Analyzing the Order 1000 comply filings from non-RTO regions.
Bruce W. Radford is publisher of Public Utilities Fortnightly.
Last fall, in early October, utilities across the country began filing tariffs with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to explain how they will comply with the commission’s Order 1000, issued 18 months ago. That order requires all FERC-jurisdictional transmission service providers to participate in regional grid planning, and forces the planners to take account of state and federal policy governing renewable energy. Costs for projects that pass muster in the regional plan must be allocated in a manner “roughly commensurate” with project benefits.
That’s quite a handful, but maybe not a stretch for the regional transmission organizations (RTOs)—PJM, MISO, California, New York, New England, and the Southwest Power Pool. They already plan on a regional level. And some RTOs (notably CAISO and MISO) had “policy-driven” planning even before FERC issued its landmark order.
Not so for the non-RTO regions. Any regional planning going on there has so far has consisted largely of adding together all the individual transmission plans prepared separately by individual utilities, which usually focus only on reliability and resource adequacy. These various “local” plans are then rolled up in a single document, to be reviewed across the region—but only so far as to make sure no train wrecks are looming. That is, can we implement all these local plans simultaneously, without violating any reliability standards?