U.S. Court of Appeals’ FERC 1000 Decision a Big Step Forward for America’s Clean Energy Economy

August 15, 2014
Mica Odom, (512) 691-3451, modom@edf.org

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a vital measure today to support a low-cost, low-carbon future for America’s energy system. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order 1000 lays the groundwork for transmission planners, particularly those in regions without wholesale electricity markets like the Southeast and some parts of the West, to create and participate in regional, rather than local, planning processes. By broadening the geographic scope and pool of information, regional planners can make more informed decisions and plan transmission more efficiently, thus increasing electric reliability for states and mitigating harmful pollution from power plants.

FERC Order 1000 also creates a pathway for clean energy. In addition to increasing information-sharing in the regional planning process, transmission planners can now take advantage of non-transmission alternatives, such as distributed energy, storage and energy efficiency, to provide electric reliability, rather than building  new transmission lines. Furthermore, the Order recognizes state rights to create specific policies, like Renewable Portfolio Standards, which can be recognized in  regional transmission plans to further enable the use and acceleration of wind and solar energy into America’s energy system.    

“Environmental Defense Fund applauds the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for crafting a robust ‘coordination’ order for independent transmission planners. As the backbone of our energy infrastructure, the transmission system is designed to supply vital electricity in the most efficient way possible. FERC 1000 is the key to unlocking efficiencies that have the potential to incorporate more clean energy solutions in the planning process, which will result in low-cost electricity and clean air.”

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