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WASHINGTON Nov 18 (Reuters) - Federal regulators on Thursday proposed reforms to make the U.S. electric grid more accessible to electricity generated by renewable energy sources, which should lower costs for consumers who want to buy clean power.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposed a rule requiring public utility transmission providers to allow renewable power producers to schedule their shipments of electricity over shorter time periods to better reflect the moment-to-moment changes in generation output by renewables.
Wind and solar power producers would be able to schedule transmission service in 15-minute intervals, instead of the current one-hour scheduling procedure.
"Most of the new power plants for which developers are seeking access to the grid are variable resources such as wind and solar generators," said FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff. "This proposal will help the commission to cost-effectively integrate these and other variable generators into the grid in a way that helps maintain reliability and operational stability."
The FERC's proposal would help meet the Obama administration's goal to double the amount of U.S. electricity generated by renewable energy sources.