FERC Paints Grid Reform Agenda For House Energy Panel

July 28, 2021

During Tuesday’s Energy and Commerce hearing, Congressman Peters talked to the FERC chair about his POWER ON Act and improving interstate renewable energy transmission. They also discussed how his bill will help remove barriers to update the grid and increase climate resiliency.

Read more about it in this July 27th piece by LAW360, posted below:

FERC Paints Grid Reform Agenda For House Energy Panel

July 27th, 2021

Any overhaul of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s transmission planning policies to accommodate more clean energy must include ways to break the logjam of projects waiting to get on the grid and properly divvy up grid upgrade costs, FERC commissioners told a U.S. House panel Tuesday.

Clean energy-minded members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s energy subcommittee pressed FERC commissioners for further details on their recently issued advanced notice of proposed rulemaking to solicit public comment on how to improve the agency’s current processes for connecting generation to the grid, planning transmission and allocating related costs.

Commissioners acknowledged that actually siting new power lines is largely a matter for states, but that changes to FERC’s planning process can go a long way to getting new transmission built more quickly. That starts by taking a longer-term view of transmission planning to accommodate new electricity generation increasingly dominated by wind, solar and other renewable energy sources, FERC Chairman Richard Glick said.

“We’re not looking to the future of what’s getting built,” Glick told the panel Tuesday. “When we’re planning for new transmission, we’re looking [at] what the next transmission project is going to be.”

FERC Commissioner Allison Clements noted that of the approximately 750 gigawatts of electricity generation projects in grid interconnection queues throughout the U.S., approximately 700 gigawatts are composed of wind, solar or hybrid renewable energy projects.

“That’s where the market is driving us,” Clements told the panel.

FERC’s previous stab at improving transmission planning, 2011’s Order No. 1000, hasn’t moved the needle much in terms of helping needed transmission get built. A major stumbling block has been the planning the long-distance, interregional lines to carry renewable energy from remote areas to population centers.

Glick said that will be a priority as FERC mulls changes to its transmission planning policies, saying the current policy of getting regional grid operators to separately and jointly approve interregional projects is “too bureaucratic, takes too much time and is too costly.”

Meanwhile, Clements said long-term regional planning to prepare for the increase in renewable energy is being shoehorned into grid operators’ interconnection processes that aren’t designed for that. This has contributed to creating a major backlog in generation projects trying to connect to the grid, and Clements said the backlog is exacerbated by policies such as “participant funding,” where project developers must foot the bill for any transmission upgrades needed to connect their projects.

“That’s something we need to look at,” Clements said.

Another transmission planning hurdle that has proved difficult to overcome is how to allocate the costs of building new lines. Glick said FERC has to look beyond allocating project costs based solely on who gets the additional electricity to take into account a project’s broader benefits to the grid.

Energy committee member Scott Peters, D-Calif., wondered if FERC’s transmission planning moves would be enough to overcome the issue of siting lines. He touted his recent legislation that would strengthen FERC’s ability to backstop states’ siting authority “when states and tribes and everybody can’t get off the dime” in approving projects.

“There’s a national interest in getting these projects built,” Peters told Glick. “I think that’s on us, and you’ve made that clear today.”

However, FERC Commissioner Mark Christie disputed the lawmaker’s assertion that state regulators are sitting on transmission project approvals. Consumers shouldn’t be forced to pay for any lines that aren’t needed, said Christie, a former Virginia utility regulator.

“Transmission lines should be built if they’re needed,” Christie told the panel. “It’s not just a question of routing.”



Peters called “one of the more statesmanlike of our elected representatives”

Young, old challenge San Diego's history of civic status quoBy Neil MorganSAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNEMarch 31, 2002I welcome the tangy...

Paid for by Scott Peters for Congress


California District 52

Is Scott your Representative in Congress?

Type in your address to find out.

You are in District 52!

For more ways to help, please check out the link below:

Get Involved

Not in this district!

According to our data, you are not in District 52! Please verify this information at the CA Dems website!

CA Dems

The data here is provided by 3rd-party services. For best results, please visit CA Dems