Yesterday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANOPR) related to transmission reform. The ANOPR, titled Building for the Future Through Electric Regional Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation and Generator Interconnection, recognizes that the electricity system is changing with the addition of more and more renewable energy provided by intermittent sources of fuel like wind and solar. The new energy mix creates a need for expanded transmission and FERC wants to understand if its existing approach to transmission planning, cost allocation and interconnection is still relevant.

To that end, FERC is seeking comments on a more forward-looking approach to how we build and allocate the cost of transmission infrastructure in this country. It invites the public to comment on potential reforms to improve transmission planning and cost allocation and generator interconnection processes as the nation transitions to a cleaner energy future.

“As the generation fleet shifts at an unprecedented rate from resources located closer to population centers towards resources located far from load centers, we must evaluate whether our transmission planning and cost allocation and generator interconnection processes require a more innovative and anticipatory approach,” FERC Chairman Rich Glick said.

“A piecemeal approach to expanding the transmission system is not going to get the job done. We must take steps today to build the transmission that tomorrow’s new generation resources will require.”

Three areas of focus

The Commission is seeking public comment on potential reforms in three specific areas:

reforms for longer-term regional transmission planning and cost-allocation processes that take into account anticipated future generation,rethinking cost responsibility for regional transmission facilities and interconnection-related network upgrades, andenhanced transmission oversight over how new transmission facilities are identified and paid for.

Learn more about the ANOPR here. Comments, identified by Docket No. RM21-17, are due 75 days after publication in the Federal Register. Reply

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