Order 1000 voted on by FERC, didn’t you hear?
Here’s some encouraging news you probably didn’t hear about. The FERC passed order 1000 yesterday, amending and reforming cost allocation methodology for interstate and regional transmission build-out.
Didn’t you hear? Probably not, unless you are a part of the energy and electricity world. Well, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a ruling yesterday that provides a big boost to potential renewable energy development in the United States.
TRC will avoid the technical details, which are essentially everything, but broadly speaking, the rule’s purpose is to create regional guidelines and cost-allocation methods for future build-out of the electrical transmission system. By requiring utilities and transmission providers to consider regional planning processes, as well as state and federal public policy requirements (i.e. renewable portfolio standards), the ruling aims, very obviously, to encourage renewable energy development. Which is a positive result, since adding megawatts of renewable energy to the grid displaces megawatts of fossil fuels, no matter what the junk science out there says.
The electrical grid in this nation is very old, poorly connected, and maxed out on dirty electrons, making wind and solar development more and more difficult every passing year. Our grid is in a bottle neck: there are great quantities of renewable energy waiting to be developed but no way to send that energy anywhere.
The local nature of the electricity system in the US simply does not work in the 21st century. Occasional piecemeal build-outs needed to support old generators connected to old substations connected to old transmission lines connected to old distribution lines should be the way of the past.
Now, with FERC’s interstate, regional transmission guidelines and an outline for how those interstate lines should be paid for, new renewable development will (siting and permitting problems not withstanding) be capable of bringing green electrons from the renewable energy zones of rural America to the load centers of urban America. That is what new transmission should be for. Period. Hopefully the nations utilities and transmission providers comply.