Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioners Bill Massey and Nora Mead Brownell voiced strong support for market rules that offer a level playing field for wind power and other new generating resources at the WINDPOWER 2003 conference. AWEA presented the two Commissioners with awards for federal leadership.Austin, Texas – May 20, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] In the past year, FERC has issued a number of proposed rulemakings to rationalize wholesale transmission market rules. The Standard Market Design (SMD) proceeding was issued about nine months ago, and was recently revised with a white paper. At the same time, the Commission has introduced new rules to streamline the process of getting generation connected to the transmission grid. Massey said, “For the ten years I’ve been a Commissioner, we have been struggling with policies to make the market work more efficiently. Federal rules are necessary. Markets don’t fix themselves, or monitor themselves.” Massey explained that many of the features in the SMD proceeding would help wind power, such as independent grid management, scheduling conventions that do not penalize wind power for its intermittent nature, and fair tariffs for remote locations. More generally, SMD would lay a platform for a more stable and transparent market, which Massey predicted would help with long-term planning and access to capital. Brownell, former Public Utility Commissioner of Pennsylvania, said, “wind is a bright light in an otherwise grim marketplace.” She highlighted that since Pennsylvania has deregulated its market, a surprising number of customers have chosen green power. 20% who have picked a new electricity supplier have picked renewable energy, which is mostly wind power in Pennsylvania. She said this has driven the development of eight wind farms in the state, either completed recently or to be completed soon.” Brownell said the timeline for the interconnection NOPRs that were expected to be out by this summer would be pushed back, perhaps until the fall. Both Commissioners emphasized the need for all the new market rules to work hand in hand to “create the full platform” for a well-functioning market.