Looking Beyond Transmission: FERC Order 1000 and the Case for Alternative Solutions
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Order 1000 makes great strides towards ensuring just and reasonable transmission rates and a level competitive playing field. It does this, in part, by requiring the consideration of non-transmission alternatives (NTAs) during regional transmission planning. Unfortunately, however, the order fails to address certain significant barriers to the implementation of NTAs, making it unlikely that regional plans will ever approve their implementation—or that genuinely competitive solutions will prevail anytime soon. While FERC might provide guidance on these issues in the future, states have the opportunity to remove competitive barriers to NTAs now. By doing so, they can help ensure that the transmission system built under Order 1000 provides the greatest benefits to ratepayers at the lowest possible cost.