On July 21, 2011, over a year after a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was released, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) issued Order No. 1000, its Final Rule on Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation by Transmission Owning and Operating Public Utilities. Order No. 1000 adopted major changes for all public utility transmission providers, as described below, by establishing new transmission planning requirements, among other things, to ensure a process for identifying when regional needs can be met more efficiently and cost-effectively with a regional solution rather than through an individual public utility’s transmission plan and to enhance interregional coordination, as well as related cost allocation requirements. These changes build on requirements that the Commission established in Order No. 890 (Preventing Undue Discrimination and Preference in Transmission Service). However, Order No. 1000 is distinguished from Order No. 890, which required regional coordination, because it requires affirmative consideration of whether a regional solution would be preferable to solutions by individual utilities.
In addition to requiring regional planning and interregional coordination, Order No. 1000 eliminates the federal right of first refusal (ROFR) for incumbent transmission providers to build facilities selected in a regional transmission plan for purposes of cost allocations, and requires that each public utility transmission provider amend its Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) to describe procedures for consideration of transmission needs driven by public policy requirements (that is, federal and state laws and regulations).
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