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As billions go into transmission projects, regulators mull tighter oversight.

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Christopher Neely's picture
Independent Local News Organization

Journalist for nearly a decade with keen interest in local energy policies for cities and national efforts to facilitate a renewable revolution. 

  • Member since 2017
  • 753 items added with 371,874 views
  • Nov 29, 2022
  • 268 views

As I wrote in a post a couple weeks ago, the U.S. will need to more than double its annual rate of transmission growth over the next decade to get enough renewable power online to meet its emissions goals. That's not necessarily surprising news—people in the industry know the country's dire need for transmission infrastructure upgrades and how critical the effort is in the renewable revolution. So, we welcome news of the government and utilities spending billions of dollars on new transmission projects. 

However wide our arms may be open to multi-billion-dollar transmission upgrades, regulators, as they do, have started to grow a little more careful. While the federal and state governments have done everything they can to essentially rubber stamp transmission projects, the federal regulators want to make sure ratepayers are not getting the short end of the deal. The Wisconsin Examiner reported that FERC Chair Richard Glick told a joint task force earlier this month that they needed to ensure "consumers get the best bang for their buck." 

What does that mean? It remains to be seen; however, this may place roadblocks in the fast-lane transmission projects have been placed on. 

"There's been growing concern at the state and federal levels that too much [transmission spending] is occurring without enough transparency and oversight to ensure transmission owners are appropriately planning for new technology, considering more cost-effective regional approaches or alternate solutions and not ripping off their ratepayers," the Examiner article says.

What do you think? Is more oversight needed at this time? Or should the priority to be get these projects with speed over care?

 

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Nov 29, 2022

Oversight so it's managed is necessary, but we have to ensure that doesn't slow down the process unnecessarily!

Christopher Neely's picture
Thank Christopher for the Post!
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