ANBARIC URGES FERC TO RETAIN COMPETITION IN OFFSHORE WIND TRANSMISSION DEVELOPMENT
A holistic planning process and robust competition are necessary to build the transmission to meet renewable energy goals nationwide
Wakefield, MA – August, 18, 2022 – Anbaric Development Partners, LLC, a leading independent developer of large-scale land-based transmission and energy storage projects as well as transmission systems for offshore wind, submitted comments on the recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC): Building for the Future Through Electric Regional Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation and Generator Interconnection / Docket No. RM21-17.
Anbaric’s comments concur with FERC’s recognition that the investment in transmission occurring now is not sufficient to reach the renewable energy goals being sought by states and the federal government. However, the approach taken by the NOPR is misdirected and will lead to less, not more, transmission being built, and at increased costs to consumers. The fundamental flaw is the NOPR’s rejection of competition in the transmission sector.
Anbaric’s comments focus on three critical issues:
The proposed rule promotes a siloed approach to addressing energy reliability, transmission development to support renewables, and economic planning. Keeping these processes separate from each other will result in smaller, inefficient, and more costly transmission systems than a holistic planning process. Considering these needs simultaneously can produce multi-purpose projects that save consumers money. Anbaric, in its comments, explains how holistic planning will ensure rates of transmission that are just, reasonable and can scale to ensure needed infrastructure for renewable energy.
The proposed rule would decrease competition in transmission. Limited competition in the transmission sector today is the result of resistance from many transmission owners. The proposed rule would aggravate the situation by imposing a federal right of first refusal for incumbent utilities on most larger transmission projects. There is no factual basis for this change. Where competition has been allowed to occur, the data is clear: lower project costs, cost containment provisions and more creative, inventive designs result.
Both of these provisions are a step backward from the direction FERC had been taking to promote coordination in the development and planning processes and to ensure competition in the marketplace. Instead of abandoning coordination and competition, FERC should continue the policy course set by the Commission in Order No. 1000, to ensure that the cost, design, reliability and capability benefits of transmission planning are realized in more projects nationwide.
Finally, the proposed rule seeks to replace the benefits of competition (lower costs, increased innovation) with the opportunity for third parties to invest in projects that utilities obtain via a new right of first refusal. This approach fails to explain why investments from third parties can produce competition’s benefits and why any third party would be able to shape a project already awarded to an incumbent utility in any meaningful way.
In place of these unproductive approaches, Anbaric supports holistic planning, increased competition, and a rule that encourages states to manage their own transmission procurements.
“FERC must focus on the value and necessity of holistic transmission planning,” Anbaric CEO Clarke Bruno explains. “Holistic planning can produce projects that reach multiple goals simultaneously and reduce costs. Robust competition for those projects can yield innovative approaches that will accelerate the deployment of transmission and the build-out of our grid for the coming low-carbon economy. These approaches will bring affordable, renewable power to homes and businesses while allowing the U.S. to achieve our state and federal policy goals.”
Anbaric’s full comments can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/3c6xdJi
About Anbaric Development Partners
Anbaric is a US-based company focused on planning and scaling renewable energy. Anbaric develops clean energy infrastructure to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy across North America, specializing in the design, development, financing, and construction of large-scale electric transmission and storage systems. For more information visit anbaric.com.