EPA inventory opens generators to scrutiny, especially if they burn coal.
Hazardous emissions are one thing. Damaging publicity is something else-especially in the point-and-click world...
IPPs and other stakeholders long have called for standards, but this time, the FERC just might oblige.
" Certain transmission owners ... have impeded the interconnection process and, thereby, new generation construction."
"Many transmission providers also refuse to offer network transmission service to merchant generators ... ."
Those are strong words-utilities might even call them fighting words-coming from the Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) in its "Position Statement on Bill of Rights for New Generation Interconnection." () In that statement, EPSA calls on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to create an interconnection policy. Of course, EPSA also takes the opportunity to give the FERC a hand by laying out its own set of specific recommendations for such a policy statement.
Up until now, FERC has tackled the issue with a piecemeal approach, handling disputes on a case-by-case basis and, in so doing, creating somewhat of a patchwork policy of precedent. Yet, although the EPSA decree is now over a year old, there is increased hope that the fed will take comprehensive action. With the face of the FERC having changed recently, now up to three out of the four commissioners have indicated that they want to see interconnection standards put in place. Certainly the drumbeat for the commission to tackle the issue summarily is as loud as ever, as generators continue clamoring about frustrating dealings with transmission providers, who themselves view some FERC actions as inequitable.
IPPs Vent: A Few War Stories
Obviously, EPSA's job is to push its agenda for the benefit of its members, but is it really that frustrating for an independent power producer to interconnect to the grid?
"Yes, there have been some frustrations," confirms Jolly Hayden, vice president, power delivery, at Dynegy Inc., speaking of his company's experiences with transmission owners and interconnection agreements. Not surprisingly, Hayden declines to name names, but he is willing to share a few anecdotes-from the perspective of an independent power producer, of course. He speaks of one situation where his company was trying to work with a "very tightly" vertically integrated utility to get plugged in to the grid.
"That makes it kind of tough," he says. "They obviously are wanting to protect their turf, and they view us as a threat."
Hayden says the utility threw up obstacles for the Dynegy plant by putting "every plant that they would ever dream of building over the next 20 years into their base case. So then when they plugged in our proposed unit, you saw a substantial amount of transmission upgrades that are required. Well, obviously, that's a no-no. None of these plants were in any kind of integrated resource plan, none of these projects had been announced... none of these projects had been approached with their state emission, so it was obviously a way to discourage us and have a high number for us to do the upgrades and make us go away."
While a natural partisan, Hayden does have at least some sympathy for the situation confronted by transmission owners in that he has