Wyden: Northwest Needs Flexibility in FERC Transmission Rules

Source: Sen. Wyden News Release • Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., called for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to allow the Northwest to maintain control over its power future, by providing flexibility regarding compliance with FERC’s Order No. 1000 on transmission planning and cost allocations, in a letter sent today.

“As you know, the majority of the Northwest power system is composed of utilities that generally are not subject to FERC jurisdiction and that are the creation of, and subject to, state or federal statutes,” Wyden wrote. “This makes the Order No. 1000 process akin to trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole for the Bonneville Power Administration and other governmental utilities.”

Wyden asked FERC not to use the Order No. 1000 compliance process to attempt to take away the authority of Bonneville and other governmental utilities to decide what transmission they build in the Northwest and who pays for it. Instead, Wyden suggested the Commission show that it is truly committed to the principle of regional flexibility in the Order No. 1000 process.

Order No. 1000 is a FERC rule that changes transmission planning and cost allocation requirements applicable to transmission entities subject to its jurisdiction. The Commission initiated the Order No. 1000 rulemaking process in 2010. A final rule was issued in 2012 and FERC has shifted to consideration of compliance filings, including, in the Northwest, ColumbiaGrid.

The letter is attached.

Letter to FERC Order No 1000 NW Region 03 05 13