Friday, October 21, 2011

The irk with FERC

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) met yesterday and reaffirmed their approval of MISO's transmission planning process, potentially sparking further litigation. In support of yesterday's actions, FERC issued this press release.

MISO territory map
FERC's Order 1000 speaks to the issue of whether states can be forced to coordinate on transmission planning and meeting cost obligations for new electricity transmission capacity. It holds that states can be compelled -- which, not unexpectedly, has raised some dander.

That is particularly the case in states such as Michigan, where it is believed that the cost of the tariff would not fairly reflect the limited benefits Michigan would receive, given the state's unique geography. The gold-colored areas on the map above shows MISO's territory.

Steven Transeth
Steven Transeth, consultant for MISO Northeast Customer Coalition and former Michigan Public Service Commissioner wrote this article, published earlier this year in the Wall Street Journal, setting out Michigan's case.

In a telephone interview Thursday, Transeth commented that the meeting offered little to improve the situation of Michigan, which he calls the "worst case scenario" among states.  "The Commission's actions demonstrated that, regardless of the rhetoric, FERC intends to push a socialized approach in which rates are not commensurate, costs are not ‘just and reasonable,’ and authority is improperly delegated to a regional group with [differing] loyalties,” said Transeth.

An archived webcast of yesterday's meeting can be found here.


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