Conservative Energy Network ‘encouraged’ by first major update to transmission planning policies in 10-plus years

The Conservative Energy Network (CEN) is celebrating a new policy from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that marks the first major update to transmission planning policies in more than a decade.

Order 1920 comes as power demand surges across the country. The new rule will yield better transmission planning processes and lead to better informed decision-making at the regional and state level by standardizing and expanding studies on where, when and how the power grid can be updated to best meet consumer need.

The rule also encourages grid innovation by requiring transmission providers to consider various advanced transmission technologies that could put downward pressure on ratepayer costs.

Additionally, the rule honors state control over transmission projects and follows a “beneficiary pays” cost allocation system to ensure that if consumers don’t benefit, they won’t have to pay.

“Long-term transmission planning will enable American energy independence and lead to a more secure and reliable grid. Today’s ruling is a major step toward expanding, integrating, and modernizing America’s power grid to improve its security, reliability, and affordability,” said CEN CEO John Szoka.

“It is clear that there is agreement across party lines that reform to existing transmission planning and cost allocation is necessary. We look forward to working with policy makers and decision makers across the country as this ruling is implemented.”

According to CEN, well-planned transmission projects can add up to $42 billion to the national gross domestic product, while also boosting local spending by nearly $39 billion and creating more than a million new jobs.

A poll commissioned by CEN found that more than 60% of registered voters believe a modern power grid would increase jobs and national security and 73% agree a modern grid is necessary to maintain way-of-life in the 21st century.

CEN plans to host a webinar to further discuss the impacts of the new rule on Wednesday, May 22, at 1 p.m. Registration is available here.

CEN is a nonprofit coalition of 25 state-based conservative clean energy organizations advancing policy solutions emphasizing market competition, consumer choice and innovation.

Regionally, that includes Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. In early 2022, she left the business to serve as Communications Director for St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch. After leaving the administration, Janelle briefly worked as a communications consultant for candidates, businesses and non-profits, before accepting her position as Publisher for Southeast Politics, a homecoming of sorts to her Florida Politics roots, where she served as a reporter and editor for several years. Janelle has also held roles covering the intersection of politics and business for the Tampa Bay Business Journal and general assignment news with an emphasis on social justice and climate change for WMNF Community Radio, where she also hosted a political call-in show under several names, including Last Call, Midpoint and The Scoop. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]

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