Governors Urge FERC Commissioners to Lead National Discussion on the Benefits of a Unified Transmission System

Source: By Larry Pearce, Governors' Wind & Solar Energy Coalition • Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2018

 In a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the governors told the commissioners that a recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy addresses many of the energy policy challenges that both the FERC commissioners and governors are considering.

The governors said the Interconnection Seams Study“…shows that unifying the Eastern and Western U.S. power grids will make the nation’s electrical system more resilient, efficient, reliable, competitive, and less vulnerable to cyber-attacks. This collaborative effort, by the national labs, grid operators, electric utilities and others, provides a sound solution to many issues with which the Commission has grappled for years.”

 The governors also pointed out that the electrical transmission and distribution system is as important to their states’ economic development today as creating the nation’s interstate highway system was 60 years ago. “It is nearly impossible to transmit electricity among the nation’s three major grids — Eastern Interconnection, Western Interconnection, and Electric Reliability Council of Texas. As a result, very little electricity moves among these regions, further weakening the reliability of the nation’s overall transmission system.”

The governors said that they have a responsibility to begin a national discussion of the benefits a unified transmission system can provide to their states. They also reminded the commissioners that they “…have a statutory responsibility to shape and lead that discussion.”

“It is our hope that these proposed meetings will show how a unified transmission system could benefit our states’ economies — creating jobs and strengthening national security and resilience. A strong national transmission system will support the economic growth our states and the nation need.”