It will be easier to connect wind and solar farms to the electricity grid following a ruling out of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Friday.
ThinkProgress reports the decision upholds a 2011 federal order meant to update the way the transmission network develops to account for the changing power landscape.
The order, known as FERC Order 1000, requires that investments in grid development be coordinated among states and utilities and to contemplate the Renewable Energy Portfolios adopted by 20 states including Oregon. The current grid is highly regionalized and subject to local control.
The issue takes on added urgency in light of the Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to curb carbon emissions from existing power plants.
“This really is significant because now any time transmission is being considered it will have to take into account states that use renewable energy as a compliance tool to meet greenhouse gas emissions goals,” Gene Grace, senior council for the American Wind Energy Association, told ThinkProgress. “This means the grid will be built to meet renewable energy requirements.”
A coalition of 45 state regulators, utilities and utility trade associations appealed Order 1000 as arbitrary and capricious. The Environmental Defense Fund and other groups argued to uphold it.
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