WASHINGTON (June 17, 2021) — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners today announced the formation of a joint federal-state task force on electric transmission, which FERC established by order issued today. Members of this first-of-its-kind task force will explore transmission-related issues to identify and realize the benefits that transmission can provide, while ensuring that the costs are allocated efficiently and fairly.
The efficient development of new transmission infrastructure is essential as the nation continues to transition to clean energy resources. Federal and state regulators will be called upon to address numerous issues, including how to plan and pay for new transmission infrastructure and how to navigate shared federal-state regulatory authority and processes. As a result, the time is ripe for greater federal-state coordination and cooperation.
“I am so pleased that FERC is joining with NARUC today to establish this joint task force to consider a variety of transmission-related subjects that will affect how successful efforts will be to build out the transmission grid,” said FERC Chairman Rich Glick. “A big thank you to our friends at NARUC, including Idaho Public Utilities Commission President and this year’s NARUC President, Paul Kjellander, for their hard work in putting this task force proposal together. I’m looking forward to our joint meetings.”
“Our partnership with FERC on this task force presents a much-needed opportunity for state and federal regulators to work collaboratively on transmission issues that affect all stakeholders,” said NARUC President Paul Kjellander. “Our shared authority over how to plan and pay for transmission infrastructure and the rapid pace of the energy transition have made such collaboration an imperative for all of us.”
FERC’s order requests NARUC to nominate up to 10 state regulators to join FERC commissioners on the task force. All task force meetings will be open to the public and will use a dedicated FERC docket for this process to provide stakeholders and the public with the opportunity to comment for the record.
Specifically, the task force will seek to:
- Identify 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;
- Explore potential bases for one or more states to use FERC-jurisdictional transmission planning processes to advance their policy goals, including multi-state goals;
- Explore opportunities for states to voluntarily coordinate to identify, plan and develop regional transmission solutions;
- Review FERC rules and regulations regarding planning and cost allocation of transmission projects and potentially identify recommendations for reforms;
- Examine 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
- Discuss 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.
Both FERC Chairman Glick and NARUC President Kjellander look forward to working with their colleagues to advance the important work of this task force.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, is an independent agency that assists consumers in obtaining economically efficient, safe, reliable and secure energy services at a reasonable cost through appropriate regulatory and market means and collaborative efforts. FERC regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil and electricity. FERC also regulates natural gas and hydropower projects.
NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of state public utility commissions before the three branches of the federal government.
Regina DavisDirector of Communications, NARUCEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org