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Industry News

FERC Readjusts Standard Market Design

LCG, April 29, 2003The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission edited its plans to homogenize the countrys electricity transmission system.

FERC issued clarifications yesterday, giving more authority to local and state officials after southern states complained that the Federal government had no right to assume the level of control suggested.

The Standard Market Design comes as an attempt to streamline the electricity transmission process between regions under different authorities, eliminating rate inconsistencies and minimizing losses due to bottlenecks and other inefficiencies.

The commission has decided to allow phased-in implementation of its plans and waive implementation requirements if they are found to be so costly they do not pass a cost-benefit analysis in a specific region.

RTOs and Independent System Operators will also be the only transmission operators to appear in the revised market plan, as FERC has removed the concept of the independent transmission provider.

FERC plans to consider feedback from state authorities, utilities, and generator owners in order to compile reasonable timetables for the market plan, which divides the country into transmission areas operated by RTOs, or Regional Transmission Organizations.

FERC also noted that it will not insist upon jurisdiction regarding wholesale electricity transmission rates. The commission also yielded to pressure by giving state commissions the right to dole out firm transmission rights based upon current use instead of selling rights to the highest bidder.

The plan was initially released last year, and FERC expects to begin implementation within the year.

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