News Roundup for the Week of Monday, July 22 – Sunday, July 28
The National Law Review
On June 6, 2013, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) issued a white paper urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reevaluate the method it uses to establish returns on equity (ROEs) for transmission investments. EEI urges FERC to reaffirm its commitment to transmission investment by making necessary adjustments in its approach to setting a just and reasonable ROE for transmission investment. EEI’s white paper is certain to be controversial, since customer groups have been arguing for lower ROEs for many months.
FERC said its final rules (RM11-24) are to enhance the ability of ancillary services providers to compete for sale of services to public utility transmission providers. FERC said its final rules (RM11-24) are to enhance the ability of ancillary services providers to compete for sale of services to public utility transmission providers.
MISO recently became one of the first grid operators across the country to utilize new synchrophasor technology in MISO’s Real-Time System Operations for grid monitoring and analysis.
High Country News (blog)
You’ve got your grid-oriented greens on the one hand, who believe that the only way to slow or reverse climate change is by attacking it on a large scale, with big wind farms, big solar plants and big power lines to ship it across long distances. And on the other, the grassroots groups who feel that sacrificing local ecosystems to fight climate change isn’t the answer.
Salt Lake Tribune
The BLM this week identified its preferred alignment for PacifiCorp’s proposed Gateway South transmission line, connecting Wyoming renewable energy sources to a future substation in Juab County. Earlier this month the BLM released a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the right of way for the project. This line would move up to 1,500 megawatts more than 400 miles from the planned Aeolus Substation in south central Wyoming to the planned Clover Substation near Mona.
The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners approved a resolution Wednesday strongly criticizing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, saying the agency’s implementation of a rule governing transmission planning “inappropriately infringes” on states’ authority over the electric grid.
The Northern Pass Transmission Project — a proposed $1.4 billion electricity transmission project that would bring 1,200 megawatts of energy from Hydro-Quebec’s hydroelectric plants in Canada to southern New England — is one of the hottest issues this summer here in New Hampshire.
Despite the well-documented value that transmission investments deliver to ratepayers and the environment, FERC has been hearing complaints recently that ROEs for transmission projects are too high, and that ratepayers need relief. These complaints are misguided, and their timing could not be worse. Never in our history has so much depended on expanding and modernizing our electric transmission system.