FERC's new resolution requires public utility transmission providers to improve transmission planning processes for new projects as well as allocate the costs for new transmission facilities to beneficiaries of those facilities.
The Coalition, which includes CMS Energy Corporation, Consolidated Edison, Inc., DTE Energy Company, Progress Energy Inc., Public Service Enterprise Group, SCANA Corporation, Southern Company and United Illuminating Company, claims that the new FERC rule will force consumers to pay for "unneeded transmission facilities".
The Coalition believes that transmission planning and development should be left to state and local entities, something Order No. 1000 changes. Furthermore, the CFTP is concerned the new regulations may support expensive long-distance transmission to renewable resources over less expensive lines for local resources.
This sentiment directly refutes FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff's opinion that the new Order will create more market competition resulting in ratepayers paying less for energy.
On July 21, 2011, when Order No. 1000 was announced, Wellinghoff said: "Our action today promotes efficient and cost-effective transmission planning and the fair allocation of costs for new transmission facilities. These changes will provide consumers with greater access to efficient, low-cost electricity.”
The Coalition, which, between its formal and informal members makes up 28 percent of the U.S. electric supply, believes FERC does not have the best interest of its ratepayers in mind. CFTP concluded its public grievance against the new regulations by lobbying for this issue to be addressed Congress:
FERC's approach permits the allocation of costs for new transmission within a region even to some consumers receiving no electricity from the project. Someone else will decide whether those consumers benefit from a project not otherwise needed for reliability purposes, even if the project was opposed by utilities being allocated cost.
The CFTP believes Congress should consider the energy policy implications of this important final rule as an essential part of the national energy policy debate.
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