The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week conditionally accepted compliance filings on the transmission planning process associated with Order No. 890 from transmission providers in the Western United States. To date, FERC has acted on similar compliance filings from entities in the Northeast, the Midwest, California and Florida.
Order No. 890, issued in February 2007, reformed the pro forma open access transmission tariff, or OATT, to clarify and expand the obligations of transmission providers to ensure that transmission service is provided on a non-discriminatory basis. The detailed information provided in the proposals accepted today brings more specificity as to how customers and other stakeholders should be treated in the transmission planning processes of transmission providers and sub-regional and regional planning entities in the West.
“Regional transmission planning is vital to competitive wholesale electric markets. FERC recognizes regional differences in the power grid and has acted appropriately to reflect this,” FERC Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher said. “Today’s action will help strengthen open access transmission for the benefit of the market and consumers.”
Order No. 890 directed transmission providers to develop a transmission planning process that satisfies nine principles and makes the process a new Attachment to the providers’ OATTs. The nine planning principles are: (1) coordination; (2) openness; (3) transparency; (4) information exchange; (5) comparability; (6) dispute resolution; (7) regional participation; (8) economic planning studies; and (9) cost allocation for new projects. FERC also directed transmission providers to address the recovery of planning-related costs.
The actions are addressed in the following four orders.
- El Paso Electric Company, Public Service Company of New Mexico, Arizona Public Service Company, Tucson Electric Power Company and UNS Electric, Inc., and Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company (OA08-30-000, OA08-34-000, OA08-47-000, OA08-48-000, OA08-33-000, and OA08-38-000). FERC accepted the various Desert Southwest Transmission Providers’ compliance filings, each of which incorporates the subregional planning processes of the Southwest Area Transmission Planning Group and WestConnect, along with the regional and economic planning processes of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council’s (WECC) Transmission Expansion Policy and Planning Committee (TEPPC), with modifications to provisions associated with regional participation, economic planning studies and cost allocation.
- Xcel Energy Services, Inc.—Public Service Company of Colorado (OA08-35-000). FERC accepted the transmission planning compliance filing of PS Colorado, which incorporates the subregional planning processes of Colorado Coordinated Planning Group and WestConnect, along with the regional and economic planning processes of WECC’s TEPPC, subject to further modifications to provisions associated with regional participation and cost allocation. In an earlier order, FERC accepted the compliance filing of Xcel’s operating company, Southwestern Public Service Company, which operates in the Southwest Power Pool.
- Idaho Power Company, Desert Generation & Transmission Co-operative, Inc., NorthWestern Corporation, PacifiCorp, Black Hills Power, Inc., and Portland General Electric Company (OA08-23-000, OA08-55-000, OA08-55-001, OA08-55-002, OA08-28-000, OA08-54-000, OA08-54-001, OA08-54-002, OA08-31-000, OA08-31-001, OA08-56-000, OA08-56-001, OA08-56-002, OA08-40-000, OA08-57-000, OA08-57-001, OA08-57-002, OA08-43-000, OA08-99-000, OA08-99-001, and OA08-118-000). FERC accepted the joint filing by the transmission providers of the agreements establishing a subregional planning process to be conducted by the Northern Tier Transmission Group (NTTG), subject to further revision of the dispute resolution process. The order also accepts the individual transmission planning compliance filings for the transmission providers, each of which incorporates the NTTG subregional planning process and the regional and economic planning processes of WECC’s TEPPC, subject to modification to the regional participation and cost allocation provisions.
- United States Department of Energy-Bonneville Power Administration; Avista Corporation; Puget Sound Energy, Inc. (NJ08-5-000, OA08-25-000 and OA08-26-000). FERC accepted transmission planning compliance filings by Avista and Puget Sound subject to modifications to the regional participation and cost allocation provisions. The order also grants Bonneville’s petition for declaratory order for its Order No. 890 transmission planning compliance filing. Each of the entities subject to this order utilizes the ColumbiaGrid subregional planning process and the regional and economic planning processes of WECC’s TEPPC.