“Regular people only need to understand that this is likely the most progressive clean energy action the federal government will take this year.” – Center for American Progress
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is capable of making bold moves under the radar. Last year it imposed a $245 million sanction on a major utility without too much fuss. Beginning this year, as part of a landmark rulemaking called Order No. 1000, FERC will be lending a multi-billion-dollar hand to large wind developers.
According to FERC, “Order No. 1000 is a Final Rule that reforms the Commission’s electric transmission planning and cost allocation requirements for public utility transmission providers.”
At the risk of oversimplifying a 600+ page document, Order No. 1000 essentially adds a requirement that (1) transmission providers consider new projects driven by state and federal “public policy,” and (2) planning regions do away with “participant funding,” at least at the regional and inter-regional level, which means that transmission costs must be allocated over a broad region.…
“The [Federal Energy Regulatory] Commission’s recent progress in promoting competitive wholesale energy markets has the potential to be undone as a result of this well-meaning, but misguided Rule.”
– FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller, “Demand Response Compensation in Organized Wholesale Energy Markets,” Order No. 745 (2011).
Renewable energy subsidies are at the forefront of the public policy debate with constant talk of “green” jobs and the looming expiration of the production tax credit, a familiar subject at this blogsite. But qualifying renewables get other subsidies too, such as accelerated depreciation and state-level must-buy mandates.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), regulating interstate electricity, is arguably subsidizing another favorite “green” resource – the practice of energy abstinence called “demand response.”