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New FERC policy enables wind  

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval of a new California Independent System Operator transmission policy will make connecting renewables easier.

The ISO was approved Thursday and will help states with renewable portfolio standards meet their goals, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

“We recognize that Commission policy with respect to allocation of transmission interconnection costs can present a barrier to entry to renewable energy,” said Joseph Kelliher, chairman of FERC. “The California Independent System Operator’s proposal should make it easier for California and other states to meet their targets in various state renewable portfolio standards.”

While fossil-fuel generation projects are movable and developers can choose a location that minimizes interconnection costs, oftentimes renewable energy projects must be located at the source of the potential power generation even though connection to the grid may not be simple. Kelliher said no price preference will be given to renewable projects.

“This decision is great news,” said AWEA Policy Director Rob Gramlich. “Several hundred gigawatts of cost-effective, inexhaustible, 100 percent clean wind power are now a step closer to being tapped for the benefit of the nation’s economy, environment, and energy security.”

Several states, including Texas, Colorado and Minnesota, put similar policies in place.

“This policy can now be pursued by every transmission provider in the country with a FERC jurisdictional transmission tariff,” said an AWEA representative.


20 April 2007

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