ORIGINAL REPORTING: Racing To Build The Transmission New Energy Needs
How utilities are getting in on the transmission building boom; Utility-affiliated TransCos emerge in the race to win regional build-out opportunities
Herman K. Trabish, October 29, 2015 (Utility Dive)
Expansion of renewable resources and new gas generation under the Clean Power Plan is expected to require thousands of miles of new transmission infrastructure in the coming years, and increasingly utilities are getting in on the race to build it. [T]hree projects recently green-lighted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) illustrate the trend. Ameren-affiliate ATX Southwest Ameren, Westar Energy-affiliate Kanstar Transmission, and Midwest Power Transmission Arkansas, a joint venture of Westar and Berkshire Hathaway Energy, were approved by FERC to compete to build transmission in unregulated markets in August.
The opportunity for utility-affiliated and independent providers to compete in this way is largely the result of FERC’s landmark Order 1000 rule, intended to bring market forces to bear in transmission building. The final version of the rule was issued in 2011. Order 1000 opened that opportunity for transmission affiliates to compete by removing advantages held by incumbent utilities. Ongoing new project proposals followed and states’ needs to comply with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) and other environmental regulations are expected to sustain investment and growth… click here for more