The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently gave final approval to a two-year experiment to track electricity as it travels over transmission lines (Docket No. ER97-697-000).
The experimental program, approved March 25, finalizes work proposed by a group of seven companies working independently on the General Agreement on Parallel Paths (GAPP). Other GAPP members had chosen to disband the formal GAPP committee in 1995.
The program calls for information on transmission paths to be made available electronically to all participants. The data will pinpoint the routes
traveled by electricity moving from one point to another. Participants then will determine if service is provided by the system that actually carries the power. If not, the customer will be referred to the appropriate transmission provider. But the decision on whether to take service from the other transmission provider lies solely with the customer. A customer cannot be forced to accept a participant's referral if service is possible under that participant's open access tariff. The FERC said its approval of the experiment was conditioned on that understanding.