeking to develop projects with the SEEM area is not guaranteed. “The current proposal doesn’t scratch the surface of what’s possible when it comes to creating a market, and we will continue to work with Southeastern states to promote a more effective alternative,” added Hopper.  

Read Next

August 3, 2021
The Australian state of Victoria has unveiled six grid upgrade projects as part of efforts to unlock new renewables investment.
August 3, 2021
American solar panel manufacturers Auxin Solar and Suniva have filed a petition with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to extend a tariff system for cells and modules, despite warnings that it was damaging the US solar industry
July 28, 2021
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has unveiled formal plans to replace its existing solar support framework with a new incentive programme which will support up to 3.75GW of new solar over the next five years.
July 15, 2021
A round-up of the latest stories from the US solar market, featuring proposals to support long-duration energy storage, patent successes from LONGi and the completion of a microgrid at Pittsburgh International Airport that features 20MW of solar.
July 8, 2021
While the Asian solar industry has been hit by COVID-19 fueled disruption, the pandemic has also boosted interest from offtakers, industries and governments alike.
July 8, 2021
Italy’s transmission system operator Terna will invest €18.1 billion (US$21.4 billion) in the next ten years to strengthen the country’s grid and support the integration of new clean energy projects.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021