FERC Adopts ‘Historic’ Reforms to Ease Nationwide Generation Interconnection Backlog
R Street Institute, a think tank that promotes “pragmatic” policy solutions, delivered a more nuanced response. Devin Hartman, director of the R Street Institute’s energy and environmental program, commended FERC for taking “productive steps” to reduce regulatory barriers to generator interconnection. However, “the new status quo will still leave years worth of interconnection backlogs, keep grid upgrade costs at multiples of what is necessary, and delay new supply needed for grid reliability and clean transition,” he predicted. “Interconnection reform needed a home run, and FERC hit a single. FERC must prioritize supplemental efforts to resolve the unfinished business in interconnection reform. If not, Congress should,” he said.
Hartman noted that R Street filed expert comments to shape FERC’s reform agenda and spearheaded a consumer letter to make sure regulators prioritized deep reforms. “Unfortunately, the longstanding rules are the largest barriers to new power plant development and the largest driver of increased energy contract prices in many regions,” he said. “FERC ultimately opted to pursue the low-hanging fruit, leaving the most important reforms unaddressed.”