The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week conditionally accepted more Order No. 1000 compliance filings, including plans from California Independent System Operator Corp. (CAISO) and New York Independent System Operator Inc. (NYISO). FERC also conditionally accepted Order No. 1000 compliance filings from two public utility transmission providers, South Carolina Electric and Gas Co. (SCE&G) and NorthWestern Corp. (Northwestern), to provide more clarity and add greater detail to their compliance plans.
FERC also granted waivers of Order No. 1000 requirements to Lockhart Power Co. and Alcoa Power Generating Inc. because of the limited and discrete nature of their transmission facilities. However, the Commission said Alcoa and Lockhart are not immune from being allocated costs if they benefit from regional transmission facilities selected in a regional transmission plan for purposes of cost allocation.
Among other findings in today’s orders, the Commission:
- Reiterated, in the SCE&G and NorthWestern orders, the Commission’s prior finding that Order No. 1000 places an affirmative obligation on public utility transmission providers to identify transmission solutions in the regional planning process that more efficiently or cost-effectively meet transmission needs driven by reliability, economic or public policy considerations.
- Concluded that the South Carolina Regional Transmission Planning region is of sufficient scope, subject to the filing of a clear statement that both SCE&G and South Carolina Public Service Authority are enrolled.
- Required SCE&G and NYISO to determine, rather than defer to state siting authorities or utility commissions, which transmission project is the more efficient or cost-effective transmission solution eligible to use the regional cost allocation method for a transmission project selected in the regional transmission plan. Similarly, FERC required CAISO to determine which transmission developer is eligible to use the regional cost allocation method. States authorities can participate in the process, but the planning region must make the selection decision.
- Directed NYISO to identify how, in planning for transmission needs driven by public policy requirements, non-transmission solutions will be evaluated so that all types of resources are considered on a comparable basis.
- Determined that the filings by NorthWestern and SCE&G fail to meet Order No. 1000’s requirement that the cost of transmission facilities selected in the regional planning process be allocated in a manner that is at least roughly commensurate with estimated benefits.
The further compliance filings are due within 120 days of the orders.