On October 18, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued Order No. 1000-B, the third substantive order in its series of nationwide transmission planning and cost allocation reform orders that speak to transparent local, regional, interregional and interconnection-wide development of the transmission grid. Order No. 1000-B affirms the prior rulemaking determinations and provides further clarity to jurisdictional transmission providers and the industry, as well as the authority of the Commission to implement its reforms.
As stated in the Commission’s summary, Order No. 1000-B affirms reforms that:
- Require that each public utility transmission provider participate in a regional transmission planning process that produces a regional transmission plan.
- Provide that local and regional transmission planning processes must provide an opportunity to identify and evaluate transmission needs driven by public policy requirements established by state or federal laws or regulations.
- Improve coordination between neighboring transmission planning regions for new interregional transmission facilities.
- Remove from Commission-approved tariffs and agreements a federal right of first refusal.
Further, Order No. 1000-B clarifies that public utility transmission providers must participate in a regional transmission planning process that has:
- A regional cost allocation method for the cost of new transmission facilities selected in a regional transmission plan for purposes of cost allocation.
- An interregional cost allocation method for the cost of new transmission facilities that are located in two neighboring transmission planning regions and are jointly evaluated by the two regions in the interregional transmission coordination process required by this Final Rule.
In large part, the order maintains the Commission’s flexible approach to regional solutions to implement Order No. 1000’s directives. The first wave of Order No. 1000 compliance filings to implement local and regional transmission planning and cost allocation initiatives were filed last week, and transmission provider filings addressing mandates on interregional and interconnection-wide planning and cost allocation are due in April 2013.
Go here for a copy of Order No. 1000-B.