FERC Offers Guidance on Interconnection

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has directed Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs) to report on the status of their efforts to improve the processing of their interconnection queues.

The request follows a Dec. 11, 2007 technical conference on interconnection queue practices at which participants complained of transmission providers’ delays in processing interconnection queues, particularly in RTO and ISO regions that are attracting significant new entry into generation markets and in regions where the industry is working to meet state renewable portfolio standards (RPS). 

“Our improved transmission planning requirements under Order No. 890 will help over the long term, but the markets need help now,” FERC Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher said. “We recognize and respect that each region of the country has individual circumstances and stakeholder processes. Our goal here is to help them along with suggestions on how to focus the discussions.”

FERC is giving the RTOs and ISOs until mid-April to provide information on a variety of matters including the current size of their queues, the current timeframes for processing those requests and the nature and extent of any problems that have led to any backlogs. Their reports must also provide a schedule for selecting and implementing any necessary reforms, including a target date for filing any necessary tariff amendments or waivers.

To help them gather that information, FERC is offering guidance that breaks down the reforms into those that can be implemented quickly and without any tariff revisions, and those that require tariff changes.

“These guiding principles will help the RTOs and ISOs formulate their own ways to improve their individual interconnection queue processes,” FERC Commissioner Suedeen Kelly said. “I am very encouraged that this will help pave the way for the RTOs and ISOs to be able to address queue management reform without delay.”

For more information about the FERC guidance on interconnection click here.

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