New FERC Ruling Puts the “Planning” in Regional Transmission Planning in the Southeast

May 13, 2024
Contact: Amy Rawe, SACE, 865-235-1448, [email protected]      

Today, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a rule through Order 1920 that will bring regional transmission planning into the modern era. This rule is a particularly big deal for the Southeast, as it will now require regional utilities to plan for the future and find ways for transmission to lower costs, improve reliability, and improve the ability of utilities to connect clean energy resources to the grid at the pace required to decarbonize the electricity sector.

Currently, regional transmission “planning” in the Southeast is conducted by an entity called the Southeastern Regional Transmission Planning (SERTP). The SERTP process is run by utilities, and meets the bare minimum of requirements from FERC’s Order 1000. That means that SERTP’s current process does not result in any transmission plans that provide regional benefits, but instead stacks each utility’s transmission plans together like layers of a cake.

Under Order 1920, SERTP will have nearly a year to file a compliance plan outlining changes to its process to meet Order 1920 requirements, but this order will change regional transmission planning in the Southeast by requiring SERTP to: look out farther into the future (at least 20 years); look at multiple potential futures (at least three scenarios); and look at multiple benefits.

We at SACE look forward to working with utilities and state regulators across the Southeast to find the best way to implement this rule and get the region on a path to transmission planning for the future.

To learn more, read the blog post: FERC Puts the “Planning” in Regional Transmission Planning in the Southeast

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