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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

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News Release: June 20, 2013
Docket Nos. ER13-93-000, ER13-94-000, ER13-98-000, ER13-99-000, ER13-836-000, NJ13-1-000, ER13-80-000, ER13-86-000, ER13-104, NJ13-2-000
Item Nos. E-1 & E-2

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FERC Partially Accepts Order No. 1000 Filings for ColumbiaGrid, Florida Regions

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today found transmission providers in both the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council (FRCC) and the ColumbiaGrid transmission planning region have partially complied with Order No. 1000 requirements. In both orders, however, the Commission required additional compliance filings to address shortcomings in cost allocation and other areas.

FRCC provides the required scope for a transmission planning region; however, the regional cost allocation method proposed by Tampa Electric Co., Florida Power Corp. and Florida Power & Light Co. does not meet the regional cost allocation principles of Order No. 1000. The proposed method considers as benefits only the cost savings that result when a local transmission project is avoided due to the selection of a transmission facility in the regional transmission plan for the purposes of cost allocation.

The use of an avoided-cost method may be appropriate to measure reliability benefits, FERC said, but it fails to account for other benefits associated with addressing economic and public policy-related transmission needs. Thus, the method does not meet the Order No. 1000 requirement that costs must be allocated in a manner that is at least roughly commensurate with estimated benefits.

The Commission reiterated its 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 driven by reliability, economic or public policy considerations.

In the ColumbiaGrid order, FERC found the transmission planning region could be of sufficient scope but said it does not meet Order No. 1000 requirements because Avista Corp., Puget Sound Energy Inc. and MATL LLP have not enrolled in the regional transmission planning process. Rather, their continued participation in the ColumbiaGrid transmission planning process was conditioned on FERC accepting the compliance filings without modifications. Additionally, the parties must detail enrollment procedures and list all public and non-public utility transmission providers that have enrolled in the regional transmission planning process. With regard to the parties’ proposed regional cost allocation method, FERC found that cost allocation determinations must be binding on identified beneficiaries and required a further compliance filing to remove the provisions providing for non-binding cost allocation.

The further compliance filings are due within 120 days of today’s orders.