What California can teach FERC about transmission planning.
Bruce W. Radford is publisher of Public Utilities Fortnightly.
Last month, speaking at an industry conference, the rookie regulator Cheryl LaFleur tabbed FERC’s current rulemaking on transmission planning and cost allocation as likely the most important she would see during in her term at the commission.
In that proceeding FERC proposed for the first time to mandate regional planning for grid expansions, fully transparent and open both to incumbent utility transmission owners (TOs) and private grid developers, and to ground this new planning process not only on traditional needs to assure reliability and ease congestion, but also to meet so-called “public policy” goals laid down by federal and state laws and regulations, such as energy efficiency targets or mandatory portfolio standards for renewable resources. (See, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Docket RM10-23, June 17, 2010, 131 FERC ¶61,253.)