May 13, 2022–Written by John Egan for Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas)–The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an independent branch of the Department of Energy (DOE), voted 4-1 on April 21 to issue a 475-page draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) that was aimed at improving the resilience and reliability of the nation’s electric grid, while also achieving cost savings for consumers and expediting electric transmission planning, cost allocation and construction.
The nation’s transmission system has been overwhelmed by the closure of so many coal-fired generators as well as the construction or proposed construction of an enormous number of renewable energy generators. Developers of transmission and electric generation have experienced years-long backlogs in securing approval from state utility regulatory commissions or multi-state agencies charged with coordinating transmission planning, cost allocation and construction.
The proposed NOPR follows nine months of workshops and staff efforts to find a way to accelerate electric transmission construction without stepping on the toes of state regulatory commissions, who have a role in approving or rejecting transmission projects that are scheduled to be built in their jurisdictions.
FERC Draft Rule Aims to Expedite Transmission Planning and Construction