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Lawmakers Consider How AI is Affecting the Grid

And, FERC nominations reach critical step

Welcome to Grid Brief! Here’s what we’re looking at today: Congress holds a hearing to examine the impact of AI on the grid. Plus, Senate considers FERC nominees.

Congress Examines the Impacts of AI on the Grid

Today at 10 am ET the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security will hold a hearing to explore how the AI boom is impacting America’s grid. Key witnesses include Philip J. Dion, Sr of the Edison Electric Institute, and former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) commissioner Tony Clark, among others.

This hearing comes on the heels of a crucial report from the North America Electric Reliability Council (NERC) earlier this month which warned of increased risks of outages and blackouts this summer as grid demand increases. The study specifically called out MISO, ERCOT, and NPCC New England for having an elevated risk of “insufficient operating reserves.”

State utilities are already responding to this risk. In Virginia, Dominion Power is forecasting that grid demand will double through 2035 as data centers and cloud computing increase in the Commonwealth. Meanwhile, Georgia plans to build an additional 18 gigawatts by 2040 to keep up with the state’s energy demand and Texas’ ERCOT is now expecting to reach peak loads of 152 gigawatts by 2030—far more than its current peak of 86 gigawatts.

Watch the hearing here.

Today: FERC Nominations Reach Critical Step

Credit: FERC

On the other side of the Capitol this morning, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a business meeting at 10 am ET to consider President Biden’s three nominees to FERC. As E&E News reports, this vote comes “as the agency is in danger of losing its voting quorum by month’s end.”

FERC hasn’t had a full panel since 2023 when Chair Richard Glick departed the Commission. The three nominees—David Rosner, Lindsay S. See, and Judy W. Chang—come from diverse backgrounds including a D.C.-based think tank, West Virginia’s Office of the Attorney General, and academia, respectively.

For a deeper dive into each candidate, check out NC Newsline’s reporting here.

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