Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Technical Conference on Priority Rights to New Participant-Funded Transmission

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On Tuesday, March 15, 2011, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) held a technical conference on Priority Rights to New Participant-Funded Transmission. Its purpose was to allow the Commission's staff to explore issues related to priority rights to use independent or merchant transmission infrastructure, and generator lead lines.

Generation owners, particularly renewable generation owners located far from transmission grids, have increasingly chosen to construct their own interconnection lines to deliver power to the integrated transmission grid. Recently, these generation owners have sought to secure priority rights to their generator lead lines in order to ensure that third parties do not claim capacity over the line. FERC decisions, for example the Milford Wind Corridor decision (129 FERC ¶ 61,149 (2009)), have permitted generation owners to reserve capacity over their generator leads, but still require them to accommodate third parties on the line if requested to do so. A request for capacity on a generator lead line will cause the generation owner to become a regulated transmission provider. Among other things, FERC regulations require that the generation owner file an Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) with FERC, and adopt open access policies, within 60 days of a third party request for capacity.

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