The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will receive written comments until December 21 on its proposed rules to ensure access to the transmission grid by new power generators.WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2001-12-03 [SolarAccess.com] “Interconnection is critical to ensuring open transmission access,” says FERC chairman Pat Wood. “It is essential that we have interconnection procedures that remove incentives for transmission providers to favor their own generation and ease entry for competitors while ensuring efficient siting decisions.” FERC has found concerns about unnecessary delays and possible discrimination, insufficient incentives and commitments, and confusion about what rights come with interconnection, as well as uncertain costs. The result has been less investment in infrastructure and less confidence in market competitiveness. The Commission issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking to develop and adopt a national standard electric interconnection agreement between transmission providers and generators. It may include an existing contract format from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to serve as the basis for the final standard interconnection agreement and procedures. In a second phase, FERC will conduct formal rulemakings to address national standards and the allocation of costs for interconnections and associated system upgrades. The goal is to minimize the degree to which the interconnection process hampers new electricity generators from entry into wholesale markets. FERC wants to reduce the time to complete interconnections and to reduce cost to developers, while ensuring that transmission reliability and operational efficiency are maintained.