Why grid owners don't like FERC's new rules on gen interconnection.
A year ago, when a group of electric utilities in the Southwest signed off on deals to hook up new generators in Arizona with an innovative "common bus" treatment for two adjoining switchyards at the Palo Verde hub, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) was quick to heap on the praise.
"Attaboy," said FERC's Pat Wood, at the commission's meeting of July 25, 2001.
"These companies … are taking actions that stimulate swift interconnection of generation … and have reached it in what I consider to be a pretty expeditious time frame. 'A' for Arizona."
Nevertheless, over the past twelve months, FERC twice has proposed new rules to govern the way in which new power plants gain the right to interconnect with the interstate transmission grid. These new rules on gen interconnection form an essential part of the puzzle more aptly known as the standard market design (SMD).
And the puzzle is proving difficult to solve.
In general, you can ignore most of the whining. It's the same old turf wars.
For example, the plan includes model agreements and protocols covering the gamut of rights and obligations, and each topic carries with it its own constituencies and opponents: