Noting that the electricity sector is “transforming as the generation fleet shifts from resources located close to population centers toward resources, including renewables, that may be located far from load centers,” the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANOPR) in Docket RM21-17 seeking stakeholder comment on whether and how to “build for the future” by revising existing regulations governing regional transmission planning, cost allocation, and generator interconnection.
The ANOPR is the first step in a rulemaking process that may conclude with adoption of FERC proposals, or alternative approaches proposed by participants. The ANOPR will build on the existing Order No. 2003 interconnection process, and the transmission planning reforms adopted ten years ago in Order No. 1000, which established requirements for a more open, integrated, and cost-effective approach to regional transmission planning. According to the ANOPR, these existing transmission planning and cost allocation processes do not enable integration of near and longer-term generation projects, and may fail to identify the most efficient or cost-effective transmission facilities needed to accommodate anticipated future generation. In addition, the current approach of assigning network upgrade costs only to an identified generation project or cluster may not be appropriately allocating costs to all benefitting customers.
To address these challenges, and the related issues of queue management and pricing policy, FERC seeks comment on a number of potential reforms, including:
FERC also calls for comments on how best to transition to new interconnection pricing paradigms and new regional transmission planning and cost allocation processes that may be adopted in this rulemaking proceeding. The ANOPR issues are broad in scope and may affect California and regional transmission providers, electric utilities, renewable and storage project developers, local governments and electric utility ratepayers.
Opening comments are due October 12, 2021, reply comments November 9, 2021.
Contact: Brian Biering or Lynn Haug