TRANSMISSION RHETORIC VS. REALITY
It has become abundantly clear that it is necessary to set the record straight on the current state of transmission development in the U.S. This is especially true given the recent confusion over the impact of new FERC proposals, evidenced by a recent Wall Street Journal editorial that required this response on the Grist blog.
FERC has proposed a new rule on cost-allocation of new transmission. This rule would establish fair guidelines that will lower costs for consumers, open up energy markets to competition, and bring more renewable power online. FERC’s new rule would allow transmission planners to fully consider inter-regional transmission lines and to share the costs of building them if doing so would benefit consumers through increased reliability, lower prices, reduced congestion, and better access to inexpensive renewable energy. It would not eliminate competition or undermine the interest of local residents and businesses.
The Coalition to Modernize the Electric Grid has put together a brief overview of the top issues that affect our nation’s ability to build a viable electric grid. Highlights include:
Rhetoric: Building more transmission will increase electric bills for consumers.
Reality: New investment in transmission will reduce energy costs for millions, and will help control energy costs for everyone.
Rhetoric: Consumers will pay for transmission lines even when they don’t benefit from them.
Reality: Under FERC’s proposed rule, only those who benefit from new transmission lines will pay for them.
Rhetoric: FERC’s proposed rule will slow down development of offshore wind energy in the East.
Reality: Setting clear rules for planning and paying for interstate transmission would dramatically accelerate development of all location-constrained renewable resources.
Rhetoric: The current system works.
Reality: Flawed planning and unworkable cost allocation systems are failing for consumers, renewable energy, and national security.