Good morning Mr. Chairman and Commissioners.
Item E-1 is a draft order establishing a Joint Federal-State Task Force on Electric Transmission; soliciting nominations for state commission representation on the Task Force; setting forth preliminary details of the Task Force; and identifying topics for the Task Force to consider.
Developing new transmission infrastructure implicates a host of different issues, including how to plan and pay for transmission facilities. Federal and state regulators share authority over different aspects of these transmission-related issues. As a result, the area is ripe for greater federal-state coordination and cooperation.
In this draft order, the Commission would establish a first-of-its kind Joint Federal State Task Force on Electric Transmission to explore with state commissions transmission-related issues in order to secure the benefits that transmission can provide.
The Commission would take this action pursuant to section 209(b) of the Federal Power Act, which authorizes FERC to confer with state commissions on matters subject to the jurisdiction of relevant state commissions and FERC.
The Task Force would be comprised of FERC Commissioners as well as representatives from 10 state commissions. The draft order requests that the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, or NARUC, submit nominations to the Commission for the 10 state commission representatives.
Topics that the Task Force may consider include the following:
- Identifying barriers that inhibit planning and development of optimal transmission necessary to achieve federal and state policy goals, as well as potential solutions to those barriers;
- Exploring potential bases for one or more states to use FERC-jurisdictional transmission planning processes to advance their policy goals, including multi-state goals;
- Exploring opportunities for states to voluntarily coordinate in order to identify, plan, and develop regional transmission solutions;
- Reviewing FERC rules and regulations regarding planning and cost allocation of transmission projects and potentially identifying recommendations for reforms;
- Examining barriers to the efficient and expeditious interconnection of new resources through the FERC-jurisdictional interconnection processes, as well as potential solutions to those barriers; and
- Discussing mechanisms to ensure that transmission investment is cost effective, including approaches to enhance transparency and improve oversight of transmission investment including, potentially, through enhanced federal-state coordination.
The draft order requests that NARUC submit nominations within 30 days of issuance of the order. Subsequently, the Commission would issue an order, listing members of the Task Force and their roles and fixing the time and place for the first public meeting, expected to be held in the fall of this year.
Thank you for the opportunity to present this item today and I am happy to answer any questions that you may have after the conclusion of the presentation of item E-2 by my colleagues.
E-2 Staff Presentation:
Good morning, Chairman Glick and Commissioners,
Item E-2 is a draft policy statement that addresses state efforts to develop transmission facilities through voluntary agreements to plan and pay for those facilities. The draft policy statement notes that such Voluntary Agreements include agreements among: (1) two or more states; (2) one or more states and one or more public utility transmission providers; or (3) two or more public utility transmission providers.
The draft policy statement notes that Voluntary Agreements can further the Commission’s priority of developing cost-effective and reliable transmission facilities by, for example, providing states with a way to prioritize, plan, and pay for transmission facilities that, for whatever reason, are not being developed pursuant to the regional transmission planning processes required by Order No. 1000.
The draft policy statement clarifies that Voluntary Agreements are not categorically precluded by the Federal Power Act or the Commission’s existing rules and regulations. The draft policy statement provides an example of a recent Commission order accepting a study agreement that initiated a Voluntary Agreement process in the PJM regional transmission organization.
The draft policy statement notes that to the extent that states, public utility transmission providers, or other stakeholders believe that the relevant tariffs impose barriers to state efforts with respect to Voluntary Agreements, the Commission is open to filings to remove or otherwise address those barriers. Parties considering the use of such agreements are encouraged to contact Commission staff to discuss potential Voluntary Agreements.
Thank you, this concludes our presentation. We are happy to address any questions.