Long Awaited Ruling by FERC opens doors for Renewable Energy

Today, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC, released their long awaited ruling to streamline how new electric transmission lines get paid.  FERC Order No.1000 is a final rule that changes the Commission’s electric transmission planning and cost allocation requirements for public utility transmission providers.  

This ruling now will require public utility transmission providers to improve thier transmission planning processes as well as allocate costs for new transmission facilities to whoever  owns the facility.  In addition, the ruling requires these public utilities to bring into line both transmission planning and cost allocation.  In essence, this will remove barriers and make it easier to develope new transmission facilities.

The new transmission planning requirements include the development of regional transmission plans, the consideration of transmission needs driven by public policy requirements established by state or federal laws or regulations, and the coordination between neighboring transmission planning regions.

The proposal ties cost allocation to the regional transmission planning processes. This ensures that only those consumers benefiting from transmission facilities are charged for associated costs, and gives each region the first opportunity to develop cost allocation mechanisms and identify how the benefits of transmission facilities will be determined.

FERC's new rule will help regions account for all the benefits that transmission provides including, for the first time, the benefits of meeting state clean energy standards such as state mandated renewable energy goals.  Renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar have been regionally locked in due to the need for more transmission lines and the myriad of issues surrounding cost allocation of transmission.   Ruling 1000 will change this and take out the roadblocks to building transmission lines to transport renewable technology to other areas who want this energy. 

Our Clean Energy Initiative will host an informative and illuminating discussion Please join us for what will be an illuminating panel discussion FERC Order 1000,   Transmission Reform:  What does it mean for Renewables?".  This lunchtime discussion will be next Thursday, July 28, at 12noon in the NDN event space at 729 15th Street on the first floor. Click here to rsvp

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