Order 1000, the RTOs, and the power of incumbency.
Bruce W. Radford is publisher of Public Utilities Fortnightly. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued Order 1000 to do many things, not the least of which was to open up the transmission construction business to private developers. So it’s worth noting that the RTOs, having now filed their compliance plans, are very much refusing to go along.
So much so, in fact, that this column perhaps should’ve been less critical of utilities in non-RTO areas, and their own respective compliance plans, in covering that topic last month (See, “Very Roughly Commensurate: Analyzing the Order 1000 comply filings from non-RTO regions,” Fortnightly, January 2013, p.16).
What we’re seeing now invokes FERC’s fears more than its hopes. To put it bluntly, the RTOs appear to be backing away a bit from full regional cost sharing, and at the same time they’re raising barriers to entry for non-incumbents in the grid construction sector.
Consider these items, gathered from some of the RTO compliance filings: