Full Title: FERC Transmission: The Highest-Yield Reforms
Author(s): David Littell, Elaine Prause and Frederick Weston
Publisher(s): Regulatory Assistance Project
Publication Date: July 30, 2022
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FERC has proposed practical interconnection reforms based largely on models already in place and tested in certain regions. Updated interconnection standards are sorely needed to meet the needs and realize the capabilities of newer energy resources seeking to interconnect to the grid. FERC should move quickly to adopt these tested reforms, and it should put in place an oversight entity for interconnection and transmission planning.
FERC has proposed transmission planning reforms, which are well-conceived and should be adopted too. But the commission needs to ensure its reforms do actually “take.” The transmission planning, modeling, and scenarios guidelines need to be mandatory to obviate poor implementation. States deserve some amount of FERC deference, but RTOs do not: They are creatures of orders for which FERC is entirely responsible. In non-RTO regions, the same standards would apply to utility operators to ensure equal treatment across the United States. Similarly, to the above recommendation, FERC should create an oversight entity structure for interconnection and transmission planning, to help the Commission do what it currently does not have the capacity to do.